Freddy Fresh's third album on Howlin' will surprise even his aficionados. Never repeating himself, the Minnesota based artist in perpetual quest of sound challenges signs here an opus really different from the two previous ones. Far from the Breaks Big Beat style developed on "Have Records Will Travel" and "Outstanding In His Field", "Diggin' Up Ghosts" introduces the Hip Hop Dj under a more electronica facet that fits perfectly to him. As hard to classify than talented, our US producer delivers in sixteen tracks an exhaustive inventory of his last musical experiments. Largely marked by an old school tone full of emotion, this collection of instrumental unreleased and already published cuts offers a clever dosage of downtempo sweets interspersed with sparse vocals or effects. In a melancholic mood on lascivious "Now Broadcasting", "I Can't Miss" or "In The Wind", E.M.F label owner alternates with great class dub touches ("Ghosts"), latino components ("Sumba Lo"), electro digressions ("Breath") and minimal elements ("Do this", "Stop When The Drumbeats Stops"). Showing a perfect skill in using analogical synthesizers ("Sidewinder", "I've Heard Of That", "One For Rocky"), Freddy doesn't forget to distillate few jewels that will still scamp along our mind in ten or twenty years: the magnificent "Doo Doo Doo", "El Barrio", "Paven" and the cinematographic "I Feel Real Good" and "Feathers" on a Portishead register. A sumptuous, refined and melodic album recorded live (without the aid of computers) that marks a new step in the musical career of this awesome man in his forties. Vital!
Nexus 6, 07/11/2005