Freddie Cruger

Soul Search

Freddie Cruger is a Swedish producer and DJ who operates among the dirty funk/nu-jazz crowd. Through much of this decade, he's issued 12-inches under his name and pseudonyms such as Red Astaire and 3 Foot People. He grew popular enough to snare a deal with popular U.K. dance imprint Tru Thoughts (Quantic, Alice Russell), and equally noteworthy L.A. label Ubiquity licensed his resulting Soul Search for release in the States. On the album, Cruger mostly retreats into the shadows to produce artists such as Atlanta's Anthony David ("New World New Time") and Jamaican singer Desmond Foster ("Something Good"). At best, his backdrops float from bleedy-eyed rocksteady ("Running from Love" with Swedish rapper ADL) to po-faced nu-soul ("Pretty Little Thing" with Scandinavian singer Linn). Soul Search is a compilation of songs with no connection beyond Cruger's talents. There's nothing revelatory here, but it has a few modest delights. 3 stars

Freddie Cruger plays Halo Lounge Sat., Dec. 9