Is Paul Woolford the comeback player of the year? I admit that I wasn't sure about him when he came to RA's office in Berlin earlier in 2011 to record an interview for an Exchange series. He felt like an artist who hadn't lived up to the potential of his early successes. But the conversation revealed an open, chatty and thoughtful DJ/producer that I had previously written off. Then there were the mixes—a masterful opening set at Berghain, and a wide-spanning podcast for Fact Magazine—and releases too, like his masterful rework of T. Williams' "Heartbeat" and an underrated 12-inch for Planet E. And now there's this, a new collaboration with Psycatron, a track which is anything but predictable and assuredly one of the year's most interesting records.
Many have lauded the legion of UK bass producers making house music these days for their outward approach. I find the house and techno guys going the other way, however, far more fascinating. Will Saul, Adam Marshall and Woolford, among others, look to be rejuvenated (or, in some cases, simply juvenated) by the musical conversation going on at the moment. If you want to hear the whole thing wrapped up into one blinding tune, though, you need only listen to "Stolen," which makes its way through four separate phases over its nine plus minutes. A slice of breakbeat techno toughness? An analogue Skudge fix? The sweet vocal touch of garage? Some acid for the fridge? It's all here. Even better, it doesn't sound like a complete fucking mess. Far from it.
That confidence in the studio isn't new. The confidence to release a track that doesn't conform to expectations, though, is something I haven't heard from either Woolford or Psycatron in a long while. Woolford claimed that he didn't try to cash in on "Erotic Discourse" in that aforementioned interview by trying to recreate it. Maybe he should have. The beauty of that track is that it was completely unexpected. "Stolen" is too. That's what Woolford and Psycatron should put their chips on from here on forward. Here's hoping they try.
Buy Paul Woolford and Psycatron - Stolen at
Tracklist: Paul Woolford and Psycatron - Stolen A Stolen
B Stolen (Dub Mix)
Digital: Stolen (Dub Mix 2)