"House music maestros, desert communitarians and urban nomads; entrepreneurs and autonomous anarchic creators," that's how Zev and Gadi, also known as Wolf + Lamb, introduce themselves to their social network. So as you can probably already tell, W+L is more than just a producer/DJ duo: it's a community of like-minded artists who release music, throw parties and generally spread the good vibes of amazing dance music together.
Other members of the collective include Soul Clap, No Regular Play, Slow Hands, Tanner Ross, PillowTalk, Nick Monaco and Navid Izadi. And when their hectic globe-trotting DJ schedules allow, they all come together to play and make music under the umbrella of Crew Love, and regularly host parties at events including Sonar, Barcelona; Amsterdam Dance Event; WMC, Miami and Movement, Detroit.
For years, the crew has had a spiritual home at The Marcy Hotel in Brooklyn, New York. As well as offering safe haven for world-weary travelers, it's an event space for NYC's most committed clubbers, and it also doubles as a studio where Crew members can go to collaborate and work on their solo projects. We stopped by The Marcy to check in with Zev and Gadi, where they were full-swing in a session with No Regular Play and Nick Monaco.
Already, the Bass Station II analogue synthesizer has become a permanent fixture in the studio. Designed from the ground up by Chris Huggett, the engineer behind Novation's original Bass Station, SuperNova and UltraNova, Bass Station II is an amazingly powerful, all-analogue monosynth. Zev comments, "It sounds fantastic — I can't believe something this small can produce a sound so big." Bass Station II comes pre-loaded with 64 factory presets, which range from classic bass tones and lead sounds to drums and sound effects. Gadi adds, "sounds from the Bass Station II just fit perfectly in the mix, and it's so quick and instantaneous to tweak the sound to where you want it to be."
As the guys work on a new track, working title 'Vino Blanco', Nick Monaco grabs the Novation MiniNova and switches it into vocoder mode. "Vocoders are loads of fun, and the MiniNova's really flexible in what it can do," says Nick. MiniNova's VocalTune automatically locks the pitch of your voice — or any other incoming sound — to whatever note on MiniNova you're playing, allowing for some unique sounds.
Central to the studio at The Marcy is a Novation 49 SL MkII controller keyboard. It stays connected to whoever's laptop is running the session. Usually, it's controlling Ableton Live, which most of the W+L crew use to make their music. Greg Paulus, one half of No Regular Play, says, "the keys feel great, and it's great to be able to get hands on with all the knobs and faders." The SL MkII provides direct control over Ableton's key features, enabling you to record precise automation moves in the studio. While on stage, the flexibility of the control surface lets you control your entire Live set without ever touching your computer.