Wednesday 13 July 2022

'Fledge' by kotokid

'Fledge' is the new EP release from Dutch bassist and producer kotokid, also known as Freek Mulder.

Finding its home on the excellent Wicked Wax Records, 'Fledge' finds itself in outstanding company as it's a project that is unveiled as part of a swathe of incredible new releases from the Dutch record label which includes lush new singles from vocalist Ruth Koleva, a highly-anticipated full-length project from phenomenal jazz outfit Antares Flare due later this year and the debut release from beat-music makers Y.O.P.E.

It's certainly proving to be an exceptional year for Wicked Wax with kotokid's 'Fledge' bursting with the same levels of talent, creativity and personality within its music to comfortably sit alongside these incredible projects.  And when exploring Mulder's extensive catalogue of music to date, the sheer brilliance of this release should come as no surprise at all.  A collaborator, producer and session musician for such a wide variety of projects, Mulder's innumerable talents have proved key facets to projects like the blissful synth-pop of Floatmonki or for vocalist Áslaug, also as producer for neo-soul vocalist Isla van Hout's debut EP ('Bring It On', 2020); The roll call continues however with Mulder also demonstrating his skill within jazz-based projects which include serving as a member for guitarist Prashant Samlal's quartet or his collaborative two-person project with Jessie Brevé under the name Taiga.

It really is an incredible body of work demonstrating some fantastic names and releases within the contemporary Dutch scene and highlighting Mulder's prominence amongst an inspired talent pool.

Despite the range of varying styles and projects that Mulder has been a part of - with bass in hand - what makes 'Fledge' so unique is that this is a completely unhindered presentation of his music so far with himself squarely positioned within centre stage.  From the opening, slow build of 'Unfreeze', the EP's statement of intent is laid bare at the outset and Mulder, under the guise of kotokid, doesn't waste a second as he presents a selection of five indefinable compositions that masterfully incorporates sounds from the variety of projects that have benefitted from his distinctive touch. 

Mulder's bold and ambitious vision for 'Fledge' is helped by some great names throughout including Jonathan Szegedi on drums and Maarten Cima on guitar along with vocalist Bahghi also bringing her talents to 'New Amsterdam' and 'Neghisti' introducing a welcome twinge of neo-soul into the proceedings.  With 'Fledge' having been recorded within the hallowed walls of Flowriders Studio, the EP finds itself in the capable hands of Vincent "Seravince" Helbers who helms the project's mixing and recording duties and even contributes some additional piano to 'Neghisti'.  

The brilliant and intricate compositions throughout 'Fledge' really do justice to Freek Mulder's musical journey so far.  A genuinely imaginative and creative artist, his ascension to presenting himself as an artist in his own right will only cement his legacy and further solidify himself as a revered name within the burgeoning Dutch scene.

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