Dirty Freud is an essential new electronic artist and producer you need to know about. In search of new adventures in sound, the alias of Danni Skerritt traded the North of London for the North of England; a move that has both accelerated his career and fast-tracked the recognition his supporters know he has long deserved. From his current base in Sheffield, his intuitive genre-splicing works (coined “Electrodub” by some) have seen him enjoy a status in the shadows as something of a best-kept-secret and a pillar of the UK’s underground electronica scene.
Impressing respected DJs such as Jon More (of Cold Cut), DJ Krush, and Dave Haslam early on his career with his cutting edge remixes and productions; word began to spread throughout the music world, with Dirty Freud’s distinct touch soon sought-after by established artists including Leeroy Thornhill of The Prodigy, Scott Garcia, Willy Mason, Big Narstie, Pixie Lott, and even Iggy Pop. From “be bold” (Leeroy Thornhill) to “don’t apologise for anything, but don’t be too much of a dick doing it” (Iggy Pop), Freud took the sage advice of his worldly-wise collaborators on board, with the words of Jon More perhaps having the greatest impact.
“He said not everyone is gonna love you” Freud remembers, “but the ones that do will buy into the music you make, not who you end up copying. Do you want to be a musician that lasts or someone who fades like a shooting star. I chose the former.”
Inspired by those he was worked with and the changing world around him, to date, Freud has already unspooled a string of remarkable original productions of his own; with his widely acclaimed 2018 EP: ‘Boxing with God’ the most recent addition. With the media beginning to catch-on with each new release to his name, Freud has seen his music played on stations including BBC 1Xtra and BBC Radio 6, whilst receiving media praise from The Guardian, DJ Mag, and MixMag, who proclaimed him to be: “The Unruly Prince of Electronica”. In true recognition of his trailblazing work, Dirty Freud also scooped ‘Best New DJ’ and ‘Best New Producer’ at the prestigious Bass Movement Awards.
In readying a sensory altering live show for 2019, the year set another high water mark, with Dirty Freud taking his music across Europe with multiple shows in Romania, Croatia, Poland, France, Germany and the Netherlands; not to mention playing storming sets at major festivals including: Glastonbury, Reading, Boomtown, Beatherder, Lovebox, Citadel, MIF, Foundations, Dot to Dot and Berlin Electronic.
But in this year strangely absent of live music, 2020 finds Dirty Freud returning focus on his studio output once more. And with some electrifying results. Comprising four brand new productions, the ‘Love In The Backwater’ EP will be released by Modern Sky UK later this year. Harnessing the dualities of light and darkness, aggression and enigma, emotion and reflection that hallmark his unique sound; the EP is both a consolidation of his work to date and mission statement of his future intentions.
Blending abstract rhythms, cryptic vocals and cataclysmic beats for the end of days, it’s a record that owes an equal debt to Dub-Step, Electronica and UK Hiphop, while presenting something intangibly fresh, new and perhaps even a little terrifying. A record for this strange and unpredictable modern age we find ourselves living in, the EP ultimately aims to offer stimulating reflection on how “people during lockdown found a love for hobbies, things and people in unlikely places”, says Freud.
With all tracks penned by Dirty Freud and co-produced with long-term collaborator Ruby Tingle, the EP was written across multiple locations and creative environments that all feed into its unique sound. Taking up an invitation to the infamous Tresor and Hansa Studios of Berlin, the genesis of the EP’s backbone tracks “Moments” and the eponymous “Love In The Backwater” can be found there. Capturing the essence of Europe’s thriving techno capital, the pair relocated to its clubland sister in the UK, Manchester, to finish the tracks at Spirit Studios. Flitting between another Mancunion electronic institution: Blueprint Studios and the legendary Yellow Arch Studios in Freud’s hometown of Sheffield, from there the rest of the EP soon began to fall into place. Eventually forced to put the finishing touches to the EP at home during the lockdown of 2020, the feel of the EP palpably walks a tightrope of lockdown claustrophobia and the exhilaration of club escapism.
Inspired by some of life’s most impactful moments, from bitter break ups (“Blood Bayou”) to surviving a pandemic (“Love In The Backwater”); to taking a carpe diem attitude to life (“Intentions”) and examining the enduring effect of split second choices (“Moments”); the ‘Love In The Backwater’ EP sees Dirty Freud channel the pivotal experiences that have made him as an artist and channel them into a release that is definitively him.
Speaking about the EP’s lead single, “Intentions” (ft Szou) and its place on the record, Dirty Freud says: “”Intentions” is all about learning from your experiences and then going forward with better Intentions after you learn these life lessons”.
Putting principle into practice, “Intentions” Ft Szou is an apt foretaste of what to expect from Dirty Freud’s debut for Modern Sky UK.
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