The commonly held idea of making music has always been that you had to know how to play an instrument or be able to sing. Therefore people have always taken for granted that music was what bands, orchestras, singers, and choirs were introducing to them. However, during the ’90s musical culture seemed to change. Guitars and drums were replaced by computers. Of course, techno and dance music was around in the ’80s, but it wasn’t until the early ’90s that it really broke into the mainstream. Since then, several new sub-genres have come to the surface.
However, even though making music on a computer was now enough to be called a musician, a DJ was far from being recognized as a musician. After all, a DJ was just a guy who flipped records, like the guys at McDonald’s flipping hamburgers. But this too has changed today… at least to some people. Now you have DJs from all over the world releasing their own albums and gaining a lot of popularity.
In Denmark — where I live — there is this particularly popular club that from time to time releases a live set from a DJ by choice. And in most other European countries this scene is expanding too. I don’t have any particular knowledge of the American DJ scene, but I take it that when it’s big in Europe, it’s even more so in the States. Moonshine Music — the home of Freaky Flow — claims to be the American label that releases most DJ albums, but again I couldn’t tell, since I have little knowledge on the American scene.
One of the DJs that Moonshine is so proud to have taken under their wings is Freaky Flow. On World Domination, Freaky Flow DJ’s his way through a set of various — to me — unknown dance artists. The album starts out with a spoken world intro by MC Flipside. MC Flipside also handles most of the additional vocals and spoken words throughout this album. Freaky Flow’s interest in dance music started with hip hop music and even though he has come a long way since his hip hop childhood, discovering both jungle and drum & bass, hip hop is still a big part of this man’s sonic universe. Freaky Flow cuts his way through 18 tracks (including intro and outro) mixing together the best — in his mind at least — of drum & bass, jungle, and hip hop, with a few Caribbean-influenced vocals on top every now and then.
Even though it might sound like this album was recorded live at some club, this is not the entire truth. There are some live bits from the “Boogie Fever 3” in Toronto. But everything else — the recording of vocals, scratches, and mixing — has been cut on record at the Redline Studios. If one didn’t know any better though, one would certainly think that this album was some “Live DJ” thing, since it really has that feeling all over it.
Personally I don’t find this album to really fit my tastes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like this kind of music. In fact, I usually find myself liking everything from old-school hip hop to jungle. Neither do I doubt Freaky Flow’s skills as a DJ, because I feel that he has proven himself to be a talented DJ. The reason that I found this album to be slightly boring in places was the choice of tunes that were used on this recording. Most of the songs sound pretty much alike and have the same feeling and flow going on, which was probably intended. But I really missed some diversity on this one.
There’s no doubt that there will be drum and bass/jungle fans that will eat World Domination up, but some of us could do with this album being shortened by about half. That way, the great stuff could really standout.
Written by Hans Jakup Eidisgard.