In the run up to them both playing at Special Request this Friday 19th April, Garage hero Wookie sat down with NTS radio DJ/bakery magnate Percy Ingle to talk working with Soul II Soul, moschino man-kinis and wholemeal bread…
Percy Ingle: I read that you started out producing r'n'b tracks with people like Wayne Marshall and were involved with Jazzie B & Soul II Soul – can you tell us a bit about those times and how did you then ended up making tracks that made massive waves on the garage scene?
Wookie: I met Wayne at Music House in 1991, where my dad and brother worked at the time. There were lots of people from the reggae and jungle industry there and thats how I met DJs such as DJ Hype, Randall, Grooverider, Goldie. Wayne and I worked together for about three years and after that I went to Soul II Soul where I was signed to Jazzies Production team as a writer. I call those 6 years my university years as I learnt a great deal during my time there, and it was after that that I started doing all the Wookie stuff.
P: All your records are instantly recognisable and stand out from alot of other tracks that were around at the time – why do you think this is and how would you yourself describe the 'wookie' sound?
W: I thought long and hard about a style of music that was original and something British. I was a raver/junglist on the weekends, yet during the week I would be working hard in the studio making RnB and Hip Hop at Soul II Soul. There wasnt much going on in RnB music at the time (1996/7), so I decided to do something different; I took the concept of drum n bass, (technical programming) slowed it down, and combined it with RnB which I sped up. Essentially combining RnB & Soul with House music is the Wookie sound.
P: You took a hiatus from music in the mid 2000's. How would you describe the garage scene when you first started to break through and when you took a break from it? what was your reason for taking a break?
W: When I got into the garage scene it was very vibrant and very celebratory. It had a feel-good vibe with a little bit of mood to it. Then, it changed significantly (with my help) bringing in the darker notes of drum n bass. When I left the industry in the mid 2000s a new generation of producers had emerged, none of the same players were there and I felt it had too much of a masculine sound. I took a break because I was feeling uninspired, I had been making music since 1991 and I felt it was time for a change.
P: I heard that you spent time as DJ Hype's driver – how did that come about? were you a fan of d&b at that time/ when was that? and any good stories from those days?
W: Again, I met him at Music House. I wasnt really his driver as such, we all hung out together, went to most of the raves he played up until 98 generally, travelled up and down the country together, every weekend.
One funny story; Hypes nickname for me is, What Bus. Because back then, I had a few incidents involving my car and London buses. 3 to be exact!
P: When you're playing out as a dj which tune never leaves your box?
W: I walk around with my complete iTunes library as I use Serato, so none of them ever leave my box.
Now to turn the tables for Wookie's questions to Percy…..
Wookie: Percy Ingle is it the finest budget bakery in all the UK?
Percy Ingle: i dont want to big us up too much, but id certainly say we're one of the top twenty reasonably priced bakers in north east london
W: How did you first hook up with the Special Request team of TK and Louis Not Lewis?
P: through an internet dating website. Louis messaged me saying he liked the moschino man-kini i was wearing in my profile pic.
W: Where and when was was your first rave, and how did it change you?
P: crikey, hard to remember. probably Warning at the junction in Cambridge, or something at Camden Palace. I remember one at Camden Palace and thinking this is absolutely nuts. I think it was a happy hardcore rave but hard to remember.
W:White bloomer or whole meal loaf?
P: Whole meal (but white bloomer if im being honest).
W: What can we expect to hear from your set at Special Request on Friday?
P: some slinky 2 step and a bit of 4 x 4 pressure.
W: The year is 2073 Percy Ingles time in this realm has come to an end, and 2-step appreciators the world over flood the clubs with tears. What three tunes would Percy Ingle be buried with, to take to that almighty garage rave in the sky?
P: Crikey, this is pretty hard. without overtly thinking it , Groove Chronicles 'Masterplan' , Maximum Style 'Admit to Love' Dem 2 mix, and the b2 track on Groove Connektion 3 (Jeremy Sylvester tune). next week it will probably change.
W: Any final shout outs whilst your here?
P: Big up the Special Request lads obviously, Daddy Semtek, my Mum and all the bakers.