Dance music floor-fillers took on an uncommon poignancy through the time of social distancing — celebration anthems evoked a remembrance of issues previous. That feeling has fuelled the output of singer-songwriter/producer/musician Fred Gibson, higher often known as Fred Once more. The 29-year-old Londoner has struck a chord along with his Precise Life collection: a type of dance music diary together with voice notes, social media clips and samples, comprising three volumes thus far: from the lockdown-era April 14-December 17 2020, to the not too long ago launched January 1-September 9 2022.
His profession is spectacular, together with a 2014 manufacturing collaboration with Brian Eno and Karl Hyde, and pop writer-producer credit together with George Ezra, Charli XCX, Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and BTS. In 2020, he turned the youngest artist to win the Brit Award for Finest Producer, and earlier this week he made the BBC Sound of 2023 shortlist. Final evening, he introduced Precise Life to the primary of three sold-out dates at Brixton Academy.
Fred Once more has performed dwell reveals earlier than, however this south London venue proved particularly near his coronary heart. An enormous-screen intro displayed a cell phone view of the method to Brixton Academy, the digicam turning to disclose Fred behind the digicam (his grin prompting viewers screams), then shifting into the constructing earlier than he emerged on to the stage in precise life. The opening quantity, “Kyle (I Discovered You)” merged slam poetry samples and eardrum-rippling basslines. When Fred addressed the group from behind his keyboards and beat pads, it was initially within the type of onscreen DMs: the textual content revealing that he grew up attending gigs in Brixton, and declaring “that is HOME!” Like a lot of his music, it was an instantly relatable outburst.
Membership tradition has advanced in some ways previously few many years. Tonight, Fred thrilled the packed home as an everyman headliner — a counterpoint to the “famous person DJs” that dominated the early-Twenty first-century scene. His tracks predominantly featured new expertise and centred feminine voices. On the identical time, his rhythms tapped into many years of genres: home, dancehall, dubstep, the blistering rhythms and chants of jungle. It felt intensely attuned to fashionable youth tradition, but in the event you have been sufficiently old to recall Nineties clubbing, it additionally felt like your nightlife was being replayed earlier than your eyes.
The emotional pressure of his information additionally felt supercharged in live performance. There was an obvious simplicity to those hooks, however a classy depth to their impact. The expertise blurred realms between recorded clips and real-time. A triptych of huge screens resembled an artwork set up, and when a vocalist transitioned from video projection to onstage look (as Romy did to sing “Sturdy”), the impact was dizzying.
For all of the love within the room, the present’s quieter moments didn’t fare so properly, and viewers chatter drowned out Fred’s ballad breakdowns. The heavy tunes hit hardest, and the endnote was a mega-mix headrush of “Marea (We’ve Misplaced Dancing)” (primarily based on Fred’s lockdown video chat with American DJ/producer The Blessed Madonna), “Billie (Your Loving Arms)” (remodeling a Nineties anthem by Billie Ray Martin) and “Delilah (Pull Me Out of This)” (through which Fred sampled a pal’s Instagram submit). This was a rave-pop reawakening: evocatively old-school, exhilaratingly within the second.
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