Guestlist | Playlist: Freestylers

Drum and Bass | Friday 4th December 2020 | Arren

Another weekend with no clubs, but don’t worry we’ve got you covered with another explosive playlist. This week we welcome the legendary Freestylers who’ve given everything we wanted and more.

The iconic dance staple, Freestylers are our next selectors in our playlist series. These genre blending, breakbeat champions are a muched loved name, and have built themselves a rich musical history and back catalogue of tunes. Today they announce a new studio album out next year, which makes us even more stoked to share this playlist with you as they share tracks which have helped inspire their latest works.

'Other Worlds' is the title of their sixth studio album, set for release in March next year. In classic Freestylers form the album merges, blends and throws down all the breaks and bass we've ever asked for. March might be a few months away, but the album's first single'Happiness' is out now. You immediately get the tone of the album from this track, with huge euphoric chords, uplifting vocals and a bassline big enough to fill the biggest festival stages. An absolute belter of a record which has already been well received in the duo’s lockdown livestreams and can count many artists like Krafty Kuts and Rat Pack as fans.

Following on from the opening single, 'Other Worlds' delves into a mishmash of drum & bass, hip-hop, electronica, dub, breakbeat and everything in between. It also showcases incredible talent from across the globe, including Plump DJs, Blapps Posse, Laura Steel, Scarlett Quinn, Spyda, Tenor Fly, Hyperactive MC, Mad Doctor X and K-OSS.

Over their decades long career they released five studio albums, handed over mixes to some of the best series going, including BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix in 1998 and Fabric’s infamous fabriclive in 2004. In between all of that they’ve dropped countless singles and EPs, collaborated with huge acts including; Pendulum, Deekline and Erb N’ Dub - all whilst taking their larger than life sound to the biggest clubs and stages across the globe. Consistently bringing the vibes, if you know anything of their legacy than you already know this album is going to be huge. 

Speaking on their new album, Freestylers said; "We were feeling nostalgic, so went back to our roots bringing what we think is the new sound of the old school". In their playlist they select banger after banger, all have helped inspire and shape 'Other Worlds'. Strap those speakers down and turn up the bass cos this ones a biggen. 

'Babylon' - Splash

Such a pioneering jungle record with how the Amen Break was chopped up and the use of heavy 808 basslines were peppered throughout. This track always used to get a rewind wherever and whenever it was dropped.

'We Come To Rock' - Imperial Brothers

A proper full on electro assault that was favored by any break dancer or body popper back in the day. A hooky bassline, cool scratching and mad coughing noises. It was released on Cutting Records as well, which has such a rich history of releases during that period of time.

'It Doesn’t Really Matter' - Zapp

This inspired ‘Push Up’ as well. Zapp have to be one the funkiest groups ever. Loved all the Talk Box/Vocoda action in their songs.

'Start The Commotion' - The Wiseguys

The Bigbeat master smashed it with this one. Really wanted to capture the vibe of that time period in music and this helped lots with its great use of funky breaks, catchy rap vocals and sampled funky bass loops.

'Coming On Strong' - Rhythm Section

Such a massive Rave anthem back in the day with it’s hyper breaks and frantic energy. Definitely inspired in the making of Happiness.

'Wait Deh Man' - Cutty Ranks

One of the dons in the dancehall reggae scene with such a distinguished style and tone.

'Tribal Bass' (Foundation Mix) - Rebel MC feat. Tenor Fly & Barrington Levy

Working closely with Rebel MC (Congo Natty) and being part of his musical journey, this tune was so ahead of its day. Blending reggae, breaks and rave energy, a blueprint to the Freestylers sound is all here to hear. We got to collaborate with Tenor Fly once again for the track 'Reality Check' on the album although unfortunately he passed away recently.

'Action' - Orange Krush

Always wanted to use the break from this funk/disco rare groove so did it!

'Who’s The Badman' - Dee Pattern

An acid house classic with its killer heavy bassline, apache break and hooky dubby soundclash vocal. It’s been remixed a few times but I think the original version is the best.

'Don’t Want Your Love' - Coastal

A classy drum & bass track with its floaty, dreamy vocals, warm synths and fat beats. Wanted to try and capture those vibes but in a breaks fashion and this was the template to work from.

The Freestyles' first single 'Happiness' from their forthcoming album, 'Other Worlds' is out now - Buy/stream

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