I know I’ll never forget the first time I was introduced to the explosive work of UK dance production duo, Freemasons. I remember, it was one of the first times I ever went to Woody’s, and I heard a soaring rewire of the Heather Headley R&B hit, “In My Mind.” Once the explosive beat started playing, I couldn’t get over the fact that there was somebody out there who took such a chilled out baby makin’ groove and transformed it into a thunderous dance firestorm. Almost instantly, I became completely obsessed with this remix and even more so than that, I just had to know which musical masterminds were behind this rousing rewire. The moment I found out that it was Freemasons, I absolutely immersed myself in all of their glorious work and have been a huge fan of this dazzling duo ever since. Today, it brings me great pleasure to bring Freemasons into the Philly Mixtape world and give them a spot on today’s “Rewerk Wednesday.” So, let’s dive in, shall we?
Russell Small and James Wiltshire joined music forces in 2005 to become Freemasons, during a time in the UK when dance music was rather quiet and lifeless, due to the teen pop music explosion that occurred earlier in the decade, not giving much to overseas dance floors. The two producers took a chance, coming together to create stomping numbers and ravenous romps, and the pair would soon rise quickly, going on to create remixes for Kelly Rowland, Faith Evans, Solange and teaming up exclusively with Beyonce for remixes off of her ’06 ‘B’Day’ set. The duo have also released albums on their own, most notably their ‘Shakedown’ series, which has spawned a total of three volumes, most recently with Volume 3 hitting headphones last year. If you want to dive into it, you should check this out.
Now, if I were to go through Freemasons entire collective catalog, we would certainly be here until the Molly wore off. Their most noted hits (also ones that I’m sure you guys have danced to at some point or another) include “When You Touch Me” featuring the insatiable Katherine Ellis, “Love on My Mind” with Andrea Martin and “Heartbreak(Make Me a Dancer)” with saucy diva, Sophie Ellis-Bextor. While each track sounds different than the next, they ALL have one thing in common-they will take you hostage on the dance floor and never let go. I mean, that’s what getting rewerked is all about, right? Trust me, Freemasons are the best in the beat business when it comes to turning you the fuck out all night long.
Let’s see, when it comes to my personal favorite Freemasons grooves, wow, there are truly so many that I get down to. Of course, “In My Mind” will always be tops, but I just have to show headphones love to pretty much all of the remixes they did for Beyonce (Particularly “Green Light” and “Ring the Alarm”), their wonderful “Believer,” co-starring the underrated Wynter Gordon, truly makes me a believer upon every listen and of course, their redo of the dearly departed Luther Vandross hit, “Shine,” makes me feel like a superstar. Even last year, they whipped up another favorite, taking the explosive Gorgon City/Jennifer Hudson tune, “Go All Night,” and turning it into a next level disco ditty. However, when it comes to Freemasons, I just have to let the music speak for itself, so dive in and I guarantee you guys that you will truly get lost in all…of…this delicious dance music. Happy “Rewerk Wednesday!”
Heather Headley/”In My Mind”
Andrea Martin/”Love on My Mind”
Loleatta Holloway/”Love Sensation ’06”
Katherine Ellis/”When You Touch Me”
Gorgon City/J.Hud/”Go All Night”
For more Freemasons, go here.