The Kills, Everything But the Girl, Tricky (circa Maxinquaye), Eurythmics etc. – they all played around with the “musicians as lovers” trope. Even when you knew it was fully fictionalised, it was hard to stop yourself from wondering if the drama they relayed on their latest single was somehow rooted in reality. I guess, the mind is hardwired for projection and archetypes are the best triggers, right?
The latest addition to this long lineage of these type of duos is a Swiss – Zürich-based, to be exact – outfit called Wolfman. They’ve been around for a minute, and during this minute they managed to drop a couple of records, and then followed them up with another couple of EPs – the latest one being a remix EP called Mark My World, which just dropped a few weeks back. Their latest offering is a murky, Indie/Blues/Bap/Trip–Hop joint called Mad Woman. It’s moody, it’s salacious, it’s hypnotic and it’s the type of jam that you should play at night and probably keep it on endless repeat, as well. Early Tricky indeed comes to mind and not just because of the specifics of the band configuration, but because their music is somehow on the gloomier side of love – at least the music that I know – and it sounds like really juicy buds went up in smoke and helped them to get it there. And truthfully, this is exactly the way we like it.
Wolfman will be releasing their 3rd long player on October 5th. Their label is called Irascible Records.
While you wait and enjoy this here muggy tune, take a beat to enjoy our interview with Katerina Stoykova, vocalist and one half of the project (the other half being producer Angelo Repetto).
Why does this song make me think of Tricky?
Wild guess: because of the sub-bass and the moodiness of the song?
That too, I’m sure. But I guess it’s the whole dark, smokey aura of this joint. Did you ever listen to his stuff? You got a favourite tune of his?
Hm, to be honest, I’ve never or let’s say, at least in recent years, I haven’t consciously listened to Tricky. But now that you’ve mentioned him, the stereo is blaring his music behind me. And maybe it’s because we wrote and produced our track and listen to it differently than you, but I can’t say our music reminds me of his tunes… But i do love the way he uses his bass sounds and that’s where I do see similarities..
It’s an art to write about relationships without sounding corny – and it seems you guys have it mastered it – but the question is, can you pull it off without tapping into the dark side?
Well, Mad Woman deliberately goes over the edge and takes a look at the dark side. I like testing my emotional boundaries and taking a look at how far I can go without losing it completely. But Mad Woman isn’t just about love and relationships. It’s also about coping nowadays, especially as a woman, when you have to be everything at once and become a mad version of yourself in order to handle it. To handle love, expectations in general. Also, a woman’s emotionality is still seen as exuberant and often times lunatic. How can a woman stay sane then?
Without a doubt, these are trying times. And there is definitely so much out there that we could internalise if we’re not careful, and crack under the pressure. But just to finish of this love related theme – how dark can love get?
It can get as dark as you want it to be. Love, like every emotion, is a perspective, it’s addictive, and you can get carried away with its intrinsic masochism. You know how scratching an itchy spot can start to hurt because it becomes an open wound and the scratching then becomes compulsive because there’s something alluring about the pain?
I do! Which is why, I suppose, I just try to keep it simple these days and not scratch too much. I wanted to pick your brain on how you two function. Because from what I understand you’ve been writing songs together for years now, how has the process changed over the years and how do you keep each other inspired?
I don’t know if the process has changed much over the years and that’s why I think we’re still at it. Since day one, we’ve worked on every single song together from scratch. And I guess – as corny as it sounds – it’s our friendship and our ability to not take ourselves too seriously that’s kept us going. Which can be a disability, at times, but that’s another issue. Also, we’re kids in adult disguise. That helps too.
With rapidly changing trends, especially with electronic music – do you even try to keep up? Does it matter?
Absolutely not. Call it ignorant, but we really don’t keep up with anything. If we happen to hear something new, and we like it, then I’m really happy that we’ve discovered new music. But I have no idea where we stand in terms of trends.
I think it’s a sane position. There’s just too much out there. Do you think there will ever be another music-based subculture with global impact (like say hip hop or punk) or are we heading down the fragmentation wormhole?
OMG, that’s a huge question. There are so many factors, the internet having major impact, of course, and I’d say it’s impossible to predict anything in this regard. My wild guess would be that globalisation dilutes all kinds of subcultures, in general, and the accessibility of music nowadays makes it difficult to produce anything that isn’t influenced. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there can’t be another movement with a global impact. It will just probably be different in its form and effects.
Mad Woman is actually a track off of your your new LP – is the rest of the record exploring the heavier end of the love spectrum?
No, I wouldn’t say its an album about the darkness of love. Every song reflects our current moods at the time of writing. And moods tend to swing.
Could you imagine yourself writing a Stevie Wonder type love jam?
I can. Yes! Have you listened to our song “100 Hours” from our debut album “Unified”? It’s relatively light.
No, I have to go back and dig that up. Unfortunately, I just discovered you guys with this string of releases. But I’ll be digging! We gotta wrap this up in a minute, but in closing: if you could choose any producer to remix this forthcoming record of yours, who would that be?
Thank you for taking the time to do this with me! And Tricky, if you’re reading this, lets make this happen!