Picture the scene, a hot summer’s day on a pebbly beach in Brighton, ice cream in hand and the cool sea breeze caressing your face. Then, all of a sudden a pack of wolves appear (no you haven’t entered the fourth installment of Twilight) and start parading along the promenade, vinyl in mouth; with a heavy disco beat playing in the background. As much as they would like to spend the afternoon wasting their hard earned coppers in the penny pusher machines, these coyotes are marching onto the studio, Macs in paws ready to release some utter howlers.
Bet you forgot about your ice cream didn’t you? Meltdown! But not for these guys, they are staying cool as and without a lactose intolerance in sight. So who is it? No, its not Michael J Fox, although they definitely are having the same effect on people as he did in Teenwolf.
Three years ago, Matthew Neale was presented with the opportunity to re-release an old Disco classic “Atmosfear – Dancing In Outer Space.” He had some ideas as to how he wanted to go about getting it done, but they didn’t fit the label he was working with. He decided something new was needed and that it was time to initiate them. With a clear vision of how he was going to enhance the music scene, Matt got in contact with his hairy compadre Stu “The Wolf” Clarke, who subsequently provided the support and nickname necessary to finalize the label.
Together, suckling on the she-wolf teet of inspiration, the bearded duo looked too their friends for help. The label was born and the resultant EP’s launched the careers of KRL, Greymatter and Medlar. Within a few months, It quickly became apparent that Wolf Music was not only a record label releasing the some of the finest 4×4 House, Disco records around, these guys were also introducing the world to their pack mates, who happened to be some of best underground talent that Britain had to offer.
For us, it wasn’t until WOLFEP006 ”Paw To The Floor EP” that the imprint became indelibly emblazoned on our hearts. 4 simply outstanding records on one vinyl! With this EP, Wolf scoured the House spectrum, sourcing an eclectic selection of new and interesting artists. Dead Rose Music Company, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Session Victim and the old favourite Greymatter This release highlights Wolf’s impressive ability to find music that conforms to their core principles; to keep the Disco flavours flowing.
Another notable releases is the incredible WOLFEP13 from James Welsh. It was the Hypercolour guys who kindly introduced James Welsh to Matt. That Wolf Music was being given a helping hand by Hypercolour, one of the industries most respected labels either says a lot about WOLF as a label or Matt as an individual.
James Welsh has a very niche sound which is showcased beautifully by “Nowt,” the standout track on WOLFEP13 – a laid-back jam punctuated by starburst synths and slow intoned Alica Keys vocals. Alongside this gem James has also made another very important introduction to our world. He was responsible for bringing Tom Demac to our attention, by asking him to remix his tune ‘Join the Dots’ … we will be forever grateful.
WOLFEP15, also has a very diverse roster of talent, featuring the likes of Waze and Odessey, Terrence Pearce, Squarehead & Mella Dee and a remix from Ron Basejam. Maintaining their wolfish charm, EP15 kicks off with the grooving, soulful Disco-House sounds of James Welsh’s “Nowt (Ron Basejam Mix Pt 1.) On the flip, Wolf made the wise decision to include a rare gem from Waze & Odessey. Previously released as the B side to an ultra limited white label (Medlar’s booty of Steffi “Yours,’) ‘Feel My Voices” was almost completely unattainable as the vinyl had been pulled from the shelves almost immediately after its release, a copy still commands silly prices!
With this EP, WOLF also took the opportunity to introduce us to two of their cubs – Squarehead & Mella Dee. The duo worked reverb soaked keys and bumpy garage beats into a jackin’ track. Curtain call comes in the form of deep, funky underground beats from Terrence Pearce‘s “Majik”.
For their latest installment (WOLF016,) the pedigree Medlar was given the opportunity to put together his first full EP. With its smooth soulful vocal and raw drums, A1 “Sun” is sure to get your attention. “Knockard Pearl” cues next; a fun piano driven groove. On the remix are Dutch duo Detroit Swindle, their version twists up the torque adding a touch more stomp to that 90’s House beat, a surefire way to move the dancefloor’s. Last but not least is “Govern.” With it’s jumbled soundbites and jazz elements, it is a significantly calmer listening experience, and a suitable postscript to an all round a strong EP. Probably Medlar’s finest work on WOLF this year.
Given the caliber of the aforementioned releases, it is unsurprising that Wolf Music have been recognized for their achievements, with a much deserved nomination for Label of the Year – Best of British DJ Mag Awards. And, with artists such as Maxxi Soundsystem, Weekend Express, OOFT!, Chicago Damn, Fantastic Man set to make appearances on later releases, the WOLF guys are making sure that they continue to go from strength to strength.
It seemed fitting to round off this retrospective with the latest mix from Wolf Music, a zeitgeist mix of their 2012 releases, plus a few tasters of whats to come in 2013.