Freddy Fresh Presents The Conductor Crucified - In The WindStark Ravin' Records
Freddy Fresh is one busy man: He's dj-ed all over the world, compiled what seems like hundreds of DJ mixes and compilations, runs several record labels and somehow also has time to get into the studio to produce a huge back catalogue. Stark Ravin' is a new label set up by Freddy and to kick things off he's brought in a gifted mc The Conductor Crucified for this new project. This first thing I noticed was that the productions were not what you'd usually expect from a so-called hip hop album. No jiggy business here, just simple quality beats with quality vocals and lyrics. You must lend your ears to the old skool sounding "Paradise O' Bleeding" and "Heart Vs. Hardware". I hope this is just the start of something special from these guys.
Simon Harrison, 01/07
Frootful - ColoursFreestyle Records
I hereby declare Freestyle records as the land of the good groove for many bands with a passion for vintage soul and funk eventually finds their way there to contribute to an impressive roster of musicians. The newest label member to carry the torch is Frootful, which is the creation of guitarist Nick Radford. Radford spent several years performing with Adam Gibbons Lack Of Afro band. Gibbons himself a soul connoisseur appears as the producer of this project and the results are quite impressive. Radford and the band effortlessly swing hard and take no prisoners with scorching jazz numbers and hot buttered soul groovers. Right from the outset, the group swings hard with the title track, a bebop influenced tune that features a gorgeous vibraphone solo by Gibbons while Radford evokes images of Wes Montgomery with his guitar playing. “Fish In The Sea” features Radford on bass laying down a fierce groove while the soothing vocals of Angeline Morrison takes the track to another level. “Astonaughty” is a sparkling track with infectious percussion and synth playing by Gibbons and funky horns by Peter Judd. “B-Side Seaside” is a nice alternative to the up-tempo burners. This is one of those warm and sublime grooves to chill out to on a summer afternoon or whenever the mood to chill hits you. Overall “Colours” successfully captures the spirit of the funk and soulful jazz and creates a sound that feels brand new. The top level playing by Radford and his well-crafted compositions make this superb recording worthy of repeated listens.
Reg Dancy, 05/11