Woo: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix
There are very few musical projects which last a lifetime. Since the early 1980's Woo have been producing eclectic ambient, electronic music with a new age twist and have released seven albums across decades. The latest of these releases was in the form of "Awaawaa" which was released on Palto Flats in 2016. Brothers Mark and Clive Ives might not have ever expected to have been involved in a project with such longevity, from humble beginnings producing music for their own amusement they have since gone on to inspire and delight across a generation of listeners.
We are delighted to be able to welcome the pair as they contribute to our Monday mix series with an array of elegant chilled out music. Listen and read the interview below:
Please introduce yourself, who are you, where are you, what are you?
British brothers Clive and Mark Ives, have been recording together since the 70s. Over that time they have developed a sound wholly their own, combining acoustic instrumentation (primarily guitar and clarinet) and electronics in a way that reflects the past, present and future. , Touching upon jazz, psychedelic, ambient and folk/pop idioms.Their work has drawn comparisons to Cluster, Brian Eno, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, the Durutti Column, Shriekback, and Animal Collective, Sun Araw, Ducktails, Nite Jewel, Animal Collective, Balam Acab, Washed Out and Caribou, to name but a few. I am in Brighton and Mark is in Seaford, East Sussex.
There is a longevity to your sound which is often hard to find, why do you think this is?
Not sure how to answer this! Longevity… I believe this comes from a combination of hard work and the freedom to follow our own passions and include all our influences. We started recording in the time when electronics and recording techniques where still uncharted territory. This exploration felt very fresh and inspiring. Having recorded so much music our the past 40 years we are able to select tracks to release that we feel have longevity. Now with new fantastic technology at our fingertips the exploration still has its allure.
What inspires you in the present? Is it the same as when you first released music in the 80’s?
Todd Rungren, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Eric Satie, Prokofiev, Debussy, Beethoven, Kraftwerk
These days my inspirations have changed, although most the music that inspired me when I was young still hits the spot. These days I am having lessons in music composition, and am more inspired by great writing than great sounds and productions.
Bonzo Dog Do Da Band, Carol King, Van Morrison, The Temperance Seven, The Beatles, Django Reinhardt, The Cream, Spike Jones, Frank Zappa, Todd Rundgren, Gabriel Faure, musicals and film music.
My early musical favourites were funny songs I would hear on the radio on Saturday mornings. For example ‘Sparky's Magic Piano’,
Danny Kaye songs and any song that had a story in it. Our Uncle Ivor would play us Jazz records. Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton etc. I liked the pop music at the time and romantic classical music.
Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us.
In the last few years Mark and I have been going through our archives of approx 1500 tracks and compiling new albums. In 2016 we uploaded five new albums onto our band camp site –
Dobbin’s Lost His Coconuts,
How to make your home look like space
This podcast features 2 tracks taken from each of these 5 albums. It was created to share some of our catalogue. Woo Romantics is a recent recording, and the other four are made up of recordings from 1975 – 2000.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Its good as backgound to activity, its good to relax to… I would love it to be used in movies.
What's your answer to everything?
Don't listen to or believe what your mind tells you!
Visit the Woo music website HERE.