The Nottingham-based musicians Lukas Wigflex and Tom Smith, also known as Son of Philip, have been hard at work in the studio this year, recording their new collaborative EP titled ‘Me & Meds’. It all started way back at a party on New Year’s Eve in 2013, where the duo first met. “I had a studio in my spare room at the time and he came round a few months later and we ended up jamming out a bit of a track. It had a bit of a vibe to it so we decided to do it again. He was called ‘Medicut’ at the time and I saved the project as ‘Me & Meds’. That’s where the name comes from,” Lukas tells C24. This EP has not only cemented Lukas and Tom’s friendship but also brought together six years of work.
Citing “chuggy” and “sludgey” as the keywords that best describe the style of ‘Me & Meds’, the three skittish tracks were released via Adam Curtain’s Trouble Maker label on 3rd November. The shared vision and close-knit relationship shine through here, from a clear love of bass-lines on A-side ‘Curtains Nine Tails’ to more chugging and pensive moments on the flip with ‘Faffhammer’ and ‘Godstruth’. “It’s a bit of a mishmash of inspiration really, it always is. ‘Faffhammer’ was the first track we made back in 2017 at our first studio. It’s named after a makeshift tool Lukas used to paint PVA onto the ceiling. That was signed first in a tent at Gottwood festival by Adam from Trouble Maker and the rest followed. We’re always having a laugh in the studio and I’d say that definitely plays a huge part in the process,” Tom remembers.
The third track on the EP, ‘Godstruth’, features a sleazy anecdotal verse of Des Hagenasty, who also plays the bad guy alter-ego starring in the accompanying music video for the song. “I remember hearing the ‘have you seen the state of that’ line by Des Hagenasty and pictured him saying that to himself in the mirror after a night out once the fears kicked, pure self-deprecating vibes. He and Tom ran with that early idea and came up with loads of bonkers stuff for the close-ups”, Lukas explains. Shot in Nottingham—the three’s favorite city—by local videographer Toby Curson, the mini-film is styled by acclaimed contemporary fashion designer Adam Jones with Hagenasty sporting one of Jone’s famous ‘Tetleys’ sweaters. “We got Toby from Lock Up on board to direct the whole thing and turn our ideas into something tangible and it all seemed to flow quite naturally. Was such a sick team involved and so much fun. We’re definitely going to do more.”
Their hometown, Nottingham, holds a special place in their heart and has certainly influenced them and their music over the years. “We’re a small city where most people know one another. There’s somewhat of a rebel spirit to the place where no one takes themselves too seriously. DJ’s that we invite over to Notts always comment on how friendly, energetic, and endearing our crowd is and I feel like that is intrinsically linked to where many of us have come from. We may be a bit rough around the edges but friendliness is off the charts and the sense of community ripples and roars through the streets whenever anything like our festival takes place,” Lukas tell us, and Tom adds: “For me, Notts has always been at the center of things musically. Seeing Lukas DJ and being into Wigflex since young really sculpted my musical interest. It’s also the reason I’m not afraid to be different with what I create. But Lukas is right, there’s something really special about a smaller community of creatives and everyone knowing one another—Notts definitely has that.”
Earlier this year, the pair collaborated to relaunch Lukas’s ‘Wigflex’ label arm with Son of Philip’s ‘debut EP, entitled Play Monotonous’. To revitalize the label after fifteen years of their inception and a long period of hiatus, they celebrated their return with a brand new release. “Releasing ‘Play Monotonous’ was a huge step for me. I’ve been making music for a very long time but was always a bit scared of my debut release. Putting it out and seeing the reaction it got blew me away and gave me the confidence boost I needed to push on and finish other bits I’ve been sitting on,” Tom tells us. Featuring an Actress remix, the EP was supported by the likes of BBC 6 Music, Mixmag, Resident Advisor, Peach, Erol Alkan, Midland, Skee Mask, and more.
Next to the label, Lukas is also the founder of the renowned Wigflex parties in Nottingham, which have been running for fifteen years. They will be celebrating the big anniversary with a city-wide festival next month. As a kid, he was inspired by his older sister’s stories of the DIY Crew’s free parties and his brother’s rave tapes. “All of that resulted in me messing around with decks and early programs such as e-jay in my teens,” he remembers. In 2020, he founded the new venue Fisher Gate Point—a multi-disciplinary arts and event space, bringing together artists, filmmakers, craftspeople, fashion and graphic designers.
Just like Lukas, Tom has always gravitated towards music while growing up. “I guess going to raves is what properly sparked it. Then I went on to get a degree in music technology and became pretty obsessed with the technical side of things. I studied the relationship between physical movement and creativity which led to my hands-on approach and the use of my body/outboard in the studio,” he explains. At the moment, Tom is currently working on an experimental opera project with Bristol-based performer and director Marienella Phillips.
During the lockdown, Lukas and Tom began working on a lot of new music together, so it’s not surprising to learn that the next release is already on its way. “Lukas and I have always seemed to click in the studio,” Toms says, “and tracks tend to just appear out of nowhere. We have a very similar music taste which helps a lot. When working alone it’s easy to second guess all the time. Things move much faster when you’ve got someone else to bounce thoughts and ideas off.”