Good news. Paul Frankland is re-releasing his Woob project from his days on the Emit record label. I still remember hearing its cool sounds wafting through the Square Dance offices (recording studio) whilst I was editing my Gas album.
It was the first solo artist album on Emit, and immediately on release in 1994 it was praised by critics and public. It has since become much sought after, fetching high prices secondhand.
I spoke to Paul about the album and his memories about recording it.
MAT JARVIS: What are you re-releasing and when will they be available?
PAUL FRANKLAND: The first Woob album (Woob 1194) will be available worldwide on iTunes by the end of December, and includes a minimalist booklet.
EP1 consisting of some classic, hard to find tracks is available now for a name-your-own-price, from free! – here
Odonna (Bells mix) edit, on download, get it here or on Amazon. later on iTunes.
There will be a brand new 10 minute track available for download on 1.1.10.
MAT: Which are your favourite tracks on the album?
PAUL: Odonna/Strange Air. I’m fond of them all though.
MJ: Most of the tracks are ten minutes or longer, was this a conscious decision to make lengthy tracks, or did they just happen?
PF:The way I wrote the tracks back then, was like a live performance and so I never heard the track complete or knew the length till it was over, but yes it was a conscious decision, although 25 minutes into mixing ‘On Earth’ there was a heart pounding moment when I improvised a synth section. Its probably my favorite bit of the whole album now though.
What were you trying to create when you started writing the album, and did it turn out as you first envisioned?
I tried to create an album with a loose narrative that guides the listener’s mind through different environments. I also wanted the LP to sound as organic as possible without any too thin or too electronic sounding synths.
What was the process for writing the album?
I had an Atari ST running Sequencer One plus, an Akai s950, Gem s2, a boss delay pedal, home made reverb, tape deck, ghetto-blaster, video recorder and a DAT machine. I made rough sets of each track, then took everything with me into the studio and finished off the tracks using the extra equipment available. Every track was mixed and performed live, none were edited down.
How much use did you make of the Roland RSS 3D processor?
Ha- yeah that was massive and expensive and we did use it on every track but it was pretty limited and was only of real use on percussion tracks to add an extra dimension. Still, it must have had some lasting effect on me as around 10 years ago I was given a cut-down rack version as a present, and I am using it on some of the new material.
What is your one memory of your time on the Emit label?
I remember the first time I stepped into the live room at Square Centre studios – it was a vast, open space with a control room overlooking around 15 foot above.
And, what is a Woob? Wuub?
Woob was a made up word. that sounded unique.
Wuub is a hybrid of woob and dub.
What was the thinking behind choosing penguins for the cover?
The label managers (Chris & Dave) said to me that they would really like to use Penguins for the cover and what did I think. I’d just written the track Emperor and was going to suggest the same. It was a very strange coincidence
Thanks Paul, and good luck with the re-releases and new Woob tracks. Here are the Woob releases available now…
EP1 – visit…
Odonna (Bells mix) – visit…
And Later releases…
Woob 1194 (late December on iTunes)
Brand new track on 1|1|10.