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Free*Land prepare to unleash their breakbeat style


Story: Jack Foley

"I love DJing but it's very niche, it's hard to actually say anything and we've got a lot to say. A band is personal. The message gets through." - Adam Freeland

THE dancefloor is a wonderful place and it's hard to find someone more aware of it than DJ, producer and man about Brighton, Adam Freeland.

But with a new album on the way, Freeland confesses that there is more to life than merely spinning the decks and filling the dancefloors of Brighton.

"Although my roots are on the dancefloor it's a relief to be able to express my influences beyond that, the idea of making 12 breakbeat tunes and calling it an album was about as appealing to me as a hard kick in the nads," he says.

As a result, Freeland, the band, aren't about double CDs of seamless, soulless mixing.

Freeland are a living, breathing band. Their debut gig, at London's Cargo, was so packed with lights, projections, ear-tickling sound tricks and talking robot heads, that it is already been spoken of as one of the shows of 2003.

So who are they? In the main, they are comprised of two nutty Chileans, a bald wizard drummer, a soul diva, and a DJ.

On Guitar: Antonio - A Chilean, who escaped Pinochet's regime, became a master of linguistics, a political campaigner and a guitar virtuoso.

On The Bass: Carlos - Tone's cousin. A Board freak reggae don who recently returned from a life in LA, where he was signed by Fred Durst. Things are much better now!

On The Drums: Jim Carmichael - Having played for about every significant band to come out of Brighton in recent years, he is so on the money that at their debut gig, Free*Land's own manager refused to believe that all beats we live!

On Vocals: Alison David - This stunning diva met Adam by fluke on a bench in front of his house. Alison has the soul of Shirley Bassey combined with the raw funk of Betty Davis.

On Vocals: Martin Fishely - Horace Andy protégé, former Pressure Drop collaborator and really quite superb.

The Hip hop fundamentals are supplied by Juice Aleem and Toastie of New Flesh (Britains deeply underestimated rap icons), Cage, from Smut Peddlers (Rawkus), and the unlikely Justin G (North London Via Wales).

Also integral to the project have been co-producers, Damian Taylor (U.N.K.L.E, Björk, South, Prodigy) and Australia's finest and Marine Parade label mates, Infusion.

It is fair to say that Free*Land is a thoroughly modern proposition.

The album opener, We Want Your Soul, has been described by Adam as being about 'the destructive side of consumer culture'.

"It's about how we get force fed meaningless crap which distracts us from the issues that really matter," he explained.

"It's the first time I ever tried to write any lyrics, but it's a subject I feel strongly about. Bill Hicks has long-time been my hero, he was fucking funny, but also spot on in the way he revealed the bullshit illusion we are living in."

"It's been rewarding playing this record in America," Adam continues. "I always assumed it would piss a lot of people off, but kids come up to me with a psychotic look on their faces and say, 'You have no idea how much we need to hear this message right now!"

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