2020 Vision drop ‘Surreal’ by Mancunian producer Freak Seven, backed with remixes from Sebo K & Dario Zenker. Naveed Akhtar aka Freak Seven has been involved with electronic music for over a decade, first stepping on to the scene with releases under his own name for Regal sub-label New Religion. Akhtar has since gone on to release singles for the likes of Rush Hour, Ilian Tape and released ‘We Bring The Music’ on 2020 Vision back in January 2012.
The releases opens with the original version of ‘Surreal’, a heady Detroit influenced cut that embraces raw, shuffling rhythms, a penetrating acidic bassline and Akhtar’s signature low-pitched, spoken word vocal lines from Aniff Akinola. Seven’s production abilities shine through when he introduces an amalgamation of melodic elements to play off and contrast against one another in harmony. An instrumental version is offered up next and as the name suggests it gets down to the nitty-gritty with a straight raw drum and synth vibe. Mobilee’s main man Sebo K turns in a remix next, reshaping the cut with his signature swinging house sound. Weighty 909 drums lead the way alongside a hooky bass, sporadic Hammond organ chords and snippets of the original vocal lines. All infused with Sebo’s deep soulfulness and simple yet effective automation touches such as a subtle, intermittent delay on the tracks stabbing bass lick. A ‘Dub’ version of the mix is provided too, Sebo strips back the original feel and introduces a bright synth stab that’s smoothly dubbed and drawn out throughout its near seven minutes with some extra ethereal pad lines to boot. Following on as digital extras in the package are mixes from Vakant, Esperanza and Harry Klein artist Dario Zenker, the Munich-based producer turns in his ‘Baravian Pump Mix’ first, embracing a punchy 4/4 time signature with gritty drums and the originals stabby acid hook, the track employs baroque structural and elemental changes throughout. Closing the release is the ‘Baravian Jack Mix’, putting a 3am darkroom spin on the original track with rock-solid, shuffled 909 drums acting as the driving force steadily building for several minutes before breaking things down with a warm, melodic synth line and introducing Akinola’s vocal lines briefly. It’s out now.