Saturday 4 July 2020
House and techno stalwart takes the anything-goes principles from UK pirate radio into his productions

Talk about being prolific!

Paul Woolford is producer and DJ who has so much on his mind that he keeps spitting out new music. Under different aliases, too: Bobby Peru, Hip Therapist, Skip Donahue, Wooly and, perhaps most notably, Special Request.

Inspired by the unruly conventions of UK pirate radio stations, Special Request captures the raw energy and diversity of the illegal airwaves and uses this as a springboard of inspiration for a series of heavyweight productions that span from murky house through dark-side techno to chaotic eye-of-the-storm hardcore/jungle tear-outs.

The Leeds native is usually known for his techno-based material and has become affiliated with Carl Craig's Planet E label in Detroit, and also Scuba's Hotflush imprint. However, this new moniker serves as a channel for a much more physical, rough-around-the-edges sound, fusing the energy of the hardcore and jungle wonder years with modern production techniques and a heavy aesthetic.

Since 2013, Special Request has released full lengths on Fabric’s Houndtooth division. 2013 saw the release of his debut album, Soul Music, which mixed techno, jungle and rave and was hailed as “one of the most exciting dance records of the year” by Pitchfork. Belief System followed up with a combination of soundtrack-inspired atmospherics and field recordings with his trademark heavyweight breaks.

In 2019, he went into a production frenzy, announcing four albums in a year! The first one out was Vortex, a hard and heavy club record full of "bowel-evacuating bangers" (his own words). Then came Bedroom Tapes, a collection of early tracks showing his softer side, from the 90s left-field vibes to the floaty, understated strains of late-2010s house. Offworld saw to another shade of his music with a mellow hybrid of 80s soul and Detroit electro. The fourth chapter will be out soon.

Woolford has all cards on his hands when he’s to put a live set together for his gig at Roskilde Festival, which will be his Scandinavian live debut. Warm up those dancing feet!