Welcome to the new website and big up for locking in to this debut review! It's no secret that we hosted Halcyonic and Junior Dread's 'Can't Hide' over on YouTube about a month ago - which means that this review is long overdue! Having said that, the time gap has actually been beneficial for getting to grips with FR001 as a body of work and has really shown me the emotional ambidexterity of the release. Back when the promo first landed in the inbox, the sun was out and we were planning a Juan bbq which led to a remark about 'Can't Hide' being a quintessential summertime beach kinda tune, which is definitely not incorrect. For additional context, we were also getting 3WA's 'Black Marsh' uploaded around the same time. And I guess if you directly compare the two, 'Can't Hide' is undoubtedly beach and beers whereas 'Black Marsh' is more sex dungeon and stimulants.
Dub sirens, horn melodies, offbeat skanks and tape delays all lend to that meditative summer time soundsystem aesthetic, bringing in visions of the beaches of Pula in a few months time. Flash forward to now. It's pissing down with rain, I'm popping antibiotics like they're Tic Tacs and 'Can't Hide' has taken me on a different journey than it did a month back. Now it's Junior Dread's vocals that come to the fore. "Living in the darkness, cos we can't stand the light". The emotional presence of Dread's sincere lyrics nestle in nicely with Halcyonic's production and create this truly multifaceted tune that changes in meaning every time you listen. Flip over to that B-Side and you've got yourself the remix by the pioneer himself, RSD. Doing what he does best, RSD strips it right back with a thunderous bassline and a marching snare - twisting 'Can't Hide' into the kind of perfected madness that only RSD can muster. Firmly Rooted have certainly finessed their transition to vinyl releases! Staying true to their soundsystem lineage, this first release definitely secures them as a label to watch closely. Still some copies of this 10" beauty still available: Bandcamp Redeye Intense Records