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The Free Design: The Now Sound Redesigned [CD]

The Free Design Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 1.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Jan 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Light In The Attic Records
  • ASIN: B0009WV2VU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. RedesignedNobody 1:040.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Where Do I GoMadlib 4:220.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. UmbrellasPeanut Butter Wolf 3:560.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Radio BreakNobody0:130.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Harvey Daley HixStereolab & High Llamas 5:450.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Don't Turn AwaySharpshooters 3:050.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. CrossoverNobody0:230.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. 2002 - A Hit SongChris Geddes & Hush Puppy 3:390.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. I Found LoveStyrofoam & Sarah Shannon 3:490.69  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Funk DesignNobody 1:060.69  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Don't Cry BabyKoushik & Dudley Perkins 4:170.69  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Blowin' BubblesNobody0:260.69  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Kites Are FunMellow 4:320.69  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Girls AloneNobody Featuring Ikey Owens 4:050.69  Buy MP3 
Listen15. To a Black BoyDanger Mouse & Murs 3:220.69  Buy MP3 
Listen16. The Proper OrnamentsSuper Furry Animals 2:290.69  Buy MP3 
Listen17. An ElegyKid Koala & Dynomite D 4:520.69  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Light My FireNobody0:390.69  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Dorian BenedictionCaribou 8:450.69  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Free Design Redesigned - Various 29 Dec 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Free Design, as unlikely as it may seem to both themselves and their original fans, have had a profound influence on many of the bands asociated with the indie scene. Bands including 'Belle & Sebastian', 'Stereolab' & 'The High Llamas' have all acknowledged this family outfit from New York. Ocassionally, if not optomistically, The Free Design are tagged as 'soft psych' but in truth they are jazzy, sunshine pop whose relative obscurity and lack of hits may have had something to do with their record label being owned by a sewing company.

Light In The Attic, who re-released the 7 original Free Design albums, brings you The Now Sound Redesigned which not only collects the original limited viny EPs but adds other artists to the mix. This might infuriate Free Design purists and anyone else who detests the re-mix or radical interpration of sounds from the past but I have to say I found the project immensely enjoyable. Even the 'interludes' between tracks don't annoy.

What I like most about this is what I usually detest in similar projects, that is the spirit of the original band, in this case The Free Design, is ever present. Most of the artists here 'get' The Free Design and though the instrumentation and the beats might have changed you feel (or at least I do) The Free Design might have been willing collaborators in their redesign. Another reviewer somewhere else complained of not being able to dance to it - another reason, say I, to like and praise it.

Great moments include oddly paired Stereolab & High Llama's 'Harve Daley Hix' which despite the odds effortlessly segues the 2 bands styles without sounding forced or off kilter. The gorgeous I Found Love by Styrofoam and Sarah Shannon (Velocity Girl) which was featured in the TV show 'The Gilmore Girls.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Works beautifully 2 Jan 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I don't normally like these "remix"/"re-interpretation" projects but this redesign of the Free Design's sunshine pop works, and works completely. First of all, the upbeat, infectious, sunny nature of the original material has been left intact. So are the tunes - this is really catchy stuff. Even the (mostly spoken) interludes from the band add context. There's only one jarring note - "To a Black Boy" by Dangermouse & Murs, which, despite its own qualities, doesn't quite fit in.

Everyone involved seems to be a fan (which helps) and treats the original material with the affection and care it deserves. Full marks to everyone. Recommended for all fans of electropop, whether you're familiar with the FD or not.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected treat. 20 Aug 2005
By S. Coulter - Published on
Format:Audio CD

"The dated but delicious sunshine pop of a little known 1960's family act called The Free Design just got a makeover from the good folks at Light in the Attic Records, and the result is one of the best, most unexpected albums of the year. Using the lilting melodies and lush arrangements of the original tracks as a base, 21 "now sound" performers get busy reinterpreting, updating, and just generally playing with The Free Design's catalog in a devoted but totally inventive way.

Now keep in mind, The Free Design was a kind of real-live Partridge Family: two brothers and two sisters from upstate New York who formed a baroque folk group that became popular on the Greenwich Village coffeehouse circuit, so their music is super...uh, white. Maybe that's why it fares best in the hands of urban stylists like Dangermouse, Murs, and Peanut Butter Wolf, who furnish edge and counterpoint to all those too-immaculate harmonics... a little bitta coffee for all that cream.

Koushick and Dudley Perkins give "Don't Cry Baby" a super cool urban sunshine sound--like Sesame Street for grown-ups--while Kid Koala and Dynamite D. put down slow beats and scratching so good in "An Elegy," it'll make you throw the phrase "trip-hop" around like it's 1995. Indie types like Stereolab, Caribou, and Super Furry Animals make a strong showing as well, and the European outfit Mellow trip out expertly on a remix of the unbelievably titled non-parody by The Free Design, "Kites are Fun."

Best of all, everyone here steers clear of the overweening irony and camp that has turned so many tribute albums into little more than novelties, and hipsters though some may be, they're too busy taking this gentle music seriously to bother posturing. Who knows? Maybe cynicism had become so de rigueur that it got boring and innocence became intersting again. The music did too."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free Design, The - The Now Sound Redesigned 7 April 2011
By scoundrel - Published on
Format:Audio CD
When does the underground go overground? For years, The Free Design's original LPs have been sought-after collector's items -- with no small reason. The intricate harmonies and careful songwriting have garnered praise on their own, not to mention the use of their component parts in hip-hop circles. So here, on _The Now Sound Redesigned_, the Free Design gets a modern makeover from both the hip-hop and indie communities. So while Madlib and Peanut Butter Wolf give some uptempo breaks to "Where Do I Go" and "Umbrellas," respectively, Stereolab and The High Llamas bring in their own modular pop sensibilities, even as the track drifts into an odd atonality. Styrofoam, on the other hand, go for a more straightforward rework, but with more droning. And there's some bubblegum self-referentialism in Chris Geddes' chopping of "2002 - A Hit Song." Sure, there a few lackluster mixes (particularly the Sharpshooter's version of "Don't Turn Away"), but the hazy psychedelia of Mellow's "Kites Are Fun" or the Nobody's swirling "Girls Alone" quickly pave over those tracks. Danger Mouse and Murs put a modern political spin on "To a Black Boy," telling the story of Marcus Dixon, and unfairly imprisoned young man from Georgia. But some of the musical contrasts are stark here: the bubbliness of "The Proper Ornaments" (as fiddled with by Super Furry Animals) with the somber "An Elegy," (scratched up by Kid Koala). Caribou ends ths album with his version of "Dorian Benediction," which swirls in neo-electronic folk psychedelia -- something I'm sure the Free Design themselves would have appreciated.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Innovative idea with a nice sound, but it tries a bit too hard at times. 8 Mar 2009
By Lynda J. Gerry - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I have mixed feelings about this album. When I first heard about the album and saw Caribou, Super Furry Animals, and Stereolab on the tracklist, I was thrilled. The first song that I heard from the album was 'Don't Turn Away' by Sharpshooters, which is my favorite track on the album. I read that the remix just does not match up with the original work of The Free Design. I personally disagree; Although I respect The Free Design, the original album is simply TOO flowery for my taste. Thus, the mix takes the elements from Free Design that I do enjoy and mixes it with a range of other complex melodies and sounds. The track 'Umbrellas' by Peanut Butter Wolf did nothing for me, and the short Nobody tracks of dialog seemed a bit silly, transforming the album from something eclectic and rare to something trendy like Handsome Boy Modeling School's "White People". '2002: A Hit Song' and 'I Found Love' are very fun songs, but both border on being annoying. Overall, I would say that the album is a disappointment. However, 'Don't Turn Away', 'Dorian Benediction', 'An Elegy' and 'The Proper Ornaments' are pretty memorable tracks.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free Design get worked over by scores 25 Nov 2005
By somethingexcellent - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The Free Design were a somewhat lesser-known sunshiney psychedelic pop band from the late 60s, and last year the Light In The Attic label decided to pair the recordings of the group with some of the more well-known artists and remixers of the current day. The idea turned out to be a good one, as many of the remixers and artists had heard of the group and some even wondered how they'd rework the music of a favored obscuro pop group.

The Now Sound Redesigned is the CD release that collects the whole series of remixes and sequences them along with some interludes and other tracks that didn't find their way onto the original releases for a nineteen track, almost hourlong album of mixes that take the flowery group and turn them into everything from instrumental hip hop to drawn-out free jazz. The release opens with an intro track that actually does a pretty good job of explaining the group in a a short amount of time before Madlib drops an excellent remix of "Where Do I Go" that somehow keeps the original track fairly intact while at the same time transforming it into a rumbling beatfest. Peanut Butter Wolf goes mashup style on "Umbrellas," mixing in some Steve Miller Band and other tracks alongside the original Free Design effort for something that mostly works.

The Stereolab/High Llamas (each at times have sounded like the logical progression of the Free Design) version of "Harve Daley Hix," which layers in dense harpsichord and pinging electronics alongside the original, while Chris Geddes of Belle & Sebastian turns "2002 - A Hit Song" into a cheesy 4/4 dancefloor track that somehow works quite well. Styrofoam teams up with Sarah Shannon on the warm IDM-pop remake of "I Found Love" while Kid Koala and Dynomite D work "An Elegy" into a stuttering hip-hop/jazz beast that like the Madlib remix keeps much of the original track around while taking it somewhere completely different.

The Biz Markie-ish re-imagining of "Don't Cry Baby" by Koushik and Dudley Perkins is funny but feels a bit out-of-place on the release, while the Danger Mouse & Murs reworking of "To A Black Boy" completely breaks the flow of the release with its dark production and heavy lyrical content from Murs. Fortunately, Caribou provides a gorgeous, epic nightcap on the release with the nearly nine-minute free jazz reworking of "Dorlan Benediction," mixing melodica, chimes, vocals from the original track, and just about everything else as it feels like a hippie-style jam around the campfire. If you've never heard of The Free Design and are looking for somewhere to start, you should pick up one of the re-released versions of their original albums, but if you've already discovered the group and are looking for some (mostly) inspired remixes of their work, The Now Sound Redesigned is an entertaining little release.

(from almost cool music reviews)
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dangermouse & Madlib & Stereolab oh my!!! 18 Aug 2005
By Mike Felsey - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Wow people...who would of though that anyone could nail down the soft-psych easy touch of this obscure group The Free Design?

But, in this remix album, there isn't one track which doesn't pay homage to what the Free Design were all about! That lovable jumping/flying/rolling/zesty feeling of life that we all love to feel. It's really cool to hear what blunted out Madlib does with "Where Do I Go", along Stereolab's totally freak out Free Design medley! And Kid Koala & Dynomite D's mix of "An Elegy" about made we weep for our lost brethren of war! This is one you need to pick up!
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