All his pieces are built around a sound, a voice, a poem or something in the same vein taken by the producer either by “scrolling too long on social networks” and falling on the sample perfect, or simply in the middle of a conversation using your phone. “Everyone hates the sound of their own voice on those pristine podcast microphones, there’s no room for everyone. But when you record something with your iPhone and stop talking for a second, it amplifies the room around you. Everything, ”he said. “It has these really crass compression algorithms that I love, so I record everything from drums, to vocals, to piano, everything to my phone.”
Read this next: The 20 best songs sample the amen break
The raw anatomy of Fred’s songwriting is something to see, giving his music a distinct identity. There are real-life snippets: drones and background noise from pubs, cafes, bars, and the hustle and bustle of everyday London sitting under notes of drunken voices, moments of grainy speech and moving vocal samples. When asked how he knows when he hits the perfect sample, he says he only uses things “that basically stand out as something pure or honest.” I love how little I feel able to control or predict what works. Reworking and reworking the pieces, sometimes taking months to tune a single sample and the surrounding sound to whatever cadence he sees fit, Fred paints those samples a different color, making those voices rhythmic, melodic.