Dirty Freud went to ground. You’d hear these murmurs of collaborations, side projects, pirate radio shows and underground gigs. He’d show up at the studio with new samples and stories with murky details. I took phone calls at strange times. He told me he was having fun, letting the natural expansion of his sound and skills happen. Then nothing. They were the times we wondered about.
When we last worked with him, he described his unique strain of electro dub as ‘ghost drone.’ We spent hours musing over what that meant whilst we listened but we could never articulate the amorphous sound in any way that made sense. You couldn’t call it a genre. It’s more biological than that. If I tried to reach him during these silences, I’d hit walls, but a part of me knew it had to be that way.
One day he calls me and announces he’s been ‘doing what needs to be done’ and he wants to meet. Playing me some new material, we share a grin and it’s hard not to get excited. Then he announces that Boxing With God is almost ready.
Walking onto Cleveleys beach, swelling with elemental unrest, photographer Danny Allison and I know that the only way we can convey the depth of his mutated sound is by going there with Freud, pulling the trigger. With a stripped back bag of kit, hand held lights and costume already on his back, our imaginations are in tune with the sea, thrashing with hissing visions of what happens when Freud disappears.
It’s that which we are here to capture and return with. We roam the expansive sands. Ripping Freud’s clothes when he least expects it, placing a flaming DIY torch in his hand as the sun drops.
Roaring at the top of our lungs in unison as behind the scenes filmmaker Jake Powell captures the feral cry, Freud takes us under with him and the camera starts to chart the descent.
We’re cold, uneasy and our shadows marry the night but we’re seeing what we heard and felt through his beats. Cleveleys peels back and what confronts us is a dripping alien landscape, lucid and unsettlingly bleak. Freud lights the way before us and we’re happy to follow.