Well-known for their knack of sourcing fine artists of a distinguished sound, the duo behind the wolf pack, Stu Clark and Matt Neale formed the Brighton based label founded on the combinations of forward-thinking House with elements from Disco and Funk. Having been one of the first to bring us the likes of The Revenge, epic disco edit-er Eddie C, to the more Balearic-influenced Ilija Rudman and Melbourne's young Francis Inferno Orchestra, Wolf Music are also the proud home of their UK 'resident' producers KRL and Greymatter.
Together with the likes of PBR Streetgang and Cottam on their roster, the imprint has formed a secure reputation for being the purveyors of refined House music. Alongside an exclusive free track from OOFT - Just Peachy, Greymatter also churns out an exclusive mix for Dazed which you can download here - as we premiere his new video for 'Tesla' by John Malcolm Moore.
Dazed Digital: Why did you start Wolf Music? Where did the name come from and why did it fit with what you are trying to do?
Matt Neale: I had been running labels for a number of years and had been given the opportunity to have a crack at the Atmosfear back catalogue. Stu’s musical taste is very similar to mine and he is one of the best DJ’s I’ve heard; so I called him up, asked if he fancied running a label with me and then Wolf was born. The label name Wolf comes from a nickname I drunkenly gave Stu when I first met him at a party. We realised the word Wolf was an authentic tie we had with each other so we used it for the label name.
DD: How do you pick your artists? You guys started out with some quite big names... did you want to continue down that route or are you hoping to put out more upcoming producers now like it seems as of late?
Stu Clark: In terms of our first release, we were really fortunate to get The Revenge to remix the track and by the time the record was released his profile had really blown up, which of course helped us gain additional exposure. Eight fairly successful releases in, we hope that people are starting to get a feel for what we are about and will start trusting us with the music we are putting out.
Matt Neale: Names wise, I guess the plan from the outset was to use bigger names to get the label known allowing us to then work with the not as well-known names as we became recognised as a go to label in its own right. Our working relationship with KRL & Greymatter is a whole different ball game; we see them as our resident producers. We love their music and they are fantastic to work with, so as long as we share the same musical vision then working collectively will remain a long term thing.
DD: I'm guessing like all labels you don't want to be pigeon-holed in terms of genre, but is there something common that runs through all your signings? Though they obviously crossover, your earlier releases seemed to be more disco-orientated whereas now there seems to be a bigger focus on house, what inspired this development if so?
Matt Neale: Our take on where we fit genre wise is that we are House. But I guess that’s cause our interpretation of House encompasses a wide spectrum of influences and styles. Same way Garage in its natural setting was a wide mixture of music but with a clear thread running through it all; our take on House is the same. Wolf music is our interpretation of that same ethos.
Stu Clark: I can see how our first releases featuring The Revenge and Eddie C could have associated us with more of a Disco sound, that’s not something that we originally set out for. I’m proud of every track we’ve released, so I’m happy however people want to label us!
DD: How challenging is it to run an independent label today?
Matt Neale: Running a label is nothing like it used to be in terms of units and it’s challenging to accept that a good release won’t always make you or your artists rich directly, but indirectly there are gigs, remixes, synch, comps and merch opportunities that have never existed before. If you embrace it and move with it, then running a label is a challenge worth taking on.
Stu Clark: Matt and I are constantly striving to make the label as good as it possibly can be, and of course that can sometimes involve a little bit of stress. The hardest thing is trying to juggle our day jobs as we both work full time. But we’ve been really lucky to our hard work pay off, and it’s great to get recognition and respect for doing something that we are both so passionate about. It will always give me a buzz to see our release in a record shop or to play at a great party.
DD: Who else are you listening to at the moment? Anyone you want to work with but haven't yet?
Stu Clark: Motor City Drum Ensemble is someone I would love to have on the label. I’m also listening to anything Space Dimension Controller is releasing - I’m a big Funk fan and that dude definitely has the Funk. Also on a Funk tip, I love what I’ve heard from Krystal Klear. The We Play House Recordings guys and Feel My Bicep are definitely some of the people we would also love to feature on the label, House music at its best coming from both camps.
6th Borough Project- Find A Way (Original Mix)
Hot Toddy ft Danielle Moore - Won't Let Go (Erdbeerschnitzel Remix)
Hunee - Took My Love
Jayson Brothers - Monster Box
Ethyl & Huxley - Reflexions
Julio Bashmore - Batty Knee Dance
San Soda - Let's Go
MK - Burning (Original Vibe Mix)
Art Of Tones - Too Much
Kenlou - The Bounce (Original Mix)
Greymatter - Tesla
Julio Bashmore - Ribble To Amazon
KRL - I Wanna Be With You
Wolf Music's new double CD compilation 'I Wanna See All My Friends At Once' (in association with the Sleazy Beats team and mixed by Cosmic Boogie) is out today, 6 June 2011
Greymatter - Exclusive Dazed Mix
OOFT - Just Peachy