Dance music history is littered with successful partnerships. Infamously named after a Brighton pub close to the studio, The Freemasons (AKA Russell Small and James Wiltshire ) have within the last 18 months shot to the top of the pile of UK house producers with a vocal encrusted bullet …
Russell possibly needs little introduction. As one half of Phats + Small, he’d sold over 2.5 million singles worldwide and Dj’d for 15 years.. James had worked in just about every major recording studio in London for a myriad of producers and artists. Their first single – The Jackie Moore Sampling “Love On My Mind” immediately demonstrated just how powerful this pairing was going to be – Hooky enough to walk off the dancefloor and into the charts, this track still gets pulled out of club (and Radio) Dj’s bags on a weekly basis… Unlike most producers, follow up material was instantly forthcoming and their second single “Watchin” leapt from the top of Buzz chart on it’s first week of entry onto national radio to secure them a second UK top 20 hit, but productions are only part of the story..
Ever since they started, The Freemasons have turned down more remixes than they have taken on. This selective approach to this side of their work has always paid off, gainng them appreciation from DJs, Producers and Industry in both Europe and the USA – If you want names dropped, we’re talking Faith Evans, Jamiroquai, Fatboy Slim, Angie Stone, Jamiroquai, Blaze Feat. Barbara Tucker, etc, etc.
The last 18 months have seen their work hit No.1 repeatedly in every UK industry chart – And even a No.1 in the Billboard dance chart with a remix of RCA-Breakthough artist Heather Headley.. Just recently this ever growing US profile attracted the attention of R+B’s first lady – Miss Beyonce Knowles for whom they have just remixed the new single – Deja Vu
Turning Studio success into a packed dancefloor seemed the logical step.. The Freemasons DJ’d together for the time last summer and in parallel to their studio work fused traditional methods with The latest technology. They have since gone on to raise hands on dancefloors across the UK, Europe and much further afield .. A number one compilation down-under in Jan 2006 has secured them a high profile tour and Antipodean New years eve gig , whilst offers are flooding in every week from The Northern hemisphere
So will they be able sustain this run of success?… Put it this way – Mid June 2006 . The Freemasons decided to have a month off. They do after all live In Brighton – The Saint Troupe of England and the heatwave was just starting to kick in. Then an offer came in from SonyBmg to remix one of Luther Vandross’s last studio recordings … Jumping at the chance to remix one of modern Soul’s greatest they postponed the break for 2 weeks… Then Beyonce’s people called again……
The future? – A new single featuring the stunning vocal and Writing talents of Siedah Garrett ( And awesome vocal club track called “Rain Down Love” ), Album just round the corner (with a Freemasons twist, of course)… A pile of top drawer remix work on offer , and the gig diary bursting at the seams.