House of Woo is the second full-length release from Maxmillion Dunbar (aka Washington D.C.'s Andrew Field-Pickering), the house-leaning dance musician who's one half of Beautiful Swimmers and also runs the forward-looking electronic label Future Times.
Since he put out his first release Outrageous Soulz (Future Times, 2008), he's proved himself a key force in the experimental scene, with his immersive productions' deep groove and keen sense of fun. His propulsive new album House of Woo (RVNG INTL.) ups the blissy sparkle through the swirling proto-disco vibes of 'Loving The Drift', spectral boogie of 'Woo' and tribal inflections of 'Coins For The Canopy'. In his spare time, we heard that he was pretty nifty behind the DJ decks, so we caught up with him for his recommendations and to find out more about the new record, which is streamed exclusively on Dazed Digital today.
Dazed Digital: As well as doing solo stuff, you're also in Beautiful Swimmers with Ari Goldman. Did you discover new tendencies in yourself while going it alone for this album?
Maxmillion Dunbar: More so than anything else on this LP I was surprised how quick it came out of me. It was very surprising, and very awesome, to have a session just be able to stand on its own. It was very different from the sessions for the upcoming Beautiful Swimmers LP, because that was more of a very long-term process. House Of Woo came from more of a special, deep spot for me, because of how quickly I got my ideas fleshed out.
Dazed Digital: What's a "Woo"?
Maxmillion Dunbar: Ah, man, it's a lot of things. That' s maybe something i'll leave undefined, but I started feeling "woo" as a word near the end of the studio sessions and it has many meanings to me. I drew from a bunch of music and life sources and the term just stuck in my head.
Dazed Digital: There's a song on the record called 'Peeling An Orange In One Piece'. Have you ever actually achieved this?
Maxmillion Dunbar: Yes, for sure, and that's the feeling I got from the song. That sensation, man...the whole spiral in your hand, you know? All that strong orange oil squeaks out of the skin. That's one of the "little things" for sure.
Dazed Digital: What would be your dream music video, if money was no object?
Maxmillion Dunbar: It's extremely unrealistic from where I'm sitting at the moment, but a fully hand-drawn animated video has always been a dream. I love Moebius, and a full vid like that would blow my mind. But it seems so unrealistic to get good animation for a good price, and I can't really stand computer-y comic type shit. I would love to do one with some sort of drama in the jungle or something like that, something with mad lines and leaves and roots and stuff. Probably for 'Kangaroo' off the LP.
Dazed Digital: I've heard you're a pretty fine disco DJ. What's your current Top 3?
Maxmillion Dunbar: I like to think so too! Disco may be a bit limiting, here's three cuts I played the other night at a Beautiful Swimmers party in DC:
1. Huerco S. - 'Aphaelia's Theme'
Bit of a pat on our back, but this is coming out on Future Times soon; I keep dropping it in sets and people keep losing their nugget.
2. Harlem Gem - 'More Than You Can Wish'
This is as sweet as that UK street soul gets. Absolute fucking monster tune. Shit makes me wanna cry! Get your shoulders up in the air and step to your girl with the right moves to this one. This is the perfect song for a mellow UK radio DJ to say "yyyyyeesssss" to.
3. Guy Called Gerald - 'Finley's Rainbow'
End of the night jam for sure. So sick. Something about the purity of shitty 90's computer graphics in the video too. Never look back.