Music Review: Frootful – Heavyweight

Frootful Heavyweight Cover

Genre: Soul / Funk / Dancefloor Jazz / R & B /Rocksteady

Region: UK

Artists’ Website: Frootful

Label: Freestyle Records

Release Date: September 30, 2013

Heavyweight marks Frootful’s return after their well-received debut Colours (2011, Freestyle Records). Nick Radford, also known from his collaborations with Lack Of Afro, Angeline Morison and The Ambassadors Of Sorrow, is the soul of the band and this album reaffirms his fathomless appreciation of manifold old-time styles from funk to jazz, r & b and even rocksteady . The brand LP also attests his eclectic influences, deft melange and excitingly fresh rendition lifted by solid songwriting, musicianship and production.

The title of the album is taken from Nick’s 45s DJ sessions and signifies Frootful’s sound and approach which abide to strictly analog, organic Nick Radford Reshuffle Musicwavelengths of the highest fidelity. Indeed, production-wise Heavyweight is stunning with a meticulously crisp sound which gives enough space to every instrument – every stroke hits just right.

The LP kicks off dynamically with the toe-tapping “Them Blues”, a classic penned by Billie Poole with The Junior Mance Trio. Frootful’s version features longtime collaborator and label-mate Angeline Morrison. However, Frootful is primarily an instrumental band and this album is full of small wonders to be discovered. Highlights are the floorfiller “Jazz Hands” with its hard-bouncing beat in playful swing mode as well as the harmonica driven bluesy rhythms of “Blackberry Jam” and “The Bounding Hound”. “Benedict Boogaloo”, with its Northern Soul craze will be a delight to all crate diggers while “Getting Ernest” brings the summer into the autumn in a laid-back rocksteady fashion (a style adopted lately by similar acts as well).

Put Heavyweight next to your favourite Dojo Cuts and Dap-Kings records and delve into its nostalgic yet captivating cadence.

Review written by DJ Life Fabrik

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Discover more throwback soul/funk at Freegan Kolektiva:

  1. Marta Ren & The Groovelvets – 2 Kinds of Men / Summer’s Gone (Didn’t Swim)
  2. Riot Jazz Brass Band – Corn On The Cob / Paradox
  3. Hannah Williams & The Tastemakers – A Hill Of Feathers
  4. The Souljazz Orchestra – Solidarity
  5. The Funk Ark – High Noon

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