Finally got a copy of the FREENESS album and I am impressed!
FOPP were wonderful and reserved a copy for me - that's service! I love FOPP for their choice, their prices, and their service.
Listening to the first CD and am loving it - it is so graceful and accomplished...
"Slow motion" by Rosie Brown and Stuart McCallum is a delicate and soulful jazz song. Stuart's production atmospherics and acoustic instrumentation complements Rosie's restrained vocals so well. Beautiful.
"Peace of mine" by Bootis starts off with solo piano and vocals then breaks into a funky nu-jazz soul vibe with a wonderfully rich Fender Rhodes foundation. Andreya Triana's vocals are wonderful - full and vibrant - and the band's backing really make this track a burner.
"Die laughing" by Mellow Harmony is sparse and focussed on Mellow Harmony's vocals. The percussion and string bass make for a fantastic accompaniment - sparse yet enthralling. She has worked with Courtney Pine previously and I feel her take on roots music will be in great demand.
"Jaago wake up" by Samia Malik could have been recorded by Nitin Sawney and should be on Outcaste records. It uses traditional Asian instrumentation to full effect and, with Samia's Urdu lyrics, creates a fantastic musical experience.
"Gone" by Emeson is a fresh slice of bleeding edge electronica that reminds me of Spacek. His voice is soulful and new, and he has created a bittersweet vibe that the liner notes term "bittersoul". I think this term is fitting. I can't wait for his album.
"The truth is" by Lorraine Ayensu starts with 4hero like strings and moves to acoustic guitar and atmospheric percussive sounds to complement these strings. Lorraine's vocals are accomplished and remind me of Joan Armatrading. She has work out and I will check her out. Lovely.
"Bounce" by Nihiliss'sis is another fresh slice of modern soul music. It bounces and sways and swaggers along with her vocals fronting some lively beats.
"Brother Man" by Da Blues ft. B12 Rob is soulful, downtempo hip-hop. The vocal hook sung by B12 Rob is as sweet as the raps are crisp. Nice.
"Allez! Allez!" by Zuba is an afro-beat excursion to sunnier climes that is both traditional and modern... a wonderful mix of the old and the new.
"Davey" by Josephine Oniyama actually sounds Irish... sounds crazy but it has an amazing folk feel with brushed drums and acoustic guitars. It reminds me Bob Dylan and Josephine's vocal feel good. Its like an old song that you've never heard before that sounds new yet familar.
"Hondo" by Netsayi is the most challenging track on this disc so far... instrumentation works well with Netsayi's African vocals - the drums skitter along and the guitars sound bluesy and crisp. Music like this makes digging for new music a worthwhile experience. It is different from the majority of music I listen to by just as valid.
"Believe" by Teasha King has a Gospel feel and is very upbeat and positive. "Nothin's gonna keep us down" Beautiful.
"Black; other" by Bareknuckle Soul was one of the tracks I heard on Gilles Peterson's Worldwide show. Very soulful and reminiscent of Omar and Galliano from the Talkin' Loud days. Downtempo and pretty raw but shining with light and energy. Good raps and harmonies make this a choice cut.
"Three Two One" by Corey Mwamba is a vibes freak out - expressive and funky at times, restrained and downbeat at others. Magical.
This is only CD 1... Wow!!! This CD alone has more talent than the whole of the mainstream find-a-star comps. This is the future of music and I am happy with what I am hearing.