Waifs & Strays are a duo born out of diverse musical backgrounds but brought together by a love of house music, pure and simple. They first appeared among the new wave of house-leaning producers to emerge from Bristol’s ever fertile music scene back in 2010 alongside friends like Eats Everything and Julio Bashmore. Their output spliced Amos Nelson’s love for traditional Chicago grooves with Rich Beanland’s bass-orientated background, together they brought a unique take on house music which captured the imagination of party people around the world, from their hometown all the way to the USA and across Europe.
Waifs & Strays announced their arrival with ‘Yeah, Yeah’ on Leftroom, which was named Essential New Tune by Pete Tong in 2011 and went on to become one of the year’s biggest hits. The follow up release came via Jamie Jones’ seminal label Hot Creations, the sultry ‘Body Shiver’ was a perfect fit for Jones’ bass-heavy, groove-laden sets, and was included on his Fabric 59 mix CD.
As the song says “house is a feeling” and Waifs & Strays have always maintained a strong variety in their sets and productions from the piano fuelled ‘Love On Another’ to the darker, harder sound of ‘Lost In The Party’, but always with pure house music at its heart. They cultivated a timeless sound, staying relevant and popular by sticking to what they believe in and going on feeling, rather than following trends. As a result they secured sets at some of the world’s best known and most influential clubs and festivals, including Fabric, DC10, Glastonbury and several dusty performances at Burning Man.
2014 saw Amos operating as a solo artist under the Waifs & Strays moniker, with Rich taking a sabbatical due to health issues. Going from a two-man working relationship to riding solo can be a tough break for some, but for Amos it’s was a challenge that he relished. Now working alone, he’s pushed the project forward with a renewed zeal, dedicating his time and energy to bolstering his production skills with a clear vision of where the project is heading.
During the year he made a strong connection with Kerri Chandler’s Madtech label, which allowed him to explore his appreciation for the roots of house further. They also had notable releases on Futureboogie, Luke Solomons Classic Records, Resonance and Skreams new label Of Unsound Mind, not to mention a whole host of high-profile club and festival appearances.
This year sees Amos continue the hard work both in and out of the studio, with releases on Viva, Material and Purp & Soul as well as music on his the labels already affiliated with such as Futureboogie and Of Unsound Mind and MadTech. So a new chapter continues, but the ethos remains the same; to keep the dancefloor moving to a soundtrack of house music of the highest order. A simple mantra that will ensure Waifs & Strays remain a relevant force for years to come …
Waifs & Strays Top 10 May 2015:
01. Waifs & Strays – Runnin Dat (Madtech Records)
02. Doorly – Boogaloo (Cajual Records)
03. Gene Farris – Can’t Keep You Down (Farris Wheel Recordings)
04. Sidney Charles – Psyjack (Avotre)
05. The Scumfrog – Send Wave (Knee Deep In Sound)
06. PBR Streetgang – Cosine (FutureBoogie Recordings)
07. Pete Dafeet – Wife (Lost My Dog)
08. Waifs & Strays vs Mark Jenkyns – Pang (-)
09. VRSION – VIBRATION (The Nothing Special)
10. Level Groove – Yeah! (-)