A really grim listening experience, this. It's the fear that the tens of promotional CDs I've amassed might sound like this that has stopped me listening to them until the disciplines of Music Arcades forced me to. I've had relatively few of them to endure recently (in truth there are probably a few more of them than have been featured here, lying uncatalogued and unloved on my shelves), but this is a reminder of how little I will miss them. First in the bin next time we move house.
No reason you should remember, but we've been here before with Diesel, and I was wary then. My main interest this time, while listening through gritted ears, was to compare the artists' Last.fm plays with Freeness, to check whether I was right about the latter having got very few listens. Mostly I think I was. Of the eight artists on this CD for whom there are reliable figures, four have play counts in the thousands, two in the tens of thousands, and one in the hundred thousands. Only one band, The Klik Klik, have the sub-hundred figures that characterised a full three quarters of the Freeness acts.
One of the factors in Diesel's favour is that they've been doing this every year for several year: here's the partial history. Freeness was a one-off, and it's hard to get what I believe they call "traction" with a one-off.
The coup de grace for the brand sponsors is that The Klik Klik, who, to these ears, fully deserve their pitiful number of plays, were picked as one of the Diesel competition winners.