Who are Phonetic Freefall?

PF is not so much a band but a musical improvisation collective started by two local bands, Benny The Moth and The Beat Tree – with the philosophy that the purest forms of musical creation come when we least expect it. Our aim is to give up and coming poets, spoken word artists and MCs the chance to perform their lyrical works on stage backed by a live improvised soundtrack that’s inspired by the rhythmic flow of their verses. In an intimate venue like The Blue Note, we hope that we can encourage people to share their words and be a part of something exciting, spontaneous and unpredictable. If we can get the mix right we think it’ll be an experience that’s unique for Jersey and inspired for both performers and audience alike.

 

Growing up, who inspired you musically?

Its so varied – we’ve all taken inspiration from our parents and sibling’s music, then friends and school mates but without being too long winded in a some kind of chronological stream – Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker, The Beatles, John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, The Jam, Nirvana, LTJ Bukem, Bob Marley, 2Pac, John Coltrane, Jurassic5, Miles Davis, Guru…  There are so many names, genres, labels and cultures we could probably go on for the whole page!

 

Now who is inspiring you musically? Which artists are causing your ears to take notice?

Again, so many but right now the artists that we’ve been promoting at our club nights such as MC Xander, Mr Woodnote, Dub Fx, Joe Driscoll, Sound of Rum & Dub Mafia are giving us huge inspiration and really pushing things forward. Artists like Foreign Beggars, Roots Manuva, Souljazz Orchestra, Quantic, Seu Jorge, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba and spoken word artists like Scroobius Pip, Kate Tempest & Polar Bear are ticking all the right boxes at the moment too.

 

Who/what inspires you day to day?

Today we’re massively inspired by the technological advances in music making and expression but also how they impact on society through art, literature and the internet.  Our understanding of dark flow, quantum theory and the genetic world tree of life – it’s wild – we live in exciting times but we have to keep it real – we love artists that are just able express that kind of vibe live on stage. Lately we’ve been getting inspired by Debussy, Fela Kuti, Terminal State, Joe Driscoll, Macka B and Fuzzbox mixes while day dreaming we were in a studio or on the beach all day instead of at work.

 

What are your thoughts on the local music scene?

The scene is healthy and there’s loads of amazingly talented people over here but we do suffer from not having a solid student population – people often say it’s a lack of venues but that’s not necessarily the case – it’s more about licensees and punters taking a shot at something different as original live music is always competing with the safer bet. Cutting out all the red tape for licensing live music would be an enormous step to giving the scene a boost and improving the quality as a whole – local music has been saved by some incredible bar managers and owners in the past but to really flourish and move forward, we need to bring down the barriers that prevent people from performing live music, it would encourage people to go out and enjoy performances more instead of just focusing on getting legless.

What local artists are floating your boat right now?

Schema, Terminal State and Fuzzbox are producing awesome tracks right now – Verse1, B-Easy, U.G and Revolution Records are doing good things for local MCs – Lloyd Yates’ album is going to be incredible – also loving Bones, Pirate Party Brigade, Smooth Hounds, Centeniers & The Morves – great to have the Cryptics back too!

Where is your favourite place to play in Jersey?

The Blue Note is a great venue and is really fun to play as it feels so well suited to intimate live music – on the opposite end of the scale though, the top room at the ‘Splash is second to none when it’s busy. The Live Lounge can really go off and we’ve had some incredible gigs there too.

 

If you could play alongside anyone, alive or dead, who would that be?

Bob Marley, John Lennon and 2Pac fronting a Phonetic Freefall jam would be amazing!!

 

Who is on your most played list on your iPod?

MC Xander has had loads of spins – his debut all beatbox and vocal album ‘Eyeopeness’ is just incredible. Mr Woodnote & Lil Rhys’ new album’s getting a lot of plays at the moment so am sure they’ll catch up, Souljazz Orchestra, Peter, Bjorn & John are up there too – and Pierre Cherriza apparently but he doesn’t seem to come around enough.

 

Grassroots was the type of event that hosted acts of your genre, with Natty and Flutebox and the likes… what are your thoughts on the loss of such an event, how do you think it will affect Jersey’s music scene?

It’s a shame as it was starting to become the festival I think the promoters wanted it to be but that’s the nature of the game.  Promoters are often staking a hell of lot to make these events happen and it’s really sad when it doesn’t work out and people with good intentions lose a lot of money. It’s a shame that we won’t get the chance to work with them as we did gravitate towards similar artists but the worst thing is the kids who can’t get into club shows won’t have the memories from an outdoor experience that Grassroots provided. Despite this though we have to remember that the artists existed before Grassroots and served to develop the fan-base of the festival in the first place so there’s no need to worry about the music itself being under threat. Besides something new always lies around the corner after all, so you have to stay positive don’t you?

 

Where and when can the Jersey public catch you playing?

We’ll be at the Blue Note on the last Wednesday of every month between 8–11pm this winter as we look towards locking down our roster for 2012. Entry is free so come down, be inspired and spontaneous and share some local lyrical treasures in a warm and intimate environment. You can keep up to date with details of the Wednesday shows as well as all our main events featuring awesome UK and international guests by keeping your ear to the ground or joining the Phonetic Freefall Facebook page.