Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Free Radicals & DJ Sun - No State Solution (May 25, 2018)



“Free Radicals verify their standing as one of the premiere bands in the world…defined by splendid rhythms, amazing melodies and glitzy, evocative horns. “ - Huffington Post

Free Radicals, a musical, political, and cultural force in Houston for over two decades, is releasing No State Solution, an album highlighting new remixes, new videos, and newly re-mastered tracks from their past six albums: The Rising Tide Sinks All (1998), Our Lady of Eternal Sunny Delights (2000), Aerial Bombardment (2004), The Freedom Fence (2012), Freedom of Movement (2015) and Outside the Comfort Zone (2017). No State Solution is a rejection of corrupt governments that can only make things worse, and a celebration of the communities that already have so many answers, if they can only throw off their mental and physical chains.

Free Radicals is a horn driven dance band and collective, with musicians ranging from their early 20s to 90-year-old vibraphonist Harry Sheppard. The band plays funk, hip-hop, ska, African music, jazz, Indian music, punk, klezmer, salsa, and cumbia in the studio, clubs, breakdance competitions, parties, weddings, funerals, and at street protests.  The band performs at marches and fund-raisers for causes they are passionate about, including immigration rights, anti-war, #NeverAgain, #blacklivesmatter, anti-Islamophobia, healthcare-for-all, anti-colonialism, and women’s rights.

The new remixes are by DJ Sun, a Dutch-born American record producer, DJ and one of the most prolific musicians in Houston, and Free Radicals drummer Nick Cooper. The two travel in the same circles, so working together was just a matter of time. “We have crossed paths an infinite amount of times, have performed together on the same bill and had become a part of the fabric of the Houston music community,” said DJ Sun. “We have both been super-consistent in what we have done in the scene, winning music awards in our respective categories from The Houston Press, so it seemed like it was just a matter of time that we put our forces together on a release. I’m real proud to have been able to make a small contribution to The Free Radicals catalogue.”

Recording took place in their hometown of Houston, at Sound Arts Recording, in their homes, and in clubs. The band also put together several new videos in support of this project. A limited-edition vinyl 7” single for the three new remixes comes out on April 24th.

No State Solution (Lacandon Remix Feat. Marcos) features a mystical solo on tenor sax by Marcos Melchor, who has played on all of the Free Radicals’ albums.  Vocalist Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde did the spoken word on the recording in Nigerian Pidgin (the language Fela Kuti sang in). Her contribution was one of her last before her untimely death to cancer.

“Screaming (DJ Sun Radio Remix)” is a hard rock sax track (how many of those do you hear each year?) from the band’s 2017 release Outside the Comfort Zone. Said Cooper, ”When DJ Sun approached the band about doing a remix, we had no idea what he might come up with and were pleasantly surprised to hear three different remixes of ‘Screaming’ that capture the energy of the original, and throw it in new directions.” DJ Sun added, “I had a lot of really amazing tracks to choose from. In choosing “Screaming,” I looked for elements that I as producer could really influence.”  The new video for “Screaming” features Zesh HK break dancing in front of Free Radicals live at Houston’s Avant Garden.

“Space Witch (Dub Remix)” has a new video to match the psychedelic song, featuring black-light capoeira with the capoeiristas painted in glow-in-the-dark paint.

A passionate act of talented musicians who have managed to stay together for over 20 years is a feat within itself, but the band is only hitting its stride, always finding new audiences to connect with. “No State Solution is a celebration,” Coming Friday, May 25th.


1) No State Solution (Lacandon Remix Feat. Marcos)

2) Screaming (DJ Sun Remix)

3) Spacewitch (Dub Remix)*

4) Checkpoint °

5) Ilalihamani °

6) The Legals Have a Lunch

7) Imperial Sugar °*

8) The Minister °

9) Carry Me to My Grave *

10) Policia Pacificadora °*

11) Allen Parkway Village +

12) PedXing *

13) Screaming *

14) Ambush ICE *

15) Manfiest Dust Bunny *

16) La Frontera °*

17) Dub For Besouro °*

18) Afterlife °

19) Dadaab *

20) Larium Dreams °

21) Survival of the Oblivious *

22) No State Solution °

23) Screaming (DJ Sun’s Soular Burst remix)

24) Cheeto News Coma

25) Last Show With Joe °

"They know how to play and aren’t afraid to take you places you’ve never been. A winner throughout---just be sure to strap in before lift off." -- Midwest Record

"I’ve fallen in love with their raucous style in only 4 bars... their music isn’t just on the edge, it’s fallen off the cliff!" -- Contemporary Fusion Reviews

"Everything seems to energize by drawing on an inexhaustible source." -- Music Zoom (Italy)

"Redefines serious jazz." -- Lemon Wire

"The beautifully constructed music here just goes straight to your feet." -- Jazz Views

"Quite a special band, with a very special album." -- Gonzo Weekly

"With each song a concise tidbit, even if the solos are stratospheric, they return to earth quickly. Fun and frantic!" -- Jazz Weekly

"Free Radicals create unique songs that plant themselves firmly on their own unique planets." -- The Vinyl Anachronist

"The [band]... consistently opposes war, and supports environmentalists, civil rights fighters, immigrants to the US. It equally consistently criticizes the establishment, the presidents - from Bush to, of course, Trump, as well as 'well-fed America,' which indifferently watches what is happening in the 'third world' countries." -- Jazz Quad (Russia)

"On the new recording, Free Radicals welcomes many guests including Harry Sheppard & Damon Choice, two elder vibraphonists who played with Benny Goodman and Sun Ra Arkestra respectively..." -- Grateful Web

"Equally comfortable performing in clubs, street protests, punk rock house-parties, art openings, weddings, funerals, and breakdance competitions, Free Radicals prides itself in adaption and supporting members of targeted communities for whom "apartheid" is not merely a metaphor." -- Jazz News