The demise of Tower Records mean tough times ahead for the independent record labels, so it’s great to welcome an unlikely new label which was launced this month with real fighting talk. The FRED label is the brainchild of Fred Mann. Following the success of his contemporary art gallery, Fred [London] Ltd Mann decided to look at his other great love, Music. The label will work as a sister company to the gallery and, like the gallery, will respond in a close knit and creative way to the recording artists it seeks to nurture and promote.
FRED has been set up to record, produce, distribute and promote new music by a wide range of artists. The label, unlike a large slice of the established indie or major labels has the luxury of being able to respond to projects by different recording artist as and when they come up. Rather than setting out to release rock, R&B, classical or pop, FRED will cross musical genres. Despite the variety inherent in how the label will work, FRED has a commitment to quality of the first order and to encourage innovation and experimentation throughout their releases. To celebrate this spirit of diversity, their first two releases are suitably wide reaching.
FRED’s first release is Convivencia (sleeve art above) which features soprano Catherine Bott and an an eclectic instrumental mix of vihuela, lute, guitar (all played by David Miller), oud (Abdul Salam Kheir) and tar, tablah, tbilat and douf (Stephen Henderson). For more on the contemporary art gallery that loves contemporary music, and for a review of Convivencia, follow An Overgrown Path