In these fast-moving times, where many acts come and go in the space of a few blog posts, it's becoming harder and harder to find artists with true staying power. Anu Pillai aka Freeform Five is one of those rare artists. A veteran of the dance music scene, he started to release records on the seminal labels Classic, Glasgow Underground and NRK back in 1998. He soon worked his way into the premier league of remixers, producing some of the most stunning reworks of the last decade for artists as diverse as N*E*R*D, Brian Wilson, X-Press 2 & David Byrne, Jamie Lidell, Justin Timberlake, Felix da Housecat and The Killers – as well as work for cutting edge labels like Warp and Cocoon.
He’s spent a small fortune carbon offsetting his airmiles with DJ & live appearances at Fabric / The End / Ministry of Sound (London), Space / Manumission / Ibiza Rocks (Ibiza), Cocoon (Frankfurt), Watergate / Cookies / Week End (Berlin), Razzmatazz (Barcelona), D-Edge (Sao Paolo), Womb / Ageha / Unit (Tokyo), Rex / Social Club / Paris Paris (Paris), LAX (LA), and Lux (Lisbon) – plus tours of Scandinavia, Australia, America, and all the major festivals, including Glastonbury, T In The Park, Benicassim, Parklife and Pukkelpop. Anu has also released Freeform Five’s debut album ‘Strangest Things’ on Atlantic records, two massive DJ mix albums, ‘Bisous Bisous II’ & ‘Misch Masch’ and contributed to several of Kitsuné’s genre defining compilations.
Following a relentless touring schedule, Anu decided to take a break from Freeform Five a few years back to concentrate on writing, producing & remixing for the likes of Ladyhawke, Santigold, William Orbit, Eve, Lana Del Rey, Deadmau5, Little Boots and Roisin Murphy amongst others. He also set up boundary-pushing label Perspex Recordings with releases from Chicago legend Derrick Carter, French rockers Poney Poney /Jamaica (produced by Xavier from Justice) and Swedish auteur ‘The Subliminal Kid’ (producer of Fever Ray & Matthew Dear) along with remixes by like minded friends such as Gabriel Ananda, Riton, Tomboy & Riva Starr.
Anu has always thought outside the box. His remix of Isolee's 'Beau Mot Plage' redefined the art of remixing, juxtaposing the micro synthesis of the original with intricate Afro & Latin polyrhythms, creating a bona-fide house music classic. Remixes of Llorca's "Indigo Blues" and Isolee's "Brazil.com" fused west African kora, Indian orchestrations and classical harp within a house music template and on the Freeform Five track 'Eeeeaaooww' he merged disco licks with Bounty Killer's dancehall patois.
Anu returned to the scene by collaborating with Gambian griot and master musician Juldeh Camara (a member of Robert Plant's Sensational Space Shifters band) for "Weltareh" on Eskimo recordings. He also hooked up with Berlin's white hot Exploited crew for the jacking pure analog "Brandy Alexander." And now on "Leviathan" he teams up with the legendary Roisin Murphy for an exercise in irresistible vocal power and anthemic feel good house.
Tom Trago, Compuphonic and Cage & Aviary join the the stellar list of super talented artists who've been invited to remix Freeform Five tracks (following on from Tiefschwarz, Radioslave, Alter Ego, Lindstrom, Mylo, M.A.N.D.Y, Switch, Ewan Pearson, Jackson & His Computer Band, Prins Thomas and Maurice Fulton to name a few) along with a stunning re-work from Anu himself.
Freeform Five’s playlists