June 2016 sees Freerange Records celebrate 20 years at the top. The label, run by Jamie ‘Jimpster’ Odell and Tom Roberts, is marking the occasion with the summer release of a carefully curated and lovingly assembled 20 track, five vinyl box set featuring exclusive new music from associates old and new, as well as with a worldwide events series.
Over the last two decades, generations of DJs and dancers have gotten down to the Freerange sound. Initially that was a mix of sample-heavy productions incorporating live musicians, flirtations with the broken beat sound and some ground breaking fidget house cuts from Switch and Trevor Loveys. Then, and most enduringly, the label settled into a rich vein of deep house. Shur-I-Kan, Kirk Degiorgio, Milton Jackson, Trackheadz, Stimming as well as Jimpster ushered in this most recent chapter, and in turn the label has helped make household names of many more previously unknown talents from Detroit Swindle to Manuel Tur, Andre Lodemann to Tony Lionni. Wherever you look amongst the hundreds of EP and LP releases on Freerange, you will find nuance and evolution, dance floor sensibility and genuine emotional impact.
That same sense of timelessness characterises this new compilation, which is packed with great music from the likes of KiNK, Pittsburgh Track Authority, Kuniyuki, Kito Jempere, Soul of Hex, Clavis, Detroit Swindle, and of course Jimpster himself, as well as a whole host of other Freerange regulars. There are many highlights across the 20 track package including a warm and skipping house cut from Bulgarian live specialist KiNK, a typically slow burning and beautifully arcing epic from Andre Lodemann and spaced out jack tracks from classically inclined Liverpudlian Tony Lionni.
Big name stars like Detroit Swindle return in style with a robust and acid laced banger, the ever-underrated Milton Jackson builds something melodically magical and Pittsburgh Track Authority layer up majestic string stabs and rubbery bass into soul infused future music. Jimpster himself bolsters the whole package both solo and with Luv Jam as well as remixing Tim Toh, and on each occasion proves why he is one of the pivotal figures of the UK deep house scene.
Few labels make it to twenty releases let alone twenty years strong. Often doing so without making any real fuss, now is the time that Freerange Records deserves its time in the spotlight, and this compilation more than proves that.
Published: 20th May 2016