darius syrossian

EP Review: Black Shoes White Socks - Freaks

Black Shoes White Socks - Freaks

Freaks is the creation of Luke Solomon and Justin Harris and their creds pretty much read as a who's who list... They have remixed Pulp (yay!), Damon Albarn (good!) and Kasabian (hmmm...) and seen support from The Chemical Brothers, Damian Lazarus, Laurent Garnier and Ewan Pearson amongst others.

That's an impressive list... if lists are your thing. It's also pretty varied, so it's perhaps not too surprising that Freaks' new single, 'Black Shoes White Socks', is just a little bit difficult to pigeon hole. There is a definite Arabian flavour to the swaying melodies and catchy bassline but the extroverted keys and overall production are more than just a little bit disco. Purring vocals tell a tale of music and bands and... Waiting for something. But it all seems a bit too much to me - rather like the actual fashion statement of black shoes with white socks, there is just too much going on.

As if to compensate for this we have a total of four remixes... Enough that surely one should stick. Only sadly none do. Darius Syrossian layers the vocal in heavy drums and a tough four-four bass but it comes off lacking, the vocals not meshing with the sound. The wAFF mix is more successful, a distillation of the original that feels more focused. Even Cajmere, pseudonym of bonkers techno genius Green Velvet, struggles with the material. He settles on a single loop bass line and chopped vocals - the highlight being the use of the Arabian flute as a solo.

Curiously the digital release features a dub from Freaks themselves and stripped of the vocal it suddenly makes more sense - Indian summers, piña coladas - a clash of styles, an Eastern summer disco record with that nice Arabian Flute.

It's a misstep for Hot Creations then, a label usually synonymous with a little more.

Black Shoes White Socks is released tomorrow through Hot Creations.