Southern Freeez

A 2 track downtempo ep (9m 27s) — released February 3rd 2017 on Claremont 56

Six years ago, Claremont 56 boss Paul 'Mudd' Murphy tried to track down via his DJ network, former Freeez band-members John Rocca and Andy Stennett to license Pink Rhythm's "Melodies of Love", for one of the Originals compilations. They didn't show up on the radar.

Earlier this year, however, out of the blue, Stennett got in touch with Murphy. For much of the last two decades, he'd been living on a remote island off Orkney, but was now pursuing music again.

Stennett had some exciting news that he wanted to share: he'd got together and jammed with original Freeez drummer Paul Morgan – now a jazz club owner – and guitarist Gordon Sullivan for the first time since 1981.

Furthermore, they'd already laid down their first song: a rearranged, re-imagined version of the song they helped make famous, "Southern Freeez". As the original was one of Murphy's all-time favourites – and one of the first singles he bought – he was very keen to remix it for release on Claremont 56.

A plan was quickly hatched: the newly named Zee Erf would release their versions on CD and digital download, while Claremont 56 would put out a 12" version. This contains the trio's sublime original – a lilting, Flamenco-infused jazz-funk delight, featuring the evocative vocals of jazz singer Francesca Mondi – and two fine remixes from Murphy under his now familiar Mudd alias.

Murphy's versions are particularly magical, as befits the trio's sultry original. His "Mix For Emma" brilliantly showcases Mondi's breathtaking vocals, allowing them to seemingly drift over gentle, bongo-laden rhythms, Stennett's sweeping chords and Sullivan's effortlessly breezy guitars. It's little less than sublime.

In contrast, Murphy's "Mazunte Mix" is a much more radical – but no less alluring – interpretation. Select snippets of Mondi's jazz-flecked vocal float in and out of the mix, seductively sprawling across bright-eyed Latin piano motifs, fluttering flute lines, punchy horns, and a shuffling, samba-infected groove. Once the piano breakdown hits, ushering in the track's triumphant final phase, we guarantee shivers will be shooting down your spine.

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