Newly signed to Dama Dama – the imprint founded by Maribou State in 2016 – are United Freedom Collective: an ever-expanding cast of musical artists and friends with a close-knit trio at its core. In late 2020, Mathieu Seynaeve and WaiFung Tsang, musicians as well as clinicians and researchers of psychedelic therapy, met up with music producer and yoga instructor Robbie Redway for a sound journey at a remote barn on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. The result was a set of tracks and practices that shaped the blueprint of what United Freedom Collective is now.
Debut single ‘Manifest Bliss’ sets out the stall for the band, a joyful clash of live instrumentation and electronic production: “‘Manifest Bliss’ started with a melody line Robbie wrote on a teak flute he picked up in India, just after he returned from a trip over there. It’s layered with percussion to give it a kind of chaotic, ecstatic feeling, similar to what you might get listening to Jungle and D&B,” says Mathieu. “WaiFung added his erhu (Chinese bow) with a counter melody to the flute, encompassing the broader sonic palate of United Freedom Collective: worldwide folkloric instruments coupled with pianos, guitars and synths. It was completed by some finishing touches with Liam Ivory in Maribou State’s London studio.”
The collective — with Robbie’s beachside studio in Margate at its heart — has blossomed and the sound has evolved into something wider than the imagination. Collectively drawing on the clinical work of Seynaeve and Tsang while also taking influence from worlds of Zen Taoism, Chinese plant medicines, Jungian analysis, headless way meditations, yoga, indigeneity, Amazonian and psychedelic cultures, icaros, worldwide healing traditions, the nature of birds & trees and Buddhism to name a few.
‘Manifest Bliss’ is released on Friday 22nd April on the Dama Dama label.