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Who is Fred Numf? The crazy name creates a mental image of a cartoon DJ in the Flintstones, and musically he’s no stranger to Bedrock, of the Digweed variety, but that’s where any similarity ends! For the record, Fred Numf is actually quite a serious player. He’s a sharp shooting deck technician from The Hague (Den Haag) school of excellence (home to such DJ illuminati as Sander Kleinenberg and DJ Remy), where he’s also a fully paid up member of the Dutch progressive fraternity. By night he’s famed for firing off rhythmic, deep house beats with point blank accuracy in the mix, and by day he’s rolling out the heavy artillery for a succession of hard hitting tracks and remixes.
While honing his DJ skills in the Dutch capital, Fred, real name Van Eck, furthered his passion for house music. Graduating to record company A&R and label management for Journey Records, SIM Records, PRO Records and PROgressive Records, Fred found an ideal platform to work with mentors Chris Fortier and Neil Kolo (Fade), Anthony Pappa and Barry GIlbey, Steve Porter, John Johnson and Hardy Heller from Germany. Later, in ‘97, Fred broke free from the daily grind to form production outfit NuMF, licensing one track, “Feint”, to Polygram in the Netherlands, Germany and Japan, before joining forces with producer/engineer Etienne Overdijk, and relocating to Maastricht. Since then they’ve created a plethora of productions, including aliases Fred Numf vs. Five Point O (“Wireless Influences” & “Hong Kong Junkie”), Fred Numf vs. Etienne Overdijk (“Love Is The Drug” & “Waste Land”) and Fred Numf vs. Alvin Dorsey feat. Jennifer K. (“Deeper Thoughts”). Fred and his sonic sidekick have now teamed up to launch their underground house label Perpetual Tunes, home to the recently issued Mike Haritzka’s “Reach Out To Me”, Sonic Tribe’s (aka John Johnson & Steve Baltes) “Synchronized” and the classic tribal track “Tribal Quest” by Perpetual Two. Another ongoing concern is the boys remix remit. They’ve recently reworked Way Out West’s “Mind circus” and DJ Tisto’s “Lethal Industry’”. After pioneering proto-prog sounds in the early nineties, Fred progressed from playing small local parties to taking up residence in a club in Delft. He then lit up the airwaves of a few local radio stations and landed more gigs, including Escape, Melkweg, Cubic (Kremlin) and Mazzo in Amsterdam, Het Paard in The Hague and Night Live in Maastricht, and before long, Fred was invited to showcase his tough techy tuneage internationally in Denmark, USA, Hong Kong, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Brazil, Sweden, Croatia, Germany, Taiwan and, more recently, the UK. The growth in global activity has also been assisted by his emergent relationship with Black Hole, a successful management agency and record company run by Holland’s Premier jock, DJ Tisto, and his manager Arny Bink.
The label has recently issued Fred’s first mix album, “Universal Language”, an impressive, book-bound double cd package. Kicking off with Peace Division’s “Feel My Drums”, the album offers a percussion-fueled journey that finds time and space mid-flight to chill your head, as well as make you shake. Cd2 raises the temperature even higher – the club-focused soundtrack begins with Bedrock and ends with label mate DJ Tiesto’s trance anthem “Flight 643”. A number of notable tracks and remixes also put in appearances, including Max Graham, Starecase, Chab, Roland Klinkenberg, Brothers In Rhythm, Mara and Lucien Foort. As a DJ, Fred “plays futuristic funky music; progressive and tribally yet essentially housey, although there’s a definite retro element creeping in, with electro funk/pop sounds in the style of the Human League”. As a producer, Fred really rates Anthony Pappa,Barry & Sara Gilbey (Mara), James Holden, Brancaccio and Aisher, Way Out West and Timo Maas.
They say you’ve got to look to the past to find the future, and Fred is already redefining those boundaries as well as pushing envelopes in search of new sounds; if further proof were needed check out his “Love Is The Drug” single, a full-Throttle synthesized narcotic experience, chock to the brim with growling keyboards and a seriously twisted bouncing breakdown. This is followed by Fred’s official new solo single, also called “Universal Language”, featuring the dulcet tones of Jokate Benson, who appeared on the Starecase track “Faith”. Recently Fred did his first signing with Deep Dish’s Yoshitoshi label. His new mix compilation is due this Autumn as well.
Fred Numf – The name may sound off the wall but the music’s definitely on the floor.
James Horrocks, DJ Magazine