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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Freerange DJs - Exclusive Interview & Free Downloads

Having partied with the Freerange DJs and lived to tell the tale, we had some pretty incriminating stories to tell about them! So Seb, Olly and Ave couldn't really refuse when we requested (demanded!) an exclusive interview with them.

They've got some exciting news involving the Stanton Warriors, the future of breakbeat and even a possible Christmas gospel ragga funk anthem from Cliff Richard featuring Congo Natty!? Read on . . .

So fellas, having witnessed you guys in full festival mode at both Run To The Sun and Glastonbury last year, we have first-hand knowledge that you boys bloody love a good festival. UK Festival season 2014 is well and truly here, so what are your plans? Where are you playing/partying? Any of your favourite festivals that you’re missing out on this year?

We’ve already seen off Run To The Sun, An Evening With Krafty Kuts, Rave On Avon, The Stanton Sessions and our personal favourite small festival The Masked Ball in the last few months so this summer is already in full swing for us. Glastonbury is next on the list then Boomtown and Boardmasters are the other 2 notable ones we have lined up. We’ve been finishing up our Uni degrees in these last few important months so we haven’t been on the hustle as much as usual, but things are looking good. We won’t be doing NASS this year which is a shame but aside that its business as usual. It’s actually nice to be able to plan some decent studio time rather than spending the entire summer living in a tent.

Thinking beyond the borders of the UK, is there a particular country where you think they are particularly “having it!” at the moment? Which nation knows how to party the best?

It’s always been about the Spanish vibes for us. The Spanish know their breaks, they know what breakbeat is. The labels and artists all work double hard and the fans are super dedicated to the scene. It’s a lot like the D&B scene in the UK.
It seems strange that as the UK has produced such a large percentage of the big names in breakbeat that it has never really been popular here as a genre… Breakbeat really has become a dirty word in the UK. The fact that so many people here are diehard fans of The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers or Orbital etc but if you dare mention the word breakbeat in front of them, they’ll stare at you in the eye like you like you’ve just spilled their pint or something. It really is ridiculous lol
It would be amazing if the scene in the UK was strong enough to be constantly bringing people like Colombo, The Brainkiller, Wardian, Access Denied, Kid Digital and Breaks Maffia over here, we think it would change everything.

Festivals aside, what else have you got on the agenda this year? Any big projects or collaborations we can look forward to?

We have been lucky enough to have just completed a remix for the Stanton Warriors which is due to drop some time in August on their label Punks. This is by far the most credible project we’ve worked on to date so we’re super hyped for it. The remix is a dedication to our older style productions, simple and deadly no frills breakbeat. We are really happy that the Stantons allowed us to really do our thing with the remix and agreed to lend their credibility to a style that is not really popping here in the UK at the moment. It’s going to be a winner in areas like Spain and we’re hoping it will make a statement here in the UK too.
We’ve got a few more freebies to give away over the summer too, some really gritty originals backed up ready to release through the colder months and we’re looking to hit the road with a full Freerange Live set next year.

The guys are dishing out freebies like this BRAND NEW one! This could well be the most recklessly groovy record to invade your personal space in the whole of 2014, CLICK HERE to grab the free download.

We bumped into Olly at Breakspoll this year . . . got to be one of the best big breaks nights of the whole year! How do you think the scene is going? Any other nights, big/small, that you would recommend bass heads get involved with?

It was a great night, pleasure to see everyone as always! To be honest with you we believe that from an analytic perspective, breakbeat is going through a pretty shitty patch here in the UK.
Dont get us wrong, the vibes at Breakspoll were amazing, Olly even danced (which he never does) but there was not much sign of progression or enthusiasm from the Djs in actual original sounding ‘breakbeat’.
We obviously didn’t get to see everyone that played so there are probably some exceptions to this but in general it became apparent that the current breakbeat movement is almost completely dependant on bootlegs or formulas that are stolen from other popular genres at the moment which is a bit of a shame. In the main room we only saw Colombo and Lee Coombs play sets that broke the generic mould that seems to have a grip on the scene at the moment.
Saying that though the Slamboree Soundsystem played a fantastic set of bootlegged stuff but their set was a tasteful dedication to breakbeats roots and classics which is a bit of a different thing.
Nothing against people who base their productions around bootlegging, a lot of it is fantastically well produced and a lot of the tunes are great. At the end of the day as long as people are doing their thing and the fans are having a good time thats all that matters. We’d just like to see artists being a little more creative within the scene rather than following the tried and tested templates for guaranteed results.

If you could form an ensemble, go back-to-back with any DJ or collaborate with any artist in history, who would it be with? And what sort of stuff do you think you’d make?

We all have similar views on this. It’s a dream of all of ours to work on some sort of out of this world production with Amon Tobin or Jon Hopkins or to go back in time and be contributors to the ground-breaking albums Leftfield released in the 90’s.
Some work at the British Radiophonic Workshop in the late 50’s would have been pretty cool too. Watching Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram turn their backs on their sewing machines to show the human race how to make some techno must have been wicked.
As for B2B sessions, Adam Freeland, Nick Warren, James Zabelia, Sacha, Adam Beyer would be some dream combos. A session playing out of the back of Tipper’s famous Dodge Challengers would be pretty fucking cool too…. We could go on forever!

We like to think we’re pretty sharp at recognizing upcoming talent in the bass music industry, and you must have recognized a few too. Is there anyone (DJ, musician, vocalist, producer . . . ) who you think we should keep our eyes on? Who is going to be big in the second half of 2014?

There's lots of acts coming up through the UK Bass scene which we hope will admit that their music is breakbeat. New York Transit Authority, Woz, Tommy Kid and Special Request etc are murdering it although they are more likely to claim to be country & western acts before someone kills off their careers with the breakbeat tag.
Mafia Kiss and 7DB are seriously upping their game. We love the whacky/stripped back styles coming through from people like Dutty Moonshine and Cakeboy, the long overdue of Simian Frendzy has arrived and we’ve been particularly digging techy tunes from a Hungarian fella called The Lucky 23.
Motna and Tummy Talk are making some beautifully produced psychedelic breakbeat which we are huge fans of.
As if they ever went away, we think the Stanton Warriors are going to grab the music industry by the balls in the not too distant future and take back the recognition they deserve from the mainstream. Their amazing production, great live sets and their uncanny knack for A grade sarcasm/wit in social media is a winning combo.
If and when Pirate Jams expose themselves and get on the road they’ll be ones to look out for too.

Any general musical predictions for the rest of the year?

We predict that a ground-breaking time for breakbeat will pass us by in the next 2-3 years without the word breakbeat being mentioned once on any major radio station or in any popular magazine.
A lot of bootlegs that have already been done will come and go like the wind and the goal of making every dutch lead and combination of handbag house chord progressions possible will be completed by the end of September (although no one will notice and keep playing the same song over and over again)
That screechy twat of a noise that blew up in the dubstep scene has almost fucked off now so we can leave that out of the equation thank god.
Steve Aoki, Borgore and all those other EDM pricks will have a moment of self-realisation and kill themselves for their crimes against world culture whilst Cliff Richard and Congo Natty finally get it together on that long overdue Christmas gospel ragga funk anthem that’s been on the cards for too long. Reload!

What is your favourite bit of DJ/live music kit at the moment? Got any new gadgets to add even more punch to your performances or studio sessions this year?

As we’re at Uni at the moment we’re getting to use all kinds of rad stuff. Ableton Push controllers, a Korg MS 20, an Aturia Minibrute, some fancy visual mapping software and a midi drum kit are all slowly being worked into our live show.
For now though a set of decent CDJs, a mixer and a decent quality sound system with an engineer who actually knows how to run it is all we’ll ever ask for!

We definitely suffer from a footwear fetish at Funk and Filth, so we’ve got to ask (we ask everyone!). What’s your favourite pair at the moment, what’s the coolest thing in your footlocker?

Hahaha, this is a complete mix match.
When not sporting loafers for his high flying daytime job as a stockbroker Ave can usually be spotted wearing either Nike 6.0 Mid-Top’s or a Supra equivalent.
Seb, being the hippy of the group is not really a shoe man. He is the proud owner of a few pairs of practical coloured skate shoes but will be found bare footed burning incense more often than not. Seb has been known to endure entire festivals without the need for shoes, trips to the long drops included….
Olly, being the diva of the group has a never-ending shoe collection which could almost be classed as a skate memorabilia collection. As most are for decorative purposes and not to be worn including his ES Tom Penny 2’s, he is currently often spotted in a set of Emerica Herman G6’s in white or some Emerica Reynolds Cruisers.

Finally, tell us something scandalous/interesting about one of the other Freerange guys? Something nobody else knows . . .

This is the sort of question that could land us in prison so we might have to pass on this for now….
Rest assured we have a yarn or 2 to spin, some of the shit that’s gone down since we started together out has been absolutely ridiculous….. You’ll have to wait till our careers are at the point where an autobiography is in order to find out about all that though. But trust, it’ll be worth the wait ;)

Join us with Krafty Kuts and friends at the upcoming London Boat party,
including the best of Funk and Filth, Instant Vibes and Hot Cakes!

CLICK HERE for more details, tickets and FREE MUSIC!

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