Thursday, 5 November 2015

Recommended music: 'Fold' by Fold

Fold cover art

First things first - it was always going to be hard to get through this review without mentioning Public Service Broadcasting, so let's get it all out of the way at once. There are a lot of connections - Fold have supported PSB on tour, have remixed them a couple of times, and there are definitely similarities in what they do. In fact, on first listen you might think this was an American incarnation of PSB, as the majority of the samples used here are from the US, and are pretty hard-hitting in terms of politics and social justice. But no, they're from Leeds. They're a bit more mellow than PSB in places, and a bit funkier in others, and overall they've created a really good, pretty-much themed album that mixes hip-hop and funk roots with a conscience and a series of powerful voices.

In fact, as good as the John Lennon-sampling opener 'A Reflection Of Us All' is, it does feel somewhat incongruous amongst the American voices. As they talk about children growing up without their parents, racial equality and slavery, global warming and more, you kind of sense that this would make a great set of election themes for whoever follows in Obama's footsteps. It's more than that though, these are universal themes that affect us all, and we can't just duck the issues by pretending that it's only the USA that has these problems.

That said, this is not a hectoring, lecturing record. There are light touches in the opener, in 'She' and in 'So It Goes', a wistful and whimsical hymn to those who have passed. 'Be Water My Friend' has a sense of Zen calm to it and is a great way to follow the powerful 'Oil-Powered Machine'.

Overall then, a great listen that, as a certain 'other' band once said, informs, educates and entertains.

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