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Update on the Raw Fusion label
, Manual 13 (February 2007)


Christine Moritz's piece on the Raw Fusion label appeared in Manual 13 of the downtempo magazine RE:UP (in a section providing updates on labels and projects covered in earlier issues).

Article reprinted by permission from RE:UP


Update: Raw Fusion

By Christine Moritz

The Stockholm-based Raw Fusion label and its founder Mad Mats have been busy since RE:UP last caught up with them for Manual 009.

In early 2006, the label signed the British project Spiritual South, best known for the dancefloor stormer "Green Gold," a Latin house-flavored tune released in 2003 on Afro Art.

In March, Raw Fusion and its sublabel Jugglin' went to Miami Beach for the Winter Music Conference. At the club Jazid, Raw Fusion hosted a party featuring the label's Freddie Cruger (a.k.a. Red Astaire) and Mad Mats, along with kindred musical spirits Quantic and Rich Medina.

Over the course of the year, Raw Fusion and Jugglin' released 12-inches by artists from all over the world: Polish jazz/funk/broken-beatsters Innocent Sorcerers, Japanese jazz band Quasimode, French soul producer Simbad, British house/broken-beat producer Zumen, German project Aphro Pzyko (one-half of Inverse Cinematics), and Swedish hip-hop crew Up Hygh, as well as full-lengths by Up Hygh and fellow hip-hop duo Hearin' Aid.

In October, the monthly DJ event from which the Raw Fusion label took its name celebrated its 10th anniversary at its regular home, the Stockholm club Mosebacke. Mad Mats headlined, with support from Raw Fusion residents DJ Asparagus and MC Aaron Phiri.

Since 1996, the Raw Fusion event—originally named Fusion—has welcomed more than 150 guest DJs, among them King Britt, Bugz in the Attic, the late Jay Dee, Vikter Duplaix, Goldie, Matthew Herbert, James Lavelle, Jazzanova, Peter Kruder, LTJ Bukem, Nuspirit Helsinki, Osunlade, Gilles Peterson, United Future Organization, Louie Vega, and Andrew Weatherall. Fittingly, the music for the anniversary affair surveyed all the genres played during the eclectic event's past decade: hip-hop, R&B, disco, house, jazz, funk, soul, Latin, drum'n'bass, broken beat, and more.

The October release of Freddie Cruger's long-anticipated debut full-length Soul Search was perhaps the 2006 occurrence with the widest-reaching impact for Raw Fusion/Jugglin'. A blend of hip-hop, reggae, dub, R&B, soul, funk, Latin, and jazz, the album was licensed to Ubiquity for the United States and Canada, Creative Vibes for Australia, and Tru Thoughts for the rest of the world.

The dominant sensibility of Soul Search is hip-hop; the album features guest MCing by Americans Anthony David, Cee-Rock, Swingfly, and Rapadon, as well as Swedish rapper ADL. Not to be overlooked, however, are the soulful reggae vocals of Jamaica's Desmond Foster and the R&B vocals of Sweden's Linn. The album ranges from the dubby "Running from Love" to the feel-good "Bap Yo Head," and channels retro hip-shaking melodies on "I Wanna Make You Move" and "Something Good."

In early November during the CMJ Music Marathon in New York, the Raw Fusion crew performed at three events. First came a Scion-sponsored afternoon/evening event, with a live set by Melo and DJ sets by Freddie Cruger, Mad Mats, and Up Hygh. That same night, the three DJs spun at Turntables on the Hudson. The following night, they played at Brooklyn Bridges, an event hosted by Chris Annibell (a.k.a. Osiris).

Late November saw the release of Spiritual South's "Hullabaloo," a housey Latin nujazz collaboration with Singapore-based producer Sweetalker Sleepwalker. Backed with a bossa version of Nat King Cole's "Calypso Blues," the tune has garnered praise from Gilles Peterson and numerous other luminaries.

Raw Fusion ended 2006 with a huge New Year's Eve party at the Stockholm venue YES, taking over both floors—its regular home of Mosebacke, as well as the Södra Teatern. After a break in January 2007, the Raw Fusion monthly resumes in February.

February and March 2007 will see a flurry of activity for the Raw Fusion label, as it releases four 12-inches: Arch_typ's "Detroit Bounce" EP; Future Beat Investigators' "Forthosewhoknow" EP; Demetrius Price's "No Holdin' Back," backed with a remix by Markus Enochson; and Simbad's "Supersonic Revelation," with remixes by Marathon Men and Karizma. There's no rest for Sweden's issuers of wicked beats!


This page created February 2007 - Last modified February 27, 2007

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