Synth maestro, Wavewulf (Nicholas Long), based in the New York City area (New Jersey), has been playing synthesizers since he was in middle school. He grew up listening to his father play guitar as well as to his father’s extensive record collection, which included bands such as Pink Floyd and The Beatles. This early exposure to music lit a spark in him! Long was first inspired to play synthesizers at age 13 (in 1991) when he went on a road trip with an older friend to see Depeche Mode, and saw them making inspiring music with synthesizers.
Long grew up in a small college town in Northwest Arkansas. His mother was a school teacher and his father was a sound engineer for the local university. His father also owned a small recording studio called “Passing Note Studio” but sold it off around 2012 when he was diagnosed with cancer (and passed away in 2014). Wavewulf would later reuse the name “Passing Note Studio” for his own studio in honor of his father.
Growing up, Long was definitely able to hone his skills as a synth player in local bands, starting to compose music himself using his hardware synthesizers, midi and a sequencer, which he then recorded on a Tascam 4-track.
After graduating from college in 2000, Long moved to Boston in 2001, and then to New York City in 2006. He worked as a graphic designer (he got a degree in Graphic Design in undergrad) and social worker for several years before deciding to go to graduate school in 2011 (at this time, he had to sell off some of his prized synthesizers, everything except his Roland Juno-106, to help pay his graduate school tuition). Moving back to Boston in 2011, Long went to Simmons University where he got Masters degrees in Library Science and History and graduated in December 2015. His graduate thesis was on Kraftwerk and post-war German pop music (especially the Krautrock/Kosmische scene in the 1960s-80s). Long also married his sweetheart, Katarina around this time and moved back to the NYC area in 2016 to take a job at a college library.
Wavewulf was founded in 2017 by Long when he came into a small amount of money after his mother’s tragic death (like his father, from cancer). He used this money to invest in more analogue synthesizers, drum-machines and some more professional recording equipment. Wavewulf used this new and vintage equipment to record his first album, Oscillation, in the spare room of his New Jersey apartment. Oscillation came out in January of 2019.
Wavewulf’s influences are all over the map and include many of the New Wave and synthesizer-based artists and bands of 1970s through 90s from Britain and Europe to Japan such as Depeche Mode, Brian Eno, David Bowie (especially his Berlin Trilogy era), Yellow Magic Orchestra, New Order, 808 State, Aphex Twin and The Cure; to the Kosmische bands of 1960s-80s Germany such as Kraftwerk (of course), Can, Neu! and Tangerine Dream; to the musique concrète of Pierre Schaeffer as well as other modern composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich, La Monte Young and Jean Michel Jarre; to the 80s soundtracks of John Carpenter; and also the dreamy sounds of bands like The Velvet Underground, Slowdive, The Cocteau Twins; and many more... Some of his more recent favorites include Goldfrapp, Röyksopp, Trentemøller, M83 and Ulrich Schnauss.
Since Oscillation, Wavewulf has expanded his synthesizer collection (Moogs, Korgs, ARPs, Oberheims, etc.) and decided to contact an old friend from his college band days, Christopher John Donato - who now lives in a suburb of Chicago, to play drums and sing on his second album Green Decay. Wavewulf recorded Green Decay partly out of frustration with the current political environment in the US (and around the world), especially regarding the current path political leaders are on toward the destruction of our precious planet. Wavewulf's third album Space Art and Angels is a journey through outer space, the cosmos, dimensions beyond our own, and also explores the human condition and soul. Space Art and Angels was released on January 22nd, 2021.
Wavewulf's new album, The North and the Sea, was released on March 25th, 2022 and is now available for purchase on this website! The albums theme centers around the North, Scandinavia, the Arctic and cold spaces as well as freedom.
Besides the environmental, political and philosophical themes in his music, composing and recording music has been a way for Wavewulf to emotionally deal with his parents deaths and to explore questions of life, death, the human condition, the soul, the universe and love.
“[The North and the Sea] brought us a sense of urgency and clarity into the actual meaning of freedom. The album’s core concept is not only Wavewulf’s quest for freedom but also the lengths he went to search for and celebrate it.”
Selection of press, album reviews, and quotes:
The North and the Sea:
“A fascinating contrast of styles with Long’s smoothly rendered synth tones meshing with Nala Spark’s strangely mesmerising vocals. There’s a melancholic aspect to this outing, while also embodying an uplifting vibe which manages to seep deep into the listener” – Paul Browne, Blitzed Music Magazine
“Nobody can deny the power of water and "Wavewulf" knows it well! Balancing between Electro and Dream Pop, this release has a hidden glow. Colourful and clear patterns of sound are waiting you along with lyrics of an explorative mood.” – Nagamag Music Magazine
“One of his most personal albums to date, titled The North and the Sea [which is] comprised of 15 memorable and hauntingly synth laded tracks, one can lose themselves in its retro-infused embrace” – WAVE Music
“This dance-driven concoction of Dark Ambient, Post-Disco and Avant-Pop is sure to grab the attention of hardened fans of each genre. The album itself promises to cultivate a deep personal experience for these listeners, who are just itching to hear the next great album to deliver on its bold creativity and must-listen quality” – Jacob Braybrooke, New Frequencies
“Expressing his personality through a sonic soundscape of creativity, Wavewulf warms up the all too typical cold machine-like electronic sound with warm emotions” – Stargazer Music Magazine
“We observe a great use of synthesizers, with a sound that travels between Electronics and Pop. Two major highlights of the album are the songs “The Power of Water” and “The Sea and the Glacier” – Leandro Vianna, Roadie Music
“[The North and the Sea] also makes its mark in collaboration with a stellar cast of vocalists, instrumentalists and lyricists helping to create this masterpiece of an album” – Slaves to the Rhythm
“Each song just continues to evoke a whole plethora of introspective emotions that enchant the listener. If you’re looking for unique, powerful songs it’s time to check out ‘The North and the Sea’” – Somebody Told Me
“Dramatic and enchanting, Wavewulf has captured the relentless energy and power of the Scandinavian and Arctic seas in the new album ‘The North and the Sea’. Combining mesmerising synths, electronic keyboards and powerful vocals, Wavewulf creates exciting sounds that transport the listener to the icy seas” – Look and Listen
“Sticking to the genre of alt-pop which Wavewulf excels in, this immersive and captivating new single has an innovative sound inspired by the likes of Aphex Twin, Kraftwerk and Jean-Michel Jarre” – Rocky Road
Generation Blitz I compilation:
“[Electric Vienna] is a compelling piece of electronic prog-rock, and I can see the Aphex Twin influence here” – Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6
Space Art and Angels:
“An intersecting narrative of the cosmic and the personal told with classic synths and synthpop vocals. There’s much to enjoy in the sprawling sci-fi synth cascades” – James Thornhill, Electronic Sound
“Synth genius Wavewulf releases electrifying new album Space Art And Angels. A journey through every realm of space, time and life, Wavewulf has you covered. Following the success of the previous album Green Decay, Space Art And Angels definitely lives up to any expectations and exceeds them into outer space” – Chloe Mogg, BBC Introducing
All in all, it’s quite the decadent orgy for synth fetishists, but there are plenty of new slants and, even more importantly, human elements and flourishes lurking in the machinery, which is a harder trick to pull than its sounds. Nice one Wavewulf. - Nick McCoy, Subba-Cultcha
“This mystical LP is a journey through time and space. Steeped in a cosmic bravado, Wavewulf excels at crafting aural worlds that are equal parts experimental and accessible. A mesmerizing race through kaleidoscopic soundscapes and intergalactic vocal samples, Space Art and Angels balances a dark, brooding bravado with colorful, upbeat melodies. Its chromatic ebb and flow define the electronic sounds of the future” – Alli Lindsey, Beautiful Buzzz
“A terrific album which really showcases the synthesizer as an instrument with endless possibilities and an artist who has the imagination to match” – Sonic News
“This new collection sees him delve into the sonic capabilities of synthwave aesthetics like never before. Filling itself with a broad and atmospheric intention throughout, be prepared to let this full-length take you on a journey to the end of the cosmos and back” – The Real Ding
“As always, Wavewulf delivers textured, layered soundscapes and shifting tones which bring to mind electronic innovators such as Brian Eno; Wendy Carlos and the kosmiche musik sounds of bands like Faust, Can and Kraftwerk” - Babystep Magazine
“Wavewulf's 'Green Decay' delivers textured, layered soundscapes and shifting tones. Sometimes stark, sometimes moving, sometimes simply furiously catchy, it's an album which is both musically magical and thematically incredibly prescient” – Top40-Chrats.com