WOLF Music mainstay from the early days, Medlar‘s back catalogue showcases a producer with a gift for both composition and creativity. Following on from a brilliant debut LP and equally impressive collaboration with Dan Shake on Delusions of Grandeur, he takes the reigns for WOLF’s 30th release, offering up four varied but captivatingly cohesive cuts. To give us an insight into the creative process of the EP, Ned has kindly offered to run us through each of the tracks in his own words, outlining his inspirations and how they came together.
UK dance music has always been a massive influence and was the first electronic music I heard, which got me into it really. There was a workstation/sampler keyboard from the early/mid 80s called the Emulator II (by E-mu) which had a disc of bird sounds, wind chimes and streams. Included in the bird sounds was a recording of a bird called a Loon. This sample ended up in loads of tracks, probably, most famously in 808 State’s ‘Pacific State‘. I think I first heard it in ‘Demon’s Theme‘ by LTJ Bukem and could never work out what it was. I guess this is the most suitable track for a club from this EP. The project file was lost on a laptop I stupidly left on a train, luckily I’d bounced a premaster the previous day and sent to the Wolf Music guys. A lucky escape!
Most of this EP was made during a difficult time for myself and my family. I won’t go into detail here but making party tunes was a real challenge. I’m pleased to say things are a lot brighter now but it’s still very sad and maybe that shines through this. I was watching a lot of bleak cinema at the time and I discovered Kieslowski who I got really into for a time, particularly the 3 Colours trilogy, which was made in conjunction with the composer Zbigniew Preisner and got me obsessed with having a string arrangement put together. Around the same I saw a poster advertising string arrangements/recordings in the studio complex in Deptford I was using until very recently, so got in touch and wrote something with that in mind. Big thanks to Amy May for her beautiful arrangement/performance along with Laura Fairhurst on Cello! Once I got the recording back I wasn’t into the track anymore so wrote something else on a little Acer netbook while travelling to/form a gig somewhere. Despite some people mentioning they recognised samples in here there are actually none at all, so there! I’ve always thought dance music should be pretty focussed and aimed at the club and this totally isn’t, so I was a bit apprehensive about releasing but I’m now very happy to have it out there; even more so after Letty Fox made her (predictably stunning) video for it!
This was made in my previous house in London in 2012/2013 and involved me running around a microphone in my bedroom with tambourines and various other stuff. My tape delay’s broken motor also features heavily! I went through a phase of wanting to make stuff that could be mixed in and out of tempo-less ambient/new age/jazz stuff, so I made a few tracks that either started or ended at ‘nothing’. Also I was trying to make tracks with very little samples, so there are none aside from the piano and the vocals. I got distracted from this whole thing after a while, mainly because it’s just not that appropriate for the majority of gigs I play, so would be somewhat of a distraction, but I’ll definitely pursue this at some point once I’m (hopefully) a more accomplished musician. Perhaps it’d be a good project for an album or a live show, I just didn’t feel ready to commit to it yet but felt this track could exist on it’s own or on an EP. So again, I’m very pleased to get it out there!
This is the only track which was made in the same way as most of my previous stuff – primarily samples. This was the last track written for the record and is definitely the oddest, but to me feels like an extension of my album and previous EP for Wolf Music. I’m out in Japan as I write this and the only times I’ve played it so far out has been here, at both Lifeforce Festival (in the mountains of Hosono, near Atami, south east of Tokyo) and Metro in Kyoto. So it will now always remind me of those shows, which are both memorable in very different, but overwhelmingly positive, ways. Huge thanks to Massa, Shinya of Japonica and Sam for making these happen! I won’t say what the samples are for obvious reasons but the name is a Sun Ra reference, he always claimed never to be human, but part of the Angel Race!