Podcast 318: Special Request

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It's not often that an already successful artist comes up with a new alias and sees their career trajectory suddenly jump to another level, but that's exactly what seems to have happened to Paul Woolford. For more than a decade, the UK producer has been releasing a steady stream of well-received music, both under his own name and a variety of monikers, including Bobby Peru, Hip Therapist, and Skip Donahue. Still, at the start of 2012, he was still generally known as Paul Woolford, respectable and reliable techno producer. It wasn't until he began making hardcore- and jungle-referencing music as Special Request that things started to change. Initially issuing a series of white-label 12"s, the project was eventually snapped up by the young Houndstooth, which has just released the first Special Request LP, Soul Music. Coming at a time when nostalgia for the pirate-radio era and a renewed interest in jungle and drum & bass appears to be surging, Special Request has quite simply exploded, placing Woolford on a bigger stage than ever before. Given that, it seemed like the perfect time for the veteran producer to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. To be clear, this is most definitely a Special Request—and not a Paul Woolford—podcast; right off the bat, it delves into the breakneck rhythms of jungle and keeps the throttle floored for more than an hour. Bringing together both vintage cuts and newer productions, Woolford makes a compelling case for the genre's vibrancy before wrapping things up with a noisy bit of sonic exploration from Alva Noto. He's clearly tapped into something potent with Special Request, and it's fascinating to document his ascent.

01 Blocks & Escher "Sagan" (Narratives)
02 Paradox "Hold The Beat" (Paradox)
03 Krust "The Last Day" (Full Cycle)
04 Paradox "Drum Machine" (Paradox)
05 Loxy & Resound, Blocks & Escher "Monsters" (Narratives)
06 Ruffhouse "The Domino Effect" (Ingredients)
07 Paradox "No Consensus" (Paradox)
08 Detail "Green Rain" (Utopia)
09 Paradox "Ambiguity" (Paradox)
10 Alpha Omega "VCF" (Reinforced)
11 Paradox "I Led You" (Paradox)
12 Bizzy B "Strength" (Planet Mu)
13 Ray Keith "Phizical (Moody Mix)" (V)
14 Photek "Trans 7" (Science)
15 Clarity "Fractured" (Exit)
16 J. Majik "Your Sound VIP" (Metalheadz)
17 Alva Noto "unknown" (Raster Noton)

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