Paul Woolford isn't one to be boxed in.
A phenomenally gifted producer, his work has moved effortlessly between genres, releasing striking house and techno gems in the process.
Using his Special Request alias he has showcased his love of vintage hardcore and jungle, all while remaining resolutely committed to future-facing sounds.
New EP 'House Hits Vol. 1' is out now and it's an absolute riot, an explosion of house-centric sounds that rip up the rulebook while remaining respectful to the past.
Out now, he explains: “‘House Hits’ is about super-direct tracks with no pretense, of all persuasions, that have created the key moments from my sets. Built to absolutely rock clubs, basements and warehouses the world over.”
Here, Paul Woolford speaks to Clash about his house roots...
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Seduction - 'You’re My One and Only True Love' (Idlers)
C&C Music Factory were a force to be reckoned with. Robert Clivillés and David Cole had an incredible run of success founded on combining pure system-ready house at it’s most potent with soul, funk and pop influences that culminated in massive global recognition. Sadly David Cole is no longer with us but their legacy lives on.
This is New York house at it’s finest - raw, driving, energetic & soulful with Martha Wash’s classic diva vocal soaring across the top. As well as being a Hacienda anthem, the track went to Number 23 in the U.S. Billboard Top 100, proving that a great house record can crossover without compromise.
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Kym Mazelle - 'Useless'
The combination of Kym and Marshall Jefferson gave us one of the first true deep house records. Marshall was absolutely thriving at this time with his work on Ten City and they gave us this extremely evocative tale of a girl in the big city kicking her man into touch.
One of the most sampled vocals of all time - particularly in hardcore and jungle circles and there’s an incredible rework by David Morales that’s easily as good as the original. An incredible record.
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Hokus Pokus - 'Different World'
Marshall again giving us absolute mind-bending acid with a super-moody vocal from himself about taking us into another realm. True box-working H.O.U.S.E. and I save it for truly special moments only.
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Sueno Latino - 'Sueno Latino'
The Italians have made some awesome and flamboyant contributions to house culture, and I really feel this is the pinnacle. Essentially a rework of Manuel Gottsching’s hour-long opus “E2-E4” - this was the subject of a legal case for years, which is now resolved. See also Derrick May’s wild emotional rollercoaster of a remix. Mind-blowing.
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Mondee Oliver - 'Stay Close' (Renegade Philly Dub)
Simply one of the greatest house records of all time, and filled with nuance - this has everything from yearning vocals, submariner keys, gorgeous chord changes and a build that takes you to heaven. Again, to be deployed with care but in the right place, at the right time, not a dry eye in the house...
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'House Hits Vol. 1' is out now.
For tickets to the latest Paul Woolford shows click HERE.
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