Freddie Cruger: A better dancer than Fred Astaire?
Soul Search was one of the most diverse beat driven albums of 2006 and it graced our ears courtesy of Freddie Cruger, aka Red Astaire. Benjamin Chinnock covers both personalities ahead of his impending tour this month, supporting LA’ live funk all stars Breakestra.
Tell us about why you produce under two names?
I’ve had the name Freddie Cruger from around 92-93, that is really the name I have been doing my music under till around 2002 when I picked the name Red Astaire cause I thought it sounded cool and cause I have golden red hair.
Is there a sound difference?
Freddie Cruger productions are original productions together with artists and Red Astaire is my more having fun and messing around with anything that sounds good on top of my production.
Are the tracks meant for different audiences?
I guess that’s when I see where the beats are going I decide what if feel like, I think I have two different mindsets towards the way I produce under Freddie Cruger or Red Astaire.
Is Freddie Cruger a reference to the horror film?
No, but you can’t get away from people asking me about that, Desmond Foster gave me that name and that was that.
Is Red Astaire’s a reference to Fred?
I wouldn’t have come up with that name if it wasn’t for Fred [Astaire], but my name real name is Fredrik so it’s all in there.
Do you produce under any other names?
Odd Couple and 3 Foot People.
Soul Search was a diverse album, does this reflect the way you DJ?
Yes, I like to go everywhere when I DJ, but still keep things together just like my productions I think. I like people to have a good time when I DJ, I am not one of those DJs that just wants to play rare records for his 5 friends. The music is for everyone in the club.
Personally my favourite tracks from the album were Bap Yo Head, Running From Love and Make You Move. Do you have one?
Since I have hade some of theses tracks for a long time I think favourite songs have changed through the years, but at the moment it’s Pretty Little Thing and I Wanna Make You Move, but I have flipped over all songs under different mind states.
Tell us about each of the previously mention tracks and what they mean?
I am really good friends with Linn and Anthony so that makes those tracks special, sitting in the studio and working together as a team, that’s the best way to do songs for me.
Tell us about each of the MC’s and singers on these tracks?
Desmond Foster is a Jamaican/English born instrumentalist/singer who is just great to have around, and it helps that he lives 5 minutes from my house. Athony David is from Atlanta, US, with a voice I have never heard better live. We linked up when he was on tour and connected direct and made 2 songs over one night and those are on the album. We are planing to do an album together in 2007, I will be as happy as a MF if it happens! Cee-Rock “The Fury” of Queens, US, is an old school cat with raps for days. We’ll probably do something else together in the future. ADL is Sweden’s number 1 rapper/singer for the last 15 years. He’s just got that thing, wish you could see him live. Linn is my long time friend and partner in crime, she writes songs in 30 minutes with melody, text, harmonies all in her head. Watch out for her solo album in 2007. Rappadon is repping Queens to the fullest with his old school flow, he’s my family in NY. Swing Fly is a Brooklyn rapper that has been living in Sweden since the beginning of the 90s; the first rapper I started working with in 93-94. He is like a rhyming jukebox, he knows all the rhymes – just test him and he’ll rock anything from 87 up to date. I’m just like “WHAT!”, I don’t even remember what I said yesterday.
What’s it like working with the Raw Fusion and Jugglin labels?
All good and still strong after much trouble with distribution. Mats is a good friend to me, he linked me up with Swing.
What’s the Stockholm scene like?
There’s a lot of music at the moment, especially club music in all sorts of forms. I am so glad I am living in this town, it’s very inspiring at the moment.
Bap Yo Head is a throw back to proper hip hop, do you think the general direction of hip hop is being lost?
Most definitely, but there is some very good hip hop out there. You need to be digging deeper then before to find it.
What’s your own review of Soul Search?
I think it’s a good solid album that will live forever!
Freddie Cruger, aka Red Astaire, tours Australia this month in support of Breakestra:
Wed Nov 15th – Brisbane, The Columbian
Thu Nov 16th – Melbourne, The Espy
Fri Nov 17th – Sydney, The Forum
Sat Nov 18th – Perth, The Bakery
Sun Nov 19th – Adelaide, Rocket
‘Soul Search’ is out now on Raw Fusion/Creative Vibes.