In Conversation With... Harry Wolfman
Excited to have Harry Wolfman on board for our latest instalment in our interview series. The past 12 months have seen his eclectic approach continue to be greatly admired with notable releases on Phonica, Omena, Outplay and Toy Tonics which display his creative abilities across a wide array of genres and moods.
With His latest EP 'Always' (out now on Dirt Crew Recordings), Harry continues to showcase his original approach with elements of electro, breakbeat and ambient music. The EP opens with a breaks and poppy, feel good vibe and finishes with a broken and fragile indie electronica track with the middle of the EP demonstrating his trademark deep bass, driving beats and piano chords.
The result is a warm and close to mad journey for the listener representing how far Harry has come over the years with his unique outlook on music production and life in general.
Always 3 EP- Dirt Crew Recordings - DIRT123
1. Hey Harry, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. For your latest EP you've gone for an incredibly eclectic approach with breaks, pop, electro and ambient music, even incorporating your own vocals - what was your thought process behind this approach?
Hey Acuna, thanks for having me. Hm... in general my process is pretty thoughtless. I just mess around with stuff until it feels good. I didn’t write these tunes with an EP in mind, some elements within at are really old, like the Christian Crow vocal. That was actually running over another beat originally, a more housey thing. I think Christian sent me those vocals like a couple years ago. It never quite felt right. I often mess around with gelling ideas together and stuff just on gut feeling... that happened here; I could tell it’d be in key, so I whacked the vocal over this breaksy thing and it worked real nice and made me feel warm and fuzzy.
Re the eclecticism... I make a lot of different styles of music and its nice to work with someone as awesome as Peter (Dirt Crew Bossman) who has a varied palate and doesn’t just wanna sign bangers.... Although I bet he’d be tempted by this next prog rock OST shit I’m sitting on... ;)
2. Two of the tracks especially stray away from your usual deep house sound and fall into more of a cinematic ambient bracket, almost Brian Eno-esque - is this where you see your sound heading? Do movie soundtracks have an influence on your music?
I definitely want to release more ambient music, I have a fair bit of it now. But that might end up surfacing more on the publishing side for sync etc. I dunno what direction I’m going in to be honest. The whole music is dry at the moment in my opinion, everyone is ending up with the same content in this social media era. Shy but interesting producers are being forced into taking selfies and pictures of their breakfast in the hope that some eyes and ears might wander onto their actual work. It doesn't sit well with me to be honest.
Yeah I’m a huge Brian Eno fan, crazy into stuff that treads the ambient and minimalist line also; Bing & Ruth are a must mention on my most played list right now. And yeah I love science fiction, film and OSTs across the genre board, huge inspiration for sure. I read a lot of sci fi - if you know your Arthur C Clarke you might clock some references in the track list on this EP.
Hard to name some specific films... I’m not some indie aficionado or anything... I’m a Blade Runner guy, The Matrix.... all things Hans Zimmer... Alex Garland etc... I guess Ex Machina probs woulda been swirling around my head a lot when messing with ambient sounds. Some beautiful ambient moments in that Portishead OST.
3. We know that in your spare time you like to read up on space, watch Sci Fi's and debate about the existence of aliens - what is it about these hobbies that help inspire you when making a track? and what else do you take inspiration from?
Lol, did my brother write these questions or something? Yeh I’m big into the universe, being one of its inhabitants n all. I never quite shook off the awe from that famous Hubble image. Re ETs, it’s not really up for debate! Do the maths... the real debate is on whether they’ve visited here or not... I won’t go there. It’s hard to pin down this kind of inspiration and describe it. I feel almost overwhelmingly spiritual when looking at the stars. It’s what we’re all made of, that's what the science says.
I love feeling really small and insignificant, but inherently connected. I love trying to imagine the incredible sights and stories out there in the infinite. It’s an emotional thing, I guess sometimes in my music I try and capture snippets of that... but inspiration of course comes from everywhere...
4. You've been on the circuit for over a decade now, what's keeping you motivated and do you have any big plans or goals for the future? is maybe an album on the cards?
To be honest it can be hard to keep going sometimes. My ears are not in great shape, I’ve really abused them. Life isn’t particularly easy right now, I’m flat broke. But I’m really enjoying writing pop and ambient music and fucking with breakbeats.... and the occasional crazy acid thing. I love autotune and writing lyrics, been so much fun trying new things the last couple years. I’d love to do an album at some point, maybe in the not so distant future. My goal is always to improve, I’m still an amateur.
5. Whether its lounging in the studio, on the commute or having it out at a festival - what are your top 5 tracks to listen to right now?