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Essential Listening: Fred V & Grafix

Essential Listening: Fred V & Grafix

To hear that two producers are about to release their third studio album in as little as three years, whilst also currently performing their very own live show – which they unleashed on thousands of people during a headline set at Hospitality in The Park last weekend, would have the most faithful of optimists asking questions. Cue Fred V & Grafix – the duo responsible for such a monumental achievement.

It’s been quite the journey for Fred Vahrman and Josh Jackson, who have grown into one of the most highly rated acts to feature on Hospital Records’ roster – a label they signed to in 2011. This Friday they will unveil another milestone in their illustrious music career with the release of their latest album Cinematic Party Music – an LP that sounds exactly as described. With such a quick turnaround of albums, it’s easy to think that the quality may have suffered. This is definitely not the case with Fred V & Grafix’s latest project. Containing no vocal collaborations and only instrumentation played by Fred and Josh, Cinematic Party Music is a completely organic body of work that resembles what the duo have been working towards for a number of years.

In anticipation of the album release this Friday, we picked out five tracks that represent key moments in the rise of Fred V & Grafix.

Just a Thought feat Reija Lee (2012)
In 2012 Fred V & Grafix were a relatively unknown act with a very bright future ahead of them. Their collaboration with the vocal talents of Reija Lee on ‘Just a Thought’ signifies the moment they sprung into the spotlight. From the hard-hitting tight snares – which have become synonymous to a Fred V & Grafix production, to the grainy euphoric synth build up that has vibrated dance floors across the world. Released on Viper Recordings, the track was premiered on what used to be Zane Lowe’s Radio One show and has since earned the status as a true dance anthem of the drum and bass world.



Games People Play (2013)

Featuring on their debut Goggles EP after officially signing to Hospital Records, ‘Games People Play’ is a track that set up Fred V & Grafix’s predominant sound for the next few years – heartwarming pads, smooth vocals and a lulling guitar melody that erupts into a sensational solo courtesy of Fred V himself.



Forest Fires (2014)
The release of their debut album Recognise in 2014 marked the biggest milestone of Fred V & Grafix’s career to date. It’s the album responsible for the beloved dance floor favourite ‘Major Happy’ – a track famous for its resonating catchy tone. However, it’s ‘Forest Fires’ that resembles the most significant marker from the album in the Fred V & Grafix journey. Containing a stylish half-time switch up and vocals courtesy of fellow Hospital Records producer Etherwood, the track reached number 23 in the UK Dance Chart and number five in the UK Indie Chart, making it the pair’s first charting single.



Ignite feat Amy J Pryce (2016)
When Fred V & Grafix released their second album Oxygen in June 2016 it was clear how much their sound had developed and matured. Focusing on songwriting with their team consisting of Tudor and Amy J Pryce, Oxygen dug deep into many hearts with the duo’s most emotive work to date. The first track ‘Ignite’ encompasses this – with a prolonged intro build up driven by powerful vocals and a harmonic guitar riff, the track sets the tone for the rest of the album and acted as a staple opening to Fred V & Grafix’s DJ sets.



San Francisco (2017)
Less than a year after releasing Oxygen, Fred V & Grafix announced they had already written enough material to form their third album Cinematic Party Music – an LP marking the duo’s most ambitious project to date with a complete focus on live instrumentation and vocals written and sung by Fred. Described by themselves as an extension of their fellow album track ‘Hurricanes (Wild Love)’, the radiant euphoric sounds of ‘San Francisco’ demonstrates the new organic live-orientated direction Fred V & Grafix are taking with their music.

 



Fred V & Grafix can be caught at a selection of Hospitality events this autumn, starting with the show at Nottingham’s The Brickworks on Saturday 30th September. October 13th and 14th will see them in Manchester’s O2 Ritz and Bristol’s Motion respectively, whilst Saturday 25th November places them at The Rainbow Venues in Birmingham alongside the likes of Danny Byrd, Logistics b2b Etherwood and more.

Photo courtesy of Hospital Records

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