Monday, 2 October 2017

EP: Fold - Written in the Sky

Fold - Written In the Sky EP

Info: Fold are gaining a solid reputation as a gem in the crown of the Yorkshire music scene. When BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne planned a special broadcast out of Huddersfield’s iconic Vinyl Tap on the eve of Record Store Day 2017 they chose Fold to represent the region in a live session. During the interview, Fold outlined their purpose: to help advance equality and unity; to help break down barriers that divide us. Weaving a tapestry of speaking and singing voices from past and present into funk, jazz, soul and psyche Fold remind us of the forces within that matter most.

Often compared to Public Service Broadcasting (whom Fold have both supported and remixed) Fold’s musical deployment of the human voice has been influenced most by the likes of Public Enemy, DJ Shadow, Lemon Jelly and Steve Reich. Though Fold often use existing soundbites from known figures such as Bruce Lee and Malcolm X they also collaborate with active speakers including the celebrated UK poet Mr Gee.

Leeds funk, jazz and psych-rock four-piece Fold released their latest EP, Written in the Sky just last week on the 22nd of September. Opening with the funkadelicly joyous grooves of 'Well and Good', it has all the hallmarks of a 70's era disco-soul vibe that you might expect from Curtis Mayfield, whilst a modern-day comparison might be along the lines of Alabama Shakes. The track flourishes with its wholesome brass section of trombone, sax and horns, you won't really get much more uplifting and funky than this.

The EP's title track follows and the mood is switched to a more determined and powerful mode, that Public Service Broadcasting influence shining through. The jazz inflected drumming is an absolute delight to behold with Fold filling every centimetre of sonic space with brass, harmonies and an assertive bass-line to keep the thunder rolling all the way to the end. 'Making America Great' has a gospel choir feel at its outset, again there's that solid 70's sound, the spoken-word vox covering the swing mood of the music, I'm on a bit of a BADBADNOTGOOD trip here, but once again, despite the serious theme, Fold manage to leave a hopeful mark on the listener.

Bam! Written in the Sky puts all of the tricks of the first three tracks somehow into its closer 'Picture Perfect', I am so digging the percussion on this one, and indeed the entire EP, note the complex timing signatures which enter the fray at the 1:17 mark, dayum. What Fold have achieved across these four tracks is to be admired, their sound is unique amongst their peers and they have fully embraced all of the genres they dabble in so well, it's almost too much funk for one set of ears to handle, and that's meant in the best possible way, quality stuff.

If you liked this, check out our review of Fold's self-titled album from 2015 here.

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