Approaching his drum & bass production with the benefit of a seasoned musical ear, Med School signing Etherwood, has been making the appropriate waves for a year or so now. Creating tracks that seem able to represent his musical upbringing, coating his rolling breaks with reverbed guitars and delayed piano rolls he’s got a track on Med School’s forthcoming New Blood 013 compilation and is appearing here at the label’s latest takeover of Room Three a week on Friday. So ahead of both of those milestones, we shot him some questions and asked him to make us one of those mixes that says more about his musical persuasion than we ever could…
For those who may not be acquainted with you or your sound, can you introduce yourself and your music?
My name's Woody. I'm a d&b producer originally from Lincoln, now residing in North London.
How would you describe the music you make in more detail?
I think melody and atmosphere are two of the most important aspects of my music. I've been pretty obsessed with drum & bass since I was a teenager. I remember hearing ‘Together' by Logistics for the first time and being blown away. Since then I've always loved the idea of injecting a melodic ambience into a genre renowned for its pace and presence on the dance floor. I try and keep my production as organic as possible, relying heavily on piano, guitar and original vocals as opposed to synths and samples. I suppose the music I produce is generally a combination of energy, melody and ambience with a double shot of bass.
Do you have a musical background other than producing electronic music?
I come from a very musical family. Both of my parents have been in bands since I was a toddler and my grandma is a piano virtuoso so I've grown up surrounded by music really. I've been influenced so much by my family and it's really injected itself into the music I produce. I've played piano and guitar in funk, soul, blues and metal bands since I was a teenager and loved every second.
How does it feel being picked out by Med School? Is it a label you’ve always respected?
It's a real honour to be involved with Med School. I've been a massive fan of Hospital since I first started listening to d&b and, as a sister label, Med School has developed a seriously strong roster since its inception. The Med School ethos seems really creative which is vital for any label in my opinion. It's obvious that it pushes artists to new boundaries, which is exactly what I'd expect from a label. I feel privileged to be a part of it.
What have you been working on recently?
I'm pretty busy at the moment trying to juggle various projects. Most of my time is spent trying to maintain a balance between mixing down old stuff and creating new stuff. It's easy to let tunes slip by so I'm trying to revisit old tracks to rediscover a love for them. At the same time I'm always writing new material. I also play guitar for Jakwob live. We have a couple of shows coming up in the next few weeks so there's a lot of rehearsing going on. Playing live is a beautiful thing. It's a direct experience between you and the audience and a real reflection of how your tunes are perceived.
Can you let us in on any of your forthcoming releases?
I have a tune coming out on the new Med School compilation New Blood 013 called 'Unfolding'. It's a tune I wrote a little while ago and stems from a rhodes arpeggio I was playing around with. It features some beautiful vocals from Laurelle Robichaud, one half of Laurelle & Alexander, a Canadian electro pop duo who are doing some great things at the moment. Check them out!
Can you tell us a little bit about the mix you’ve made for us?
Yeah, I sort of tailored this mix to try and capture my musical direction. It starts off with some pretty chilled halftime vibes and moves toward some nice liquid rollers with a strong melodic emphasis. I absolutely love every track in the mix and there's a lot of feeling and emotion involved... for me anyway. Every artist in this mix has such a unique sound and that's such a rare and valuable quality in today's scene. I recorded it live as it's a lot more enjoyable than chucking a load of tracks into a DAW and letting the software do the groundwork.
What's next for you? What does the future hold?
Mainly, I want to get lost in some music for a few solid weeks and try and write as much as possible. I have a few DJ shows coming up and some Jakwob live shows. I've got some exciting ventures forthcoming including a collabo with one of my favourite d&b duos right now. I just want to concentrate on writing for the next few months and try and play out as much as I can.
Etherwood & His FABRICLIVE x Med School Mix
Synkro - Acceptance
Bondax - All Inside
Submerse - Tears
Jakwob - Fade (Etherwood Remix)
Villem - Shimmer
Stray & Frederic Robinson - Thumbprint
Survival & Silent Witness - No One Home feat. Ruby Wood
Etherwood - Unfolding
Ivy Lab - Afterthought (feat. Frank Carter III)
Lung - Why Does Anyone Ever Do Anything (feat. Rachel K Collier)
Nu:Logic - Morning Light
Hosta - When You Were Mine (VIP)
Bondax - Gold (Technimatic Remix)
Etherwood - Spoken
Daughter - Youth (Hybrid Minds Bootleg)