Freemasons are infamously named after the Brighton pub quite near to the studio where the duo started productions nearly 3 years ago. They first came to clubland’s’ attention with the much loved, Jackie Moore sampling – “Love On My Mind” which quickly made the quantum leap from UK Dancefloors, into the charts and the Freemasons were off to a running start. A second top 20 hit “Watchin” also featuring the extremely talented Amanda Wilson cemented their name with clubbers and industry alike and as the remixes started to flood in, it soon became apparent to everyone that the Freemasons were definitely much more than a one trick pony.
Their third Top twenty hit “Rain Down Love” beautifully punctuated the beginning of 2007 and started a chain of events that has raised their status across all areas of the music industry. “Rain Down Love” was much more than just a club record – Co-written by ex Brand new heavies Members Neil Cowley, it featured the voice and lyrical talent of Siedah Garrett: A Quincy Jones trained vocalist who had not only co-written Michael Jackson’s “Man in the mirror” with Alanis Morrisette’s producer – Glenn Ballard , but duetted with M.J. on “I Just can’t stop loving you”
Ironically (no pun intended) their fourth and most successful single to date was in fact an Alanis cover. “Uninvited” was initially a song from Meg Ryan/Nicholas Cage film City of Angels and after watching the club reactions to a demo they created for Ibiza’s space (and having a cd stolen from the DJ booth that ended up doing the rounds on the internet) , Brighton’s fav. club duo decided to take the plunge and record their own version
Finding a vocalist who could create the kind of atmosphere needed to record a song such as “Uninvited” could have been a never-ending task, but a long term friendship with one of England’s most amazing voices – Judie Tzuke provided the answer. Bailey is Judie’s Daughter and recorded the vocal that still pours out of the nation’s radios in just over 2 hours. With the help of an excellent Simon Hale scored string section played by The world renowned London session orchestra, Uninvited was propelled into the hearts and minds of the UK public and it’s success is now being felt across Europe and the US.
The singles are however, just part of the story. Their massive success as remixers is well documented, and mid 2007 saw their radio version of Beyonce and Shakira’s “Beautiful Liar” replace the Album cut in the UK and kept the single at the top spot for weeks. Their ongoing relationship with US labels and Management continues to bear fruit and their remix of Kelly Rowland’s “Work” not only breaks clublands’ remix formula with its Fast-slow-fast structure, but has stormed radio playlists in the UK on release. This marks an unprecedented 4 major artist remixes that have been used as lead mixes for radio – All of which have gone on to huge chart success. It is a sign of their achievements in this area that the record companies releasing these mixes now use the Freemasons name on the actual artwork these days.
Mid 2007 saw the Freemasons slide quickly and easily into the world of artist production. With the help of hugely respected Songwriter Biff Stannard and the first lady of pop herself, their first co-production made the final tracklist of Kylie’s “X” album. “The One” is wonderful slice of electronic pop. Originally penned by Swedish label-mates Laid it was reworked lyrically by Biff and Kylie whilst the music is pure freemasons. “The One” is sited in several reviews and polls as an album favourite and will appear as a single later in 2008. Around the same time Beyonce’s management asked the Freemasons to submit several tracks for consideration for her 2008 Album.
The boys are tight lipped about future projects and records but probably for good reason. 2007 was an amazing year for the UK’s favourite electronic production team. It is estimated that there were only 15 weeks in 2007 when the UK top 40 did not contain a Freemasons production of some description. From humble Brighton beginnings Russell Small and James Wiltshire are now discussed in record company offices at the highest levels. But as this is still Brighton, I shall leave the very last words to them:
“Does anyone fancy a pint?”
Myspace : http://www.myspace.com/freemasons