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Paul Woolford's career spans more than a decade with the man exercising a plethora of guises and musical paths along the way. His acute ear for production and playful exploration of studio techniques has resulted in a highly original and expressive back catalogue that has stood the test of time. 'Bobby Peru', a former Woolford alias from his noughties BackToBasics residency era, was an outlet for his experimental house ventures, most notably with the pivotal Erotic Discourse EP. 'Wooly' now focuses on something closest to his heart, Techno with releases on Carl Craig's very own Planet E, as well as Hotflush, Pokerflat and Phonica. All this coupled with a residency at legendary Ibiza party We Love Sundays at Space, it's safe to say he is now considered a vet in the scene and on course for legendary status. His newest alias Special Request, which is inspired by early nineties pirate radio, has been causing quite a stir. It's with this project he's able to produce music reflecting the current state of the rave scene, where boundaries are merged and undefinable.

Ahead of his 3 hours set at Ctrl Shift this Friday in Relay, the Ctrl Shift lads sat down with Paul to find out a little more.

Ctrl Shift presents Paul Woolford (3 hour set) & Arnaud Le Texier
Friday 1st February at Relay, London

Click here for more event info / tickets


Hey Paul, Happy New Year to you - any resolutions for 2013?

I don't believe in making them although I change my lifestyle according to a few different factors over the space of the year.

It's been a busy & transitional couple of years for you, what have been your highlights along the way?

That's more in the eyes of media, it's difficult to take a step outside of yourself and have an unbiased look. You can be aware of these things but there's a level of awareness that can become a hinderance or can be something that you pay too much attention to. Picking out highlights is tricky because there's no hierarchy of experience - I can take as much enjoyment from the most basic things but having said that, I played in December at Panoramabar's 8th birthday and that was excellent. Working with Planet E and Hotflush and Simon Rigg at Phonica is fulfilling. Working with the right people and for the right reasons is important. I can honestly say that there are things happening week by week that inspire me, you take a moment to reflect and then move on to the next thing. Life moves rapidly.

You're a seasoned campaigner in Ibiza and part of the We Love family, which DJs excited and inspired you on the island in 2012?

From my perspective it was great to do the B2B thing inside Space at WeLove in 2012 and everyone I brought in performed well: Ben UFO, Untold and Appleblim all bring their own approach and we definitely opened some ears up during those dates. There's 8 dates in the diary for 2013 and 4 of them will be back to back so I can foresee some intense moments.

The Special Request white label series has been hugely popular, are you surprised by that, given that the releases have been a diversion away from the house and techno sound that people often associate you with?

I knew the impact would be strong as soon as the tracks emerged. there are sides to it that haven't shown themselves just yet. I take calculated risks in using sounds that are so ingrained in the history of this music that some people instantly say "oh this is retro" or it's nostalgia or whatever, but what this project is about is purely sensory. I'm using sounds that on occasion could be cliches, and re-applying them using the sensations they provoke in a manner that goes somewhere else. Simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar.

There is an album coming this year and I'm touring as Special Request imminently.

You're taking us on 3 hour journey on the 1st Feb, what can people expect to hear from your set?

Racket of all descriptions.

What releases have you got lined up already this year? Will there be a follow up to your Razor Burn EP on Planet E?

The Special Request album & more 12" releases, more work for Hotflush and Planet E and some more incognito things.

Finally, what's happened to Bobby Peru?

He's lurking, the eagle-eyed may have spotted him already…
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