FRJ007 – Frijsfo Beats Volume 2

Mixmag review FRJ007

‘Frijsfo Beats Volume 2’ is the second various-artists EP from the eponymous label, marking a fruitful two years in existence. Promise was recognised from the start in the pages of The Wire magazine among other places. Since then, support for Frijsfo’s open-minded aesthetic has grown, with FACT magazine, Boomkat and DJs such as Ben UFO, Pangaea and Tomb Crew getting behind vinyl releases from Sully, Ed DMX, Point B and Kuoyah.

The EP opens with a first for the label in a contribution from Geiom, responsible for the Berkane Sol label, as well as material for the likes of Skull Disco, Deep Medi and Planet Mu. Here he irresistibly reworks the lead track from Kuoyah’s recent EP, raising a sweat with a stepping drum track and eking out key changes to expertly tighten up the cinematic drift of the original.

Sully is a regular on the roster – championed by everyone from Dusk + Blackdown to Sinden – and he appears on ‘Volume 2’ with ‘Saviour’. Originally distributed as a free download, here the track receives the properly mastered vinyl cut it deserves, maximising the effect of an intense bass exorcism in classic 2003 style. His unique talent for bewitching future 2-step beats is also in full effect, allied to trademark ricocheting samples and a glowing chord progression.

Point B continues to unearth hidden connections between Drexciya’s militant funk and the rhythmic flex of 2-step garage. If his gift for rewiring disparate conventions seems to create knotty musical puzzles at first, as with his previous work for Frijsfo – not to mention diverse releases on Combat, SCSI-AV and Orson – it always makes complete sense by the end.

Rising Nottingham-via-Bristol producer Sclist ties up a few threads with a remix of a cut from ‘Frijsfo Beats Volume 1’. His version of Lewis Hunter’s ‘Cut From the Wreckage’ was previously included on his digital EP for Frijsfo, which followed a stand-out release for Whistla’s L2S Recordings. Surgically enhanced breakbeats and trademark mechanised glitches take things into angular, suspensefully paced territory in suitably unique fashion.

*Mixmag review: “Future garage from consistently classy label. A mixed bag. Lewis Hunter remixed by Sclist is discomfortingly trippy and skippy, while Sully’s slowed-down d’n’b beat is not his best. But Point B’s ‘Fornax’ is fully bonkers, like 2-step Aphex Twin acid – and even better is Geiom’s remix of Kuoyah, a harmonically rich UK funky groove with giddy organ melodies.” (Joe Muggs)