Reset Robot, Jon Gurd, and Tom Powell Join Forces As Mister Woo; Q&A and Exclusive Mix - XLR8R

Reset Robot, Jon Gurd, and Tom Powell Join Forces As Mister Woo; Q&A and Exclusive Mix

The three UK-based producers have combined forces for their debut EP as Mister Woo on Derelicht, available December 12.
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Derelicht, established earlier this year, has announced the latest project to hit the imprint. Mister Woo, an umbrella covering the combined efforts of Reset Robot, Jon Gurd, and Tom Powell, will focus more on a multi-instrumental approach to music production, rather than being confined to software usage. The release will also contain a rework by Alan Fitzpatrick. It will be the label’s fourth release, following on from the likes of The Soft, ThermalBear, Killawatt, Padre, and Jon Gurd himself.

We spoke to the guys ahead of the release.

Mister Woo, could you walk us through the concept and inspiration behind the whole outfit?
Mister Woo is what happens when the three of us (Reset Robot, Jon Gurd, and Tom Powell) get in the shed on our days off. It's really just a pure, creative outlet, where we can do whatever we want. We've written loads of of stuff together but, until now, only a few Mister Woo tracks have ever seen the light of day. We just didn't have the knowledge or the time to get it to the right people. Now the timing feels right, and with Derelicht in our corner, Mister Woo has started to take on a life of its own.

We hear that you have plans to develop a full-on audio visual show. What form do you envisage this will take?
The vision is to make the Mister Woo live show all consuming and completely immersive, for us and the audience. For that reason, the visuals are going to be massively important. If we get that right, along with our mix of live instruments and organic techno performance, then it should be a real trip. On stage we'll be using exactly what we use in the studio. That's a combination of Reason with controllers, live bass, guitars, vox, analogue synths, and whatever else we can get our hands on.

Recently we've been experimenting with rewiring old drum machines through a vintage whack-a-mole. We're aiming for a drum sound that's halfway between an 808 and a 909, but with all the feeling and warmth of a day at the fair. The plan so far is to press play on a pre-programmed set and all just batter the shit out of whack-a-mole for an hour.

It must get fairly cramped in the studio when you are all in there together—do you all have defined roles?
Yeah, we're all in there. Strange things happen when three men are trapped in a box for so long. We're all producers and musicians so it's just a case of letting each other have complete creative freedom and seeing what happens. We normally have a nice cup of coffee in the morning, and then just begin banging around on Reason, and on the guitars and keys until there's a feeling worth holding on to. The rest is finding a way to turn that feeling into a track without letting it disappear. The workflow is all over the place. We each throw sounds and ideas into the pot and collectively try and steer it somewhere that feels good.

How was the mix recorded, and what mindset were you all in for it?
Fit as many Mister Woo tracks in as possible without seeming self-indulgent, then build the hour around that! The rest of the mix is music that we love and weaves through all the corners of our personality. It's a big departure from any of our solo projects, so we wanted to try and get under the skin and put a mix together that shows what Mister Woo is all about.

What's next for Mister Woo?
Our debut release on Derelicht is out on December 11, which includes a splendid rework by Alan Fitzpatrick. There's a live show to prepare and a load of music ready to release, so it's all a buzz. We've also got a solid month together in the studio coming up, so anything could happen!

To celebrate the release, we also have an exclusive Mister Woo mix.

Tracklist:

01.Mister Woo - Untitled
02. Vinyl Williams - "Ring" (Company Records)
03. Portico Quartet - "Trace" (Real World)
04. Mister Woo - "Divy" (Derelicht)
05. Chip Jacks - "Crunch Culture" (Murge)
06. Hookworms - "II" (Gringo)
07. Mister Woo - Untitled
08. Mister Woo - "Black Eyes" (Derelicht)
09. Matthew Dear - "You Put A Smell On Me" (Ghostly International)
10. Mister Woo - "Afterlife" (Derelicht)
11. Ike Yard - "Loss (Regis Version)" (Desire)
12. Mister Woo - "Port & Wine"
13. Bryan Chapman - Untitled
14. Jamie XX feat. Romy - "Loud Places (Tessela Remix)" (Young Turks)
15. Mister Woo - "Wah Wah Woo"
16. Mike Dehnert - "Cab" (Fachwerk)
17. Mister Woo - "Royal Beluga"
18. Gavin Russom - "The Telstar File" (L.I.E.S)

All photos: John Seven