Sounds of Freak City Volume 1

Freaky flows from the debut release of Freak City Records

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Sitting pretty up in suite 69, Arabian Prince growls down the telephone wire, “I’d like to order two freaks, and an 808 beat on the rocks,” to the Freak City front-desk, his sadistic transmissions setting the seductive tone for the deliciously seedy “Freak City Hotline,” track six on Sounds of Freak City Volume 1.

Founded by Old Young and Vally Girl of the Keyishe, the Freak City collective have been supplying alternative delights for L.A.’s underground music, fashion, art, and nightlife scenes. Since their first location on Melrose & Berendo in 2008, Freak City’s artistic gallery-shop spaces have hosted an array of events and wild parties, hedonistic and artistic highs reached in equal measure. Now in their third spot in the old Antenna building on Hollywood Boulevard, having attracted flocks of musicians to their world and witnessed endless explosions of creativity, Freak City are finally shining light onto their own music and evolving to include Freak City Records.

So, this week Freak City Records released their debut compilation of aural goodies: Sounds of Freak City Vol.1. Consisting of a mixture of tracks formulated over the six year history of Freak City, and all recorded either at the Freak City space or up at the “RAP Shack” in the Hollywood Hills, where the collective’s members reside, the collection is intended to represent the various angles of Freak City—its “past, present, and future.”

Always connecting up the musical dots by maintaining an interaction between cultural nostalgia and forward thinking, the compilation is a true fusion of old and new musical styles. Fresh talent features alongside some notorious and established faces in the game, including the Keyishe, Ruckazoid, Chico Sonido, Arabian Prince, Wizardz and more. On the aforementioned “Freak City Hotline” the Miami Bass goddess the Lady Tigra of L’Trimm dials in and purrs a request for “something with a heavy bottom; something I can cruise to.”

“We wanted to capture authentic sounds and styles, as Freak City stems from the old school and is totally NU school,” says Old Young, and as a result, the collection touches on various genres, including boogie, rap, and house. And, rather than dipping into so many styles in a throwback fashion, he sees this more as “continuing and keeping a classic sound alive.”

Acknowledging the symbolism of having physical copies of music nowadays, they are releasing a limited amount of vinyl pressings, CDs, and cassettes, as well as offering Sounds of Freak City Volume 1 for free download. Of this decision to move with the times as well as maintain traditional modes, Old Young, says, “We come from the old-school (and are) now in the digital era. So it’s important for us to keep it true and forward at the same time.” For music fanatics and collectors, it is reassuring to see the two forms co-existing in such a way.

Described as ultimately being “Funky, raw, and sexxxy,” just like a Freak City party, the compilation provides an insight into the world of Freak City; a world and sound “inspired by the city and all the freaks in it.”

Check out the video below for a teaser of the record and a glimpse into Planet Freak.

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