Location: Doncaster, UK.
Potted History: “In 2012, I started presenting a weekly radio show in my home town of Doncaster,” says Woodford Halse big chief, Mat Handley, who also records as Pulselovers. The show was decidedly retro, drawing on old synthpop, industrial, goth, post-punk. “It was an excuse to play the records that attracted moans and groans from the family at home,” laughs Handley. A couple of years later, a friend suggested a trip to a night at a community centre in Shipley. “The Golden Cabinet was once every couple of months and the first one I attended featured experimental folk from Sophie Cooper, motorik psyche from Nope, space rock from Dead Sea Apes, and a blistering tabletop synth and gadget set from Ekoplekz. Something exciting was happening and it was passing me and my dusty old music collection by.” On the drive home, Handley started formulating a plan to get involved and his Woodford Halse cassette label began to take shape.
Mission Statement: “My radio hero was John Peel,” says Handley. “The only objective in my own radio days was to play music I would want to hear. That same desire became the impetus for starting a label. Although a lot of the music on the label is electronic, that’s by no means a prerequisite… the mission statement, if there is one, is ‘Would Peelie play it?’, although I may change it for 2021 to ‘Don’t forget the customs labels’.”
Key Artists & Releases: Best place to start is the label’s compilation series ‘Undulating Waters’. There’s five volumes that feature the likes of Panamint Manse, Folclore Impressionista, Fred Und Luna, Isis Moray… “and the first live band I saw back in 1983, The Loved One, who appeared on the original ‘Some Bizarre Album’,” beams Handley. “Last year was really productive for many musicians and we released albums from some amazing people, including Polypores, Field Lines Cartographer, Rupert Lally and The Home Current.”
Future Plans: “The hope is that each release finances the next one,” says Handley. “There’s so much amazing music on labels I love… Castles In Space, Polytechnic Youth, Buried Treasure, Miracle Pond, Bloxham Tapes, Do It Thissen, Clay Pipe… I just want to do my bit to get the good stuff out there.”
Any Other Business? “This year sees new music from Camp Of Wolves, The Central Office Of Information, Bernard Grancher, Thomas Ragsdale, Warrington-Runcorn, Salvatore Mercatante, and Drew Mulholland, the list keeps growing. Oh… totally unrelated to the label, I should have a new Pulselovers album ready this year too!”
For more, visit woodfordhalse.bandcamp.com