Music

Free Radicals Argue There's "No State Solution" on New Single (premiere)

Jedd Beaudoin
Photo: Ildefonso De Leon / Courtesy of Press Junkie PR

Tirelessly political Houston outfit Free Radicals blend soul, jazz and world influences on new cut from forthcoming remix album.

The politically minded Houston outfit Free Radicals arrives with a new remix album, No State Solution, on 25 May. The record, an out-and-out rejection of corrupt governments, compiles material from the genre-bending outfit's previous six albums (including Aerial Bombardment (2004) and Outside the Comfort Zone (2017).) The outfit's politics are as wide-ranging as its musical influences, which includes doses of klezmer, ska, punk, Indian music and more. Politically, the band has played street marches and supported a host of causes that include Black Lives Matter, universal healthcare and immigration-related concerns.

The remixes are the direct result of a collaboration between DJ Sun, a Dutch-born American record producer, DJ and one of the most prolific musicians in Houston, and Free Radicals drummer Nick Cooper. A newly-issued single, "No State Solution" (Lacandon Remix Feat. Marcos) b/w "Screaming" (DJ Sun Radio Remix) and "Witch" (Dub remix), arrives April 24, with the A-side pulling no political punches in its message across its free association, funk-driven 4:35.

One can hear Free Radicals' soul-jazz collision in full effect, moving comfortably between moods that intersect with John Coltrane at his most holy and Motown at its most spiritual and inspiring. Meanwhile, Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde's add a world/other-worldly dimension that makes the song unforgettable.

With its usual candor, the band offered this about the tune: "Governments don't come up with peaceful just solutions. Civil society alone has the power to demand justice, truth, and reconciliation. For too long, 'two state solution' has been something that Israel says while meanwhile creating a situation on the ground that resembles tiny isolated Indian reservations with Israeli controlled roads, settlements, and checkpoints between them. In any 'two state solution', what could the Palestinian state even look like? Non-contiguous patches of land with no army, no airport, and no control of their own ports?" Vocalist Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde did the spoken word on the recording in Nigerian Pidgin (the language Fela often spoke). Folasayo's recording on the tracks came just weeks before she was diagnosed with cancer, and she passed away within the year. Her voice lives on, and the 45rpm single is dedicated to her memory. Her cry for "One World, No Passports, One Human Race!" resonates more than ever."

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.