I have known guitarist/bassist/keyboardist/composer Mr. Fresh for many years now, and heard much of his music through collaborations with his fellow artists. However it is always a special pleasure to hear his solo work and so I always look forward to his personal releases. I have previously reviewed both Halcyon Sky and Halcyon Sky: The Regrooves, and now I am pleased to present to you his newest release, hot off the press (literally – it was released yesterday, September 22, 2018) – Barrigada Sun.
As told by the artist himself, Barrigada Sun is a short collection of smooth tracks “born out of the cultural influence of the Chomorran people, natives of the island of Guam.” It features the single Chamorrita, which appeared on the 2015 release with AfterSix Productions, What Love Is. As one who often wonders what the backstory is to a track, it was exciting to hear Mr. Fresh add a vocal backstory to Chamorrita, a story he shared when I interviewed AfterSix Productions back in 2015 (click here for that interview). But you can never get too much of a good backstory!
I’ve done something in this review that I never do in real life when listening to a new release for the first time – I’ve skipped around and “shuffled” the playlist! The release actually begins with the smooth Cham’s Groove, a keyboard-laden track that sets the tone for our musical trip to Guam. Following Chamoritta: The Backstory and Chamorrita, we hear Barrigada Sky, a track which has you relaxing in the sun on one of Guam’s breathtaking beaches, despite the fact it was not actually written during Mr. Fresh’s time in Guam some 10 years ago.
Mr. Fresh rounds out the release with the more uptempo track Y-Factor, which takes you from the quiet beach to a chill lounge area where you can feel as if you are interacting with some locals you just met, soaking in the culture of the island. Listening to Barrigada Sun, and having done a little side research on Guam, one can easily see how this picturesque island could inspire such beautiful music. Mr. Fresh does a wonderful job sharing his visual experience in Guam by inviting us back in time with him through an audial excursion to the island. This release is short and sweet, and leaves you wanting much more.
Disclaimer: I’m going to need you to head over to sftf.bandcamp.com to hear and download the release. You know I’m always encouraging my readers to support independent music. So if you ask to borrow my copy, my answer is like that old 1980’s Hey Love commercial, “Nooo, my brother, you’ve got to buy your own!” LOL