gullbuy music review

Freeform Five


Misch Masch



various artists 2xCD

Freeform Five CD coverFreeform Five have a slew of 12 inch singles, remixes for other artists and an album called Strangest Things, and here Freeform Five mainman Anu Pillai and his group Freeform Five are featured in the 2nd volume of the Misch Masch compilation series following up the Tiefschwarz collection that was volume 1. This series combines one mix disc with a 2nd disc of remixes for other artists - and since Freeform Five have been all over the place remixing others and touring doing dj sets, there's a vibrant, lively sound to both of these discs.

What makes Freeform Five interesting is they are a band with singers and musicians as well as one guy DJing. With the first disc here, you get to hear Freeform Five, the man DJ-ing, party style, with 28 booty mad tracks including tracks by Funkadelic, Pink Grease, Soulwax, Aphex Twin. This is like a Soulwax mix where sometimes you get mere seconds from a track, like for instance, half a minute of Funkadelic's In The Cabin Of My Uncle Jam. And you do actually get to hear Freeform Five, the band here too, because a slew of Freeform Five tracks are interspersed throughout the mix, and the Freeform Five tracks meld perfectly into the mix.

Disc two gives us 9 Freeform Five remixes, and what makes these remixes interesting is Freeform Five really transform the songs they remix, sometimes even adding their own music and vocals to the mix. Isolée's Beau Mot Plage has a Latin house sound to it, while the other Isolée track is more about strings and flutes. Annie's Greatest Hit really pumps it up a few notches to a place I never thought Annie could go.

The Freeform Reform remix of Felix da Housecat's Rocket Ride was included on the Rocket Ride remixes cd and by transforming this track into a Gary Numan-esque disco track, it is an ace example of the remix as art form.

Alter Ego's Beat the Bush squeals into high gear with a Prince electro motorbass, female lead vocal from a girl that could be one of Prince's girls and high pitched electronics.

Even David Byrne's Lazy (with help from X-Press 2) and Elton John's Are You Ready for Love get re-jiggered into house masterpieces, almost beyond recognition. Especially impressive is how Freeform Five take the Elton John Philly Soul song and transform it into a floor stomping house track. David Byrne's Lazy is taken from the lazy sounding original track and given a backbone, and of the two, is the track definitely more suited for college radio.

--Patrick, April 21, 2006