Now they are dreams :: VOTD

Doot-Doot :: Freur
from the album, Doot-Doot

Doot-Doot is the title track from the 1983 album of the same name, from Freur.

Freur was a band featuring Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, who went on to form the successful electronic act Underworld. It was their second band, following their art school collaboration, The Screen Gemz.

The band was formed in the early 1980’s in Cardiff, Wales by Hyde, Smith and Alfie Thomas. It originally had only a graphic ‘squiggle‘ for a name. In 1983, after recruiting John Warwicker and drummer Bryn Burrows (formerly of the Fabulous Poodles), they got a recording contract with CBS Records. As the label insisted on a pronounceable name, the band made the compromise that the squiggle was pronounced Freur.

Their first and only hit single (# 59 in the UK Singles Chart), was Doot-Doot. It was recorded and co-produced by Alex Burak at The Point studio in London, which was controlled by Rupert Merton of Point Music publishing. Merton (who also had an early version of the Thompson Twins on his roster of artists) signed Freur.

The band released five further tracks after Doot-Doot, between 1983 and 1985: Matters of the Heart, Runaway, Riders in the Night, The Devil and Darkness and Look in the Back for Answers. All failed to dent the UK chart.

Freur released two albums: Doot-Doot (1983) and Get Us out of Here (1986). The second LP was only released in Germany and theNetherlands. Freur also composed and performed the soundtrack to the movie Underworld (aka Transmutations), written by Clive Barker. Warwicker left the band in 1986 and Freur went into recess.

In 1987, Hyde, Smith, Thomas and Burrows, along with bassist Baz Allen signed to Sire Records under a new name, Underworld, and found some success with the single Underneath the Radar (1988) (it peaked in Australia at # 5), before initially folding in 1990, re-forming in 1991 under the same name as the successful dance and electronica act responsible for a number of well received albums and the 1996 hit single Born Slippy .NUXX.

The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles would list Freur under the symbol, with the translation by the side, until the late 1990’s. John Warwicker is a video artist in the graphic design collective Tomato, whose founders include Hyde and Smith. Doot Doot has been used in Vanilla SkyValley Girls, a second season episode of Gossip Girl, and in the 2009 US ad campaign for the Palm Presmartphone. Most recently it can be heard in the movie Let Me In (released October 1, 2010 in the US) from a tape player in the basement scene.

Editor’s Note: This song will always remind me of a very early morning at the end of the Summer of 1989, driving around with a boy who was sometimes mine, or I was sometimes his. We were driving aimlessly, not wanting to give in to the end of an evening, and not quite ready to let each other go. He was in the passenger seat with my case of mixed tapes, shuffling them in and out of the player trying to find “the song“. That morning, as the sun started to come up over Los Angeles, this was “the song” playing as we kissed. There were others, too, but this one is so entwined with the moment, with us together, that it is now synonymous with that boy and that kiss and the drive up the hills above Sunset Boulevard, to me. The memories evoked whilst I listen to the song, they play like a dream now.


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