Freddy Fresh

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Freddy Fresh

Freddy Fresh is an American underground musician, DJ and electronic music producer. Fresh has recorded for over 100 independent record labels, including major labels Sony UK, Virgin, BMG UK, and Harthouse Germany. He is also founder of the record labels Howlin’ Records, Electric Music Foundation, and Analog.

Fresh had two international hit records in the UK, "Badder Badder Schwing" (featuring Fatboy Slim) and "What It Is." Fresh has performed in clubs, as well as festivals, including: Glastonbury Festival, Creamfields Festival UK, Reading-Leeds Festival, and Jazz and Groove Festival.

Early life[edit]

Fresh was born Frederick Schmid in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States (U.S.).[1]


In addition to a growing U.S. audience, Fresh was also one of the few contemporary non-Detroit musicians of the techno/electro genre to receive a strong European following.[citation needed] His records for Experimental, Harthouse and Martin "Biochip C" Damm's Anodyne label were evidence of his popularity in Europe and also strengthened his international presence. Although Fresh's releases included tracks in hip hop, house music, techno and trance music, his musical essence exists in the electro and breaks sub-genres.[citation needed]

Although Fresh grew up listening to gothic rock and new wave, a trip to the Bronx, New York, U.S. in 1984 introduced him to the hip hop scene. Fresh began collecting DJ tapes (Shep Pettibone and Marley Marl) and records from the Jonzun Crew, Newcleus, Liquid Liquid, Cerrone, Shannon and Cat Stevens.[citation needed]

Fresh's first studio recording was released on Boogie Down Productions, with Fresh remixing a track for The Man & His Music Dedication album for Scott La Rock. Fresh then constructed his own studio, collecting numerous analog and modular synthesizers as part of the building process.[citation needed] In 1992, after releasing debut singles on Nu Groove and Experimental, Fresh's first record label, Analog Recordings, was formed in late 1992, and grew to include numerous imprints: Analog UK, Butterbeat, Electric Music Foundation, Socket and Boriqua.[citation needed]

The label and its offshoots have since attracted Thomas Heckman, Tim Taylor, Cari Lekebusch, DJ Slip, the Bassbin Twins, and Biochip C. In 1995, Fresh signed a contract with German techno label Harthouse Records and his second full-length album, Accidentally Classic, was released by the label's UK arm in late 1996—a Harthouse U.S. reissue was later released.[citation needed]

His third album, The Last True Family Man, was released on the Eye Q label and resulted in two international chart hits, "Badder Badder Schwing" (featuring Fat Boy Slim) and "What It Is". The recordings peaked at number 34 and number 63, respectively, in the 1999 UK Singles Chart.[2] Several singles and a mix album followed, until 2001's release, Music for Swingers. Fresh subsequently issued numerous albums on Howlin Records.[citation needed]

In the late 1990s, he formed the record label Against The Grain with then-partner Krafty Kuts. Fresh also released records through the Wisconsin, U.S.-based Drop Bass Network and the German label "Electrecord."[citation needed]

In 2000 Fresh also formed a collectors label specializing in vinyl 45 singles, called "Howlin' Records", and released over 35 singles and four albums through the label. The catalog of Howlin' Record includes "Have Records Will Travel," "Outstanding in His Field," "Diggin' Up Ghosts," "Surrounded By Funk" and Howlin’ Greatest Hits.[citation needed]

In 2004 Fresh released the reference book entitled Freddy Fresh Presents The Rap Records, which covers the history of the early independent "old school" rap scene, and provides an extensive catalog of rap releases from 1979 to 1989.[3] The book was featured in The Source, Vibe, The New York Times and Village Voice, and won journalism awards in the U.S.—it is recognized as the only reference book on the subject.[citation needed] Fresh released the updated second edition, with over 740 pages and more than 2,500 color photographs.[citation needed]

In 2008 Fresh released the updated Freddy Fresh Presents The Rap Records Book Revised Edition that contains thousands of full-color photos from the independent rap scene.[citation needed]

In 2014 Fresh teaches DJ techniques at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S. Fresh began work on his long awaited album "Play The Music" with a launch of various singles starting with the song Hardcore Rocka done with Andy Ictus feat. Jamaica Reggae stars Tanto Metro & Devonte with a video released in October 2014.

Film and advertising[edit]

Fresh's music also appeared in films such as Austin Powers in Goldmember , Jackie Chan's The Tuxedo, Fox Network. As well as television commercials by : Adidas, Budweiser, Coors, Ritz Crackers, X-Box .


Fresh tours regularly and has DJ'd in over 34 countries, including Russia (Olympic Stadium, where he opened for The Orb), Australia ("Teriyaki Anarki Saki"), Canada (MTV Canada) and Spain (Club Spain). He has also been featured on Club TV, S2 and House Viva TV. His list of radio appearances include two Peel sessions for John Peel on BBC Radio 1.

Fresh mixes all his tracks live. He sequences with an MPC 2000XL and MPC 4000, and uses pre-midi analog synthesizers and modular systems.

Personal life[edit]

Fresh married his wife Alexandra on April 21, 2005 in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S. The couple are parents of two daughters, .


  1. ^ "Freddy Fresh Biography". NME. New Musical Express. Retrieved August 2009. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 214. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Cherryl Aldave (20 May 2005). "Freddy Fresh Presents the Rap Records". Blogcritics. Blogcritics. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 

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