Freethos

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Tom Freethos is somewhat of a musical chameleon, with a colourful career spanning 20 years. Starting out playing classical trombone in orchestras at school, Tom soon swapped Bach for beats n bass and started his journey by DJ in 1995. Soaking up the original sounds of Hardcore and Jungle, Garage and Big Beats of the time, Tom channelled these influences into his sets under the guise of Duke Of Hazard. Scratching and playing a mash-up of twisted beats at some of the South Easts early free-parties and forward thinking club events – Vortex, Vice Versa and the Legendary Planet Angel parties in London – Tom also hosted a weekly radio show on the long standing pirate station PointBlank FM.

After studying Music Tech and Sound Engineering at college, Tom landed the coveted role as a vinyl buyer at HMV in London’s Oxford Circus, fuelling his insatiable appetite for collecting music from all genres and corners of the electronic spectrum.
He spent 3 years running and promoting the renownedPlug n Play Studios music venue in Reading. He has co-produced the annual Caversham Festival for the past 5 years, and now works as engineer and producer at his own Lab 9 imprint and Charborough Studios in Berkshire.
Tom’s music has found it’s way onto TV and his production and engineering work has seen releases on Allowance Records, Micro Spiral, Boost Music, Waxworks and Earth Connection, along with a host of remixes for artists such as Subsource, The Dirty Rich and 808 States MC Tunes.

His current project Freethos Music is a fresh fusion of influences from this colourful trip. Encompassing Electro, Techno, skankin Bass and his own Freethos Music, Freethos DJ sets have been gaining a reputation for pushing a frenetic, bass heavy party sound with energy and good vibes.
Performing recently at Symmetry Festival, Tunnel Crew and Imaginarium, Tom has performed alongside artists including Pyramid, Lisa Pin-up, Dreadzone, Specimen A, Freq Nasty, Zion Train, Mandidextrous, Dave The Drummer, and even Annie Nightingale as part of a BBC Introducing tour.

With a passion that has no sign of fading, and dedication to entertain as well as educate a crowd, Freethos Music will be sure to keep you on your toes.

Artist: Freethos
Track: Get Radikal [Sliced-N-Diced Dub]
Release: Various Artists: Compiled By Klis – ‘Sequential Music: An Alternative Approach For Experimental Minds’ ALBUM {mspiral006}
Release: Freethos – Get Radikal EP (Allowance Records) http://www.allowancerecords.net/

Interview

1. What attracted you to creating music using the Sequential Music method?

When I was contacted about about the compilation my immediate thought was that this was something fresh and exciting. There are lots of different ways of creating, arranging and mixing a track but to play sounds in sequence, one after the other rather than layered is a fundamental rethink of the whole process.

2. How did you make your track (approach, ideas, equipment used, mixing techniques, challenges faced etc)?

I really wanted to create something that stuck to the experimental style, but would still fit into a Freethos DJ set of dance floor tunes. When I get an idea for a track I can often hear it in my head, but with such a radical brief to work to I was initially hearing an ambient pattern of synths of pads. The challenge for me was to keep it up tempo and rhythmical.
I got down some ideas for drums, bass and melody using Native Instruments Maschine, which then allowed me to set up ‘choke’ groups that would automatically cut off the tale of one sound when another is played in the same group – creating a closely chopped up rhythm.
So I’ve got my chopped up pattern, but with no fx it all sounded a bit flat. At the mixing stage is when I would normally add various fx to beef up each sound and give them some space, but I found that doing this at the end created unwanted tales on the sounds that destroyed that chopped up feel of the groove. Adding things like reverb and delay etcetera to each part in Maschine had the same result. To get around this I basically mastered and bounced each sound individually and imported it into back into Maschine!

As the saying goes – ‘there are many ways to skin a cat’ – but this worked for me (no cats were actually skinned though)

3. How would you summarise your experience?

I think ‘Get Radikal’ describes the project well as it challenged the fundamental, creative process of layering up a beat, bass, melody etcetera – which is usually how it flows. This project really made me sit down and think about how I’m going to make the track, which is something perhaps most producers don’t often do. Writing sequentially really made me think outside the box about how I can best use the tools in my box.

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