Oslo based producer, vinyl collector, occasional MC and DJ, Fredfades, has graced us with a selection of funky, love driven tunes to snuggle up to as we near the end of winter. After a full weekend of gigs we met Fred at Brutus, a natural wine bar and restaurant serving modern Norwegian cuisine. Fred smiles as he recommends us some wine saying, “I was here on Saturday," and speaks about his enjoyment of venues that are smaller, intimate and have more of a “soul," something that Brutus has to offer.
An Oslo local, Fred operates out of the record label Mutual Intentions, which he helped found, alongside longtime friends and collaborators like Ivan Ave, Hans Jørgen Wærner and Stian Nicolaysen. Mutual Intentions currently consists of 12 members and he says, “It was not like a label that formed as a professional partnership, we are all really good friends from before, just lucky that some happen to work with photography, design, producing and singing.” Fred released his Warmth LP in the second half of 2017 and since then has been working on a slew of new material including an ambient project, a hip hop record and one dance release. As we talk about keeping creative in music, Fred acknowledges he does get bored pretty easily saying, “I like to keep it versatile and move on to other projects regularly," enjoying the variation he has in his work and not just being stuck in the one genre.
Mutual Intentions really got going after putting together a compilation album in 2015 which was discovered by the likes of Stones Throw and Boiler Room enabling them to throw the first Norwegian Boiler Room and gain more attention overseas. The Mutual Intentions takeover featured the label and extended family in full flex, with Ivan Ave, Eikrem, Dr Kay, SRAW, Yogisoul and Charlotte Dos Santos performing. Fred himself also featured throughout and ended the evening alongside Dirtyhans as part of the duo Touchdown. Later that year Fred and Ivan dropped the collaborative project ‘Fruitful’, through Jakarta Records, and from that point on the label has been active in releasing music churning out 8 projects in 2017 and hoping to put out another 10 this year. The label is now moving on to releasing international music as well to give the talented people they like an opportunity. Fred says, “Its fun to only release your friends but if you want to escalate as a record label, you need to reach out as well.”
A long time hip hop fan, Fred became interested in the genre because of the skateboarding movies he used to watch growing up that had hip hop heavy soundtracks and started collecting records around the age of 13. Recognising the old sounds he heard being sampled in hip hop opened him up to collecting all sorts of stuff and “two years later I started making beats and have been collecting and producing ever since." Fred also was part of a kiddy rap group in his youth with his friend Hans who is now handling the design work for Mutual Intentions. Fred and Hans still perform together as Touchdown which is the music they collect and the music Fred has a deep appreciation for, saying he would love to learn how to make some of the disco, boogie and modern soul music reminiscent of the 70s and 80s. For now he is happy record collecting, a big interest of Fred’s, and he has been collecting vinyl for over 15 years at one point owning over 7000 records, which he has now cut down to around 5000.
When looking collectively at the music that Mutual Intentions puts out he doesn’t think too many people are caring about what they do in Oslo, compared to global statistics. The information from sales, Spotify, Soundcloud and other mediums shows that the music is really popular in the US, UK, Germany and Australia, where Ivan Ave is touring at the moment. “I guess it is just a more open culture down there, its cool,” Fred says. One of the problems he sees with what is happening in Norway is that the people do not really agree to the quality of the music until it is getting recognition somewhere outside of country. We discuss the club venues in Oslo and he feels there is a number of places now that are too large and not necessarily places with the right vibe. Spots that used to be attractive for people that were really into dancing or a certain scene have now become mainstream and cater for a younger crowd, that just don't really care. For him, he tends to like the smaller spaces, something with a bit of personality and doubts the potential of the recent opening of a number of larger venues as “they feel too big and too official, Norwegians like smaller places where they can feel familiar and feel like they have come home to their own culture/music.” Fred also does booking for a couple of spots, including one of our favourites, Oslovelo. He laughs, “Even though the sound there is really shitty, people love the place and want to play there. It is always good fun.” Not just one to sit on the sideline and watch the mainstream takeover Fred and Stian Nicolaysen are putting in motion a plan to organise a weekender with a mix of local and international acts which they hope to bring to Oslo later in 2018.
We talk about changing trends and fast paced life, not just in music, which we agree has a lot of negative sides to it. He says, “It used to be different you know and people used to travel to purchase clothing, eat different cuisine and listen to different music. Now they are making the same restaurant menus all around the whole world, playing acid house and techno all around the whole world and wearing the same clothes around the whole world. It is kind of bad, but that is what comes with the internet and algorithms only showing what's hot right now and not the alternatives.” He continues “imagine being a youth now and trying to find a culture, really embrace it and gain knowledge. You can’t even get 10% in before getting a feeling from the internet & the internet damaged society that the stuff you are into has become completely irrelevant and all the kids have moved on to something else.” Life has become exponentially faster in the modern era and people are spending “all their time exploring on Instagram and Spotify,” something created by algorithms. You are not really exploring, the illusion of actual choice is real and nothing is random. You are exploring the surface of something you think you know. These mediums won’t ever give you deeper knowledge about the interests you love. "Kids need to quit being lazy and realise there is loads of stuff to learn after the surface information you will get from the regular platforms. If I hit explore on Instagram, it will show some of the most known natural wines, some of the most popular graffiti writers right now, some records recently played by some Dekmantel/Boiler Room type of DJ’s, you know. I already know that shit” He laughs. “It is for a reason and it is the same for everyone else.” I agree, but have some doubts as to why my Instagram explore is full of astrology and horoscopes to which Fred jokes, “I don’t know, maybe your mum is using your Instagram.”
With record collecting being an expensive hobby, Fred still holds a full time job and smiles as he says he could have done only music, but then he would not have the money to buy all the rare records he wants and go to the restaurants he likes - “I like to eat good too.” For him it is good to have the routine, get up early and start the day swimming with his girlfriend, do the 9-5 and then make music during nights and weekends.
The mix for F5 was made in two different sessions. The first 25 minutes was recorded song for song, just using delay for the transitions. It’s a mix of American 80’s steppers and Jamaica/Trinidad reggae-disco jams. The last 35 minutes of the mix is a live recorded session, more dance oriented, spanning from 80’s till contemporary boogie & modern soul (and even a 90’s street soul cut) from the US, as well as some boogie & house stuff from South Africa.
sat 17 feb @ Ingensteds, Oslo (Touchdown)
fri 23 feb @ Roxy, Cologne
fri 30 mar @ L'entree Des Artistes, Pigalle
sat 31 mar @ Easter Sounds Festival, Paris