Perth based producer Fdel has been working with the lads from Downsyde and HydroFunk records for quite some time now. Since producing Downsyde's "El Questro" track way back in 2002. His debut solo release "Audiofdelity" has actually been released here in Australia for a while, but it's definitely an album in need of more international exposure.
Fdel is obviously a very talented producer, the smoothness and clarity on this album is undeniable, there's nothing on there that really doesn't work, and work well. The change ups, bridges, and breakdowns have all been executed way too nicely. It's a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. This album covers all bases, it could really be played anywhere. There's more laid back songs on there, "A Fuller Culture" for example, is a cool chill out song, "Bring It On" is too. But the real strength of the album is in the party tracks, the funk, the undeniable phatness. This album really parties hard, dude.
Right from the introduction ("That's His Name"), Fdel sets the scene for the rest of the album. Smooth horns, expertly scratched vocal samples, phat drums and funky bass. Seems like a basic formula, but rarely is it executed as well as it is on "Audiofdelity". "Rocksteady", "Get Up On Ya Feet", and "Shake Ya Pants" are all definitely made for the dance floor. Go on, stop being staunch for a minute and dance. You know you want to. Fans of UK Producer FatBoy Slim will really dig the final track on the album, "Let The Beat Kick".
His relation to the Western Australian Syllabolix crew is evident throughout, with DJ Armee supplying cuts for the whole album, and Downsyde making a guest appearance on the beat diggers anthem, "Dusty Fingers". "Dusty Fingers" is probably my favorite track here, that infectious hook seems to work its way to the front of my mind every time I look at a record crate these days, and its hard not to dig Downsyde. It makes for dope headphone material.
The album is reminiscent of Katalyst's 2002 masterpiece "Manipulating Agent", "Audiofdelity" has some very similar elements. The classic drums, the funky ass basslines, the crazily chopped keys, the huge horns, the well chosen and well placed vocal samples; they're all there, the same as they were on Katalyst's release. This could be (and most likely is) why "Audiofdelity" was released through Katalyst's own Invada records, the label that also plays host to the inevitably funky, Koolism.
I have no real gripe with this album, for the most part, its great summer time listening, and having just endured through one damn hot summer, this album has been getting a hell of a lot of play lately. As with the majority of releases from Invada Records, "Audiofdelity" is on that summer festival vibe. However, coming into what promises to be a freezing cold winter this year, I'm not sure how well this album will hold up through the colder months. I know it seems odd to have musical preferences based on the weather, but eh, it's what I do, and I know a lot of others do too. But I can guarantee this will be the first album we'll all be pulling out next summer.