Breaking down barriers
Fold are gaining a solid reputation as a gem in the crown of the Yorkshire music scene. When BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne planned a special broadcast out of Huddersfield’s iconic Vinyl Tap on the eve of Record Store Day 2017 they chose Fold to represent the region in a live session. During the interview, Fold outlined their purpose: to help advance equality and unity; to help break down barriers that divide us. Weaving a tapestry of speaking and singing voices from past and present into funk, jazz, soul and psyche Fold remind us of the forces within that matter most.
Often compared to Public Service Broadcasting (whom Fold have both supported and remixed) Fold’s musical deployment of the human voice has been influenced most by the likes of Public Enemy, DJ Shadow, Lemon Jelly and Steve Reich. Though Fold often use existing soundbites from known figures such as Bruce Lee and Malcolm X they also collaborate with active speakers including the celebrated UK poet Mr Gee.
Fold have built support over the past few years gigging across Yorkshire and beyond, releasing EPs, singles and an album all of which have had exceptional support from both regional and national radio. BBC 6 Music have provided the most exposure with help from presenters Lauren Laverne, Gideon Coe, Huey Morgan, Don Letts and Funk & Soul’s champion Craig Charles. Craig even placed one of Fold’s tracks among his Funk & Soul Stompers of 2015.
Fold’s latest, an EP entitled Written In the Sky, was released on September 22, 2017 – launched the same day at Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax. There will be a number of special single releases on several different labels later in 2017.
Fold consists of Seth Mowshowitz (founder, writer, keys) Kane Rattray (drums), Ben Walsh (bass) and Sam Hutchison (guitar) along with many occasional contributors. These include the celebrated UK poet & radio presenter Mr Gee along with Leeds based saxophonist & all-round horn guru Emma Johnson.
Seth comes from the world of late 90s / early 00s New York City trip hop and downtempo. His first incarnation Mujaji yielded the underground classic Free Rain and a series of 12” contributions that helped to launch Brooklyn’s excellent Bastard Jazz Recordings.
Kane and Ben hail from West Yorkshire and have been friends since adolescence. They’ve also been playing together for more than 10 years which has made them an exceptionally tight rhythm section. Sam, having recently replaced Josh Gardziel on guitar duties, is the newest member of Fold. An active member of the Leeds scene Sam brings both his guitar playing and sound engineering talents to the table.
Fold’s compositions are informed by the innovations of hip-hop and its many offshoots. Fold aspire to the live spirit of their funk and jazz forebears and therefore use as many real instruments as possible. For that same reason the band also avoid using click tracks or pre-sequenced material in any context. In addition, Leeds based Emma Johnson’s horn section lends both authenticity and punch to the sound.
Direct action and support
Apart from the social commentary Fold are always keen to lend direct support to urgent causes wherever possible. Because of this the band have done numerous benefit gigs for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. They supplied a widely acclaimed remix of hip-hop duo Ceiling Demons for the UK CALM charity. Fold also released an emergency track to raise money for wounded civilians in Gaza during Israeli bombing raids.