Following the release of the analogue electronics of ‘IMAN EP’ this Spring and the dirty house groove of Summer burner ‘Candyland’ featuring Earth to Jordi, Freddy Fresh returns with the multi-dimensional, genre-defying album ’35 Years of Music’.
As the album title suggests, to say the Minneapolis born and based Freddy Fresh has history is a somewhat understatement. His first studio recording was released on Boogie Down Productions, with Fresh remixing a track for ‘The Man & His Music Dedication’ album for Scott La Rock & KRS-One, and he has since recorded for over 100 independent record labels, including major labels Sony UK, Virgin, BMG UK and Harthouse Germany and is also founder of the record labels Howlin’ Records, Electric Music Foundation, Analog and Sockett.
On ’35 Years of Music’ Freddy Fresh showcases his myriad styles and genre-hopping sensibilities with his innate encyclopaedic knowledge. This man simply can’t be tied to one style for too long and his appetite to try new forms means this album takes on electro, drum ‘n’ bass, hip-hop, house, downtempo and IDM within 17 expansive tracks. ‘IMAN’ for example, that spear-headed a four track EP in the Spring, is raw electro-funk at its finest and as the late great Andrew Weatherall declared, “that man knows how to make electro!”
Whilst electro is at the core of Freddy’s B-Boy soul, here we also find him ripping things up with some twisted drum ‘n’ bass on tracks such as ‘Fairfax Movement’ and the off-kilter drill ‘n’ bass sonics of ‘Experimental Electronics (Spark)’ whilst ‘Matt’s Mood’ is mutant dubstep, served up Fresh style!
Of course, hip-hop and “breaks culture” were key elements to Freddy’s musical upbringing and he channels his inner B-Boy to the max on both ‘People Started to Dance’ and the frenetic d’n’b / hip-hop clash of ‘Verbally Brutal’ featuring rapper AMC. Whilst the former remains true to early hip-hop’s reliance on sampling ’70s funk laden grooves, ‘Verbally Brutal’ is Freddy tearing up the rule book with a full-on sonic assault, equally matched by the “vocal violence” of AMC.
Recent single ‘Candyland’ sees Fred team up with Jordiana (Earth to Jordi), a gender expanding, multidimensional artist for a joyous house groove which was also backed by the dark and dubby electronic workout of ‘Oyster’. As if to show there is no genre beyond Mr. Fresh’s grasp he also heads into deep electronica territory with tracks such as ‘EMF Theme’ and ‘Caledonia’ whilst the closing ‘Dusted’ is a blow the cobwebs off techno bomb! Then there is the playful, downtempo shine of tracks such as ‘Tattered (Broken)’, ‘Feathers’ and ‘Sympathy’ featuring EPM’s own Oliver Way. Cool, chilled and melodic with a hint of carefree whimsy whereas the equally chilled ‘One For Arianna’ finds Fred in a more contemplative and thoughtful mood as the machines take yet another direction.
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