review - crème fresh: the relaunch
the mash house, edinburgh 22.09.16
Words by Miriam Rodero
"I can’t promise you that this is for dieters, but I can promise you that Crème fresh is delicious, it’s a good thing.” – Martha Stewart
Or so we are humorously told on the Crème Fresh SoundCloud page...
Last Friday night, I decided to see for myself, and headed down to Edinburgh’s Mash House to witness Edinburgh University duo Duncan Bell and Liam S-R in action for “Crème Fresh: the Relaunch”. With a sold-out venue, a crowd that practically left the bar empty and instead opted for the dancefloor, and a relentlessly banging selection of tunes (highlights including Sex on the Beach by DJ Assault as the finishing track), it’s fair to say that Crème Fresh were creamy, fresh, and certainly delicious.
Now boasting semi-regular club nights, Crème Fresh started out back in January of 2014 as a radio show on Edinburgh University’s station Freshair.org.uk., originally under the name of ‘Music Time with Liam and Duncan’ – a name which the pair decided would have to change if they were going to get some “serious acts” on the show. And with that, Crème Fresh was born onto the airwaves. The format of each weekly radio show involves half an hour of the hosts’ own music, with a guest mixing for the second half. This term, however, Duncan tells us that on top of the mixes, listeners can anticipate more interviews with guests as proved popular last year: “One of our most interesting shows last term was with [the people behind] the hugely popular queer night in Edinburgh, ‘Hey QT’. We chatted to them about their safe space policy which few club nights actually have”.
Many of the guests on Crème Fresh have been from the pair’s personal connections - including Bleaker, Telfort, Fudge Fingas and Dj Lucky Brand. Duncan added that “Liam, being from Montreal, also managed to hook us up with Alessandroid and Deems Mauro”. Not all of the guests, though, are so well acquainted with Crème Fresh themselves: “Some guests we’ve had just from messaging them on SoundCloud – like Local Talks’ Tooli O’Flynn - who’s killing it right now - and ILO”.
The ranging musical styles of the guests is just one of the many aspects that keeps Crème Fresh as interesting and, well, as ‘fresh’ as possible each week. Another is the fact that the initial half hour of tunes is often tailored to compliment the guest’s mix: a carefully thought-out setup which shows innovation and adaptation to the individual musical styles of the guests, as well as attention to the enjoyment of the listener by producing unique mixes each week. In keeping with the professional output of the show, Crème Fresh’s mixes are regularly uploaded to their SoundCloud page accompanied by unique graphics, producing a consistent and accomplished aesthetic.
After over a year and a half of making themselves known on Edinburgh University’s radio, Crème Fresh finally took themselves to the DJ booths (and us to the floor) in October 2015 for their first club night at the ECA student union, The Wee Red Bar. As far as opening nights go, especially as a solo project without guests, the night was undoubtedly a success. “The Launch Party was still our busiest night to date as a solo outing,” Duncan remembers. “Capacity was 200 and I think there was a 300 people change through over the course of the night”.
With such a popular opening night, the duo have deservedly become regulars on the Edinburgh club scene, joining forces both with guests who have appeared on their show, and with other club nights. Duncan recounts the collaboration with Overground and Shapework (nights run by their friends) along with guest Mall Grab: “It was one of my favourite nights out ever. We all thought it might go really badly, but the response was great and due to the timing, (just after exams) people were really up for a party and Mall Grab delivered a killer set”.
If Crème Fresh: The Relaunch was anything to go by, the beauty of Crème Fresh is that Liam and Duncan have as much fun as the rest of us: it was as if they should be joining us on the dancefloor too. Add that to the mix of commitment, enthusiasm and the unmistakeable companionship of the duo and we get something really quite special; something all those starting out in student radio should be aspiring to. As the duo continue to create a name for themselves in Scotland’s vibrant club scene, there is something I can certainly agree with Martha Stewart on – Crème Fresh definitely is a good thing.