Re-launched three years ago, EMF (Electronic Music Foundation), the subdivision of Analog Records formed in 1993 by Freddy Fresh and Auto Kinetic, was in a kind of wakefullness. This state is now over with the release today of the excellent "Jungla", Freddy's approximatively 17th or 18th album so far since his first steps into Electronic Music back in 1992.
Before being associated with the glorious days of Big Beat in the U.K., Freddy had a long career. Growing up to the sound of Hip Hop and Electrofunk in the early 90's, real name Frederick Schmid quickly climbed on the Acid bandwagon to commit some of the best and most classics Acid tracks we've ever heard on labels such like Labworks, EXperimental, Drop Bass Network and of course his own Analog USA imprint where he appeared as Modulator, Nitrate, Advanced Waveform Synthetics or DJ Hud.
We won't (re)write Freddy's biography here, but please note that the St. Paul, Minneapolis wizard comes back today under his infamous Modulator (Analog, EMF, People Of Rhythm) moniker. That is to say he returns to his roots and first love!
A collection of nine heading tracks ranging from Techno to Electro passing through Acid music, "Jungla" sees the US artist back at its best with his recognizable signature.
The opus kicks off with lovely "808 Bellz", a well named cut giving the tone of the whole release: oldschoolish components fused into analog and modular synthesizers over frantic drums characterize this energizing song completed by crystal clear layers plus metallic chords. Don't try to find any nostalgia here, The Modulator just intends to prolong with his timeless talent that was started two decades ago thanks to the use of both Analog and Digital technology.
"808 Short" coming next offers less than three minutes of Electro beats enhanced with a subtle but efficient Acid line: a typical EMF jam.
If "80802" and "80803" instantly following have a quite similar title, the tracks deliver two distinctive versions, the first one based upon a relentless yet harsh 909, while the second focused on spooky modulations.
Downtempo "Abstruct" will not disappoint any fan of Freddy, serving up an experimental tune composed of analogical flights, liquid tonalities, catchy sororities, while a groovy and funky 303 line leads you to Phantazia.
Supported by a solid 4/4 tempo, the title track "Jungla", one of my favorites, offers an untouchable dancefloor slaughter where acid loops alternate with abstract analog distortions. The beat becomes loud with a serious Techno kick as we enter into the jam, muting the song into a beast. Ace!
Final cut "Punched" alternates between a groovy rhythm, trancey strings and some warm acid loops perfect to play at 4am before starting a harder set.
Dancefloor, bleepy and inspired at the same time, the must have "Jungla" album delivers the right amount of 303, 808 and 909 goodness you would expect from a true pioneer and originator of the genre who signs here a great comeback. Watch out for his new "Comacid EP" 12" on Forced Nostalgia with old and cult material taken from various archives, including classics "Comatone EP" and "Analog Space Funk".
Reviewed by: Chris Nexus 6