Image credit: Wavewulf
New Jersey-based music producer Wavewulf, has released one of his most personal albums to date titled The North and the Sea. Comprised of 15 memorable and hauntingly synth laded tracks, one can lose themselves in its retro-infused embrace. An avid lover of travel, musician Nicholas Long a.k.a Wavewulf set sail to Iceland to break away from the busy streets of America and in turn, find himself in the process. The result is a cathartic album that touches on points of physical isolation and loneliness. We had a chat with the producer about his craft and musical influences below.
Album track ‘Open The Gate’ features on SYNTHWAVE_GROUND.fm
Describe a pivotal music moment for you in your favourite film, television show, brand partnership etc. Has this influenced any of your own compositions?
Probably when I saw Depeche Mode for the first time on their World Violation tour in 1991. When I saw them on stage performing their inspiring music with synthesizers, I was hooked!
How did you become drawn towards making retro/synthwave music?
I think I’ve just always loved electronic music since I was in middle school/high school in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Bands/artists like Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, New Order, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, The Cure, The Cocteau Twins, etc. got me into electronic and independent music. I started making music myself with synthesizers when I talked my parents into buying me my first synthesizer; a Roland Juno-106 (and later a Yamaha DX7, a basic sequencer, and a Tascam 4-Track recorder) when I was in the 5th grade. I started making music with some friends from school and from my neighborhood around that time. That’s how it all started I suppose…
What does your current software/hardware setup currently consist of?
I use hardware synthesizers, drum machines, mostly analogue, and some vintage. Some of my favorite synthesizers are my Oberheim OB8, Sequential/Tom Oberheim OB6, Sequential Prophet 6, Roland Juno-106, Yamaha DX7, Moog Subsequent 37, Moog Matriarch, Behringer Model D (Moog Model D clone), ARP Odyssey (Korg reissue), Behringer 2600 (ARP 2600 clone), Behringer MS1 (Roland SH-101 clone), Behringer RD8 (Roland TR-808 clone), Arturia PolyBrute, Arturia MicroFreak, and Arturia DrumBrute. I also have a few digital/hybrid synths like the UDO Super 6, Nord Lead 2X, E-Mu Emulator II, and Yamaha EX7. I use an Arturia Keystep Pro and Beatstep Pro for hardware sequencers and I’m running Cubase Pro 10 as my DAW on a MacPro laptop. I use an Allen & Heath ZED-24 mixing desk and also have several effects pedals as well as an Eventide H9 Harmonizer (Max) for effects processors. For microphones, I have an AKG P-220 Condenser Mic (my main vocal mic), 2 Sure SM57s, and an SM58 for amp microphones (as well as a Fender Tweed and an Ampeg amplifier). For monitors, I mix with Mackie and Yamaha Studio Monitors and a pair of Sennheiser HD-300 Studio Mixing headphones.
Outside of music, what inspires you?
Wow, everything really… Landscapes, cities, culture, travel, reading, film, art! I think travelling, even just locally can really broaden one’s horizons artistically and musically. I love taking trips with my wife, both locally around New York/New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New England, etc. As well as larger trips to Europe, etc. Travelling and meeting new people and experiencing different cultures really opens one’s mind up to the world!
What kind of relationship do you have with the internet? How does this inform your artistic expression?
I do use the internet to promote my music, and also to do personal research of various kinds, but I’m not really that much of an internet person otherwise. Although… I suppose the internet has also allowed me to meet many great collaborators, fans, etc. So there are definitely some good things about using it!
As a performer or as a member of the audience, what single show has been the most memorable for you?
Well, as I mentioned before, probably watching Depeche Mode perform live when I was about 13 in 1991 (and I’ve seen them on all of their tours since that time). Other than that, I’ve been to loads of memorable performances; Kraftwerk, David Bowie, Goldfrapp, and Röyksopp just to name a few.
Any new or upcoming artists on your radar?
I really love Nostalgia Deathstar, Nala Spark, Christopher John Donato, Maxx Silver, Pulse Lab and Matt Jensen (all artists that I’ve collaborated with on my recent album). But besides those, Man Without Country is an artist I’ve been into for a while. Montage Collective, Ditsea Yella, Kiffie, Blaklight, MORE, nON sTOP eROTIC cABERET, and Ghost Elektron are some of my current favorites.
Please suggest an album for us to listen to.
Check out Nostalgia Deathstar’s Charged Attachment, it’s really quite good…
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Well, my recently released album The North and the Sea has been made available both digitally and on State of Bass Records, UK for the physical release. The physical release includes a 2 CD Limited Deluxe Edition plus 2 bonus tracks on disc 1. As well as a Catching Up with Wavewulf segment which includes material I’ve selected from my back catalog for disc 2. Also, depending on circumstances, The North and the Sea may be released on vinyl records later this year by State of Bass Records, UK.
Famous last words?
The world is going a bit mad at the moment, but you can still enjoy my latest record The North and the Sea!