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  • Release Date 2009-02-19
  • Label TR Records
  • Catalog TR012
What can be said about The BBN? This Chicago, Illinois (US)/Cardiff, Wales (UK) transatlantic collective is producing some of the most potent soulful house music today. DJ Pope of POJI Records is quoted as saying about Big Ed, the Chicago half of this team, “He is one of the most gifted songwriters around”. The other half is from Cardiff (as stated above) is rising star producer, Sean McCabe. “Free To Be Free”, their first tune on the Tony Records label, has all the earmarks for clubland success.

Opening up are the Tony Loreto & Jacko TJ Inc Dubland Mixes. Dancers beware! The bassline in this tune will make the feet do things they have never done before! DJ’s this IS the track to shake up your crowd. HYPE! The crazy bassline moves this remix forward. Thanks to the Italian Connection, Tony Loreto & Jacko, they have reworked the BBN’s “Free To Be Free” into a new funky tech jam that slams! If you are familiar with Tony Loreto & Jacko, they are about NRG! With this remix, the bassline is the first to attack. There are several keyboard patterns layered across the track, but it’s the rumble of that bass, so pronounced that drives everything around it. They kept the vocal performance intact; however, the female vocal ad lib edit toward the end bringing this to a hearty climax. Not for the faint of heart. Immediate dance floor attention! Dubinstrumental included.

In the Original Mix, produced by Mr. McCabe, here the 4/4 hits hard, percussion and driving congas carry the wheezing organs and multi-layered keyboards. The jazzy spoken word verses speak of freedom and self exploration asks the question, “Do you want to be free?” The classy female chorus sweetly reminds us that when we are free mind, body and soul, we are able to express LOVE unconditionally. The female vocals veer off after the break into a wicked vocal exchange & ad libbing that builds and crests over the full production. The tickling electro jazz xylophones seem to transform into a keyboard sound reminiscent of the Universal Robot Band into a Kraftwerk-like sound toward the end-WICKED!

The Minimal Dub picks up where the Original mix left off but is stripped down to the bone to reveal the highly charged, hypnotic rhythm track. Several repetitive keyboard patterns make up this amazing dub: elastic keys, gurgling keyboards brush against the percussion and the sustained keys make for a perfect musical montage. About 3:50 in everything drops to just muted keys and bass creating a tension that soon resolves itself into that hypnotic electro floor burner.

Just when you thought it was over, here’s another slab of juicy house music meat revamped and dressed with tasty sonic goodies. Musician extraordinaire, Tony V.,a legend in his own right offers two sub genre specific mixes of The BBN’s “Free To Be Free”. Tony V’s Deep Mix & Tony V’s Electric Mix have the capacity to light up any dance floor. The Deep Mix is reminiscent of a time when House was deep & lush with R&B flavored 4/4 funky grooves. The acoustic feel of the soothing elastic basslines, airy keys, skipping snare drums is a welcomed version, in one word—soulful. The bright pianos dot the second chorus that builds and builds. Midway, a funky breakdown with just bass, hi’s & kick, and the Female ad libs, then comes back up to full production and then breaks down again to just kick & percussion, ends cold. Tony V’s Electric mix adds just the right punch to this tune. The repetitive keys, busy percussion, insistent hi’s, and the funky, pulsating bassline drives the point home. Wheezing electro key stabs, intermittent horn blasts, several different keyboard patterns juxtaposed tightly create a hyped hypnotic groove. Very peak hour friendly.

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Free To Be Free

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