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White Noise: Paul Woolford - Untitled / Overload

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Paul Woolford - Untitled / Overload

Label: Hotflush

After ruling the roost for the last four years or so, Scuba’s Hotflush imprint has gone rather quiet of late. The label, once known for its on-point dubstep hybrids and later for ushering in the current era of UK house, hasn’t managed to clock any particularly memorable releases in 2013. Leave it to man of the moment Paul Woolford to change this. Alongside an early classic (and another on Hotflush itself), Woolford has been wowing dancers up and down the country recently under his Special Request guise, squashing hardcore and jungle tropes into rugged, techno rollers which set fire to the ‘floor. 


For his welcome return to Hotflush, Woolford comes up with his most bipolar release to date: a hook-laden, sunkissed summer anthem that’s already doing the rounds in Ibiza paired with a Special Request-style foray into darkness and compression. Despite the incongruity of these two tracks, Woolford is a man who knows what he’s doing and knocks it out of the park on both counts. It’s easy to see how A-side Untitled has become a crossover success into Ibiza’s ‘dance mainstream’; with piano stabs and an earworm vocal that won’t quit your head for days. Yet unlike the majority of the trending ‘deep house’ schlock, this is a substantial piece on the level of production values: the beat pattern kicks and swings with real heft and just a hint of Woolford’s trademark distortion, buoyed up by thundering bass bounces that'd entice even a geriatric to the dancefloor.


The blissful A-side’s evil twin shows up in the form of Overload, where chopped vocals sputter out over dissected breaks in a taut technoid soundscape. While Untitled’s anthemic potential should be clear to all; the B-side is sure to be the weapon of choice for the UK’s nocturnal denizens, and could easily be considered as another fine addition to the Special Request catalogue. Woolford’s consummate ability to change faces so dramatically and succeed so thoroughly has to be heard to be believed, making for Hotflush’s most essential release in over a year.


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