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Freeland Cope Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

An ambitious work, executed with the precision and flair.

Lou Thomas 2009

On his second proper artist album, breakbeat producer Adam Freeland has brought together several disparate genres and guests with great dexterity.

Cope recalls a slightly more successful version of Paul Oakenfold’s 2002 album Bunkka rather than the conflicted, “If it’s not rock, what is it?” of the average Unkle release.

Chief vocalist Kurt Baumann aims for a ragged Mark E Smith style on Under Control and, if it doesn’t quite terrify in the same vein The Fall frontman can, Baumann is certainly more lucid as he sings over great thudding electro.

Bring It is a sparser, darker affair with minimal vocal, a souped-up dancehall beat and synths recalling a Detroit Techno track. Mancry, meanwhile, is the most obvious attempt at getting an emotional reaction from listeners and is a short, albeit slightly pointless and saccharine wave of M83 synths.

Much better is Borderline, a fantastically swaggering rocker with a dusty, dirty vocal from former Distillers singer Brody Dalle and the robotic bite of a night out with The Terminator.

As the album progresses Freeland’s production grows more assured, as if the Marine Parade label boss’s confidence develops as he takes on new sounds.

Silent Speaking sees New York shoegaze crew Soundpool crop up in terrific droning fashion, Only A Fool (Can Die) includes Devo’s Jerry Casale singing over a NEU!/Can-inspired number and Best Fish Tacos in Ensenda is as sturdy a piece of dancefloor excellence as Simian Mobile Disco or Underworld would churn out.

Cope is an ambitious work, executed with the precision and flair to be expected of its skilled producer. Better than this, it’s another example why much of the best modern music is hard to categorise in one particular genre and will be sought out by progressive dance and rock fans.

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