. Review: 'We Must Speak' by Fold | Ceasefire Magazine

Review: ‘We Must Speak’ by Fold Music

Tomorrow sees the release of 'We Must Speak', the debut EP by Fold, a new UK Hip-Hop collective. Ceasefire's Terence Elliott-Cooper gives it a listen.

Music & Dance, New in Ceasefire - Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2011 12:30 - 0 Comments


Fold frontman Seth Mowshowitz at the Tate Britain (Photo: Fold.fm)

Fold is comprised of Raz Olsher, Emm Tastic, Matt Hall, and social activist frontman Seth Mowshowitz. Donating three quarters of all profits made to humanitarian charities Kiva and the Tax Justice Network, Fold are an innovative music group – whose deep set of values are helping to promote a more socially conscious Hiphop scene in the UK. They describe their sound as ‘Music helping to end the exploitation of people for profit’, and this same message is spread throughout their forthcoming E.P. We Must speak.

All of the vocals on the album are sampled from well-known political figures; Kurt Vonnegut, Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King are the most familiar. Luckily for Fold, the beats are at a level that complements the intensity of the speeches; this could have easily have been an E.P. full of mediocre beats relying on heavy, passionate samples. Instead, it manages to do the opposite, with samples weaving effortlessly into the breaks.

With a number of political and social issues being discussed, this E.P. provides a profound message on every track, the stand out ones being Martin Luther King’s on A Revolution of Values, and We must Speak. The lyrics are carefully put together from Martin Luther King’s speech ‘Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence’, an emotive speech on religion, war, and freedom. The words are definitely thought-provoking, despite Fold sometimes struggling to marry politics with poetry as effectively as Akala or Mos Def.

Fold describe their beats as ‘world weary’, which is fitting for a couple of them. However Fight back, the final track on the E.P. is a fresh change from the preceding ones, with the MC-like energetic flow of a speech by Barnaby Raine. This fits in perfectly with the breakbeat and high synths. Although more looped samples over the breakdowns would have added more depth, tracks like Oil-powered Machine, undoubtedly the album’s strongest track, deliver a well-finished sound. This is paired with a brilliant, unexpected sample from Michael Ruppert, who fires a rapid flow of facts at the listener, keeping them energised and engaged.

This is chilled Hiphop with a warmth to it, an old school feeling with uplifting samples that manage to sound perfectly fitting, yet always somewhat of a pleasant surprise. Room for lyrical improvement still leaves the listener with an impressive sound. Beats are reminiscent of Nujabes, while the looped Martin Luther King samples take the ‘I have a dream’ sample on Common’s record of the same name, to another level.

The Fold are an important addition to the wave of UK hop-hip currently reintroducing politics to a genre plagued by corporate co-opting, and definitely a collective to keep an ear out for.

Fold’s debut EP We Must Speak is out digitally October 31, 2011 on all major networks worldwide (including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon & Zune). You can listen to it and buy it now at http://fold.bandcamp.com/


Terence Elliott-Cooper is a writer and student activist.

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