For the Love of Music

17 01 2007

Fat Freddy's Drop

By Derek Beres

New Zealand has been hot property for globetrotters over the past few years. While many give thanks to Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings trilogy for bringing commerce and attention to the country, numerous exports have been making their way across borders. In 2005 I was fortunate enough to DJ National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival, where numerous films by Maori filmmakers were shown, and a few months later I DJ’d NG photographer Chris Rainer‘s book release party for his beautiful Ancient Marks, focused on sacred tattooing around the world (and including a large number of tribal Maori models). In a country of four million, there is wealth of ceremony intact, though of course modernization is equally powerful.

Thus we find out about the music. In 2001 the emcee Baba Israel brought back a copy of Live at the Matterhorn for me, by a local gang of reggae-loving jamsters named Fat Freddy’s Drop. Four songs deep and over an hour long, I quickly fell in love with the band’s sound, as well as integrity. Vocalist Joe Dukie offered soulful harmonies amidst the gritty, textured layers of horns and dub, a trend that continued on their full-length debut Based on a True Story. Released in 2005 in New Zealand, that record broke all national sales records, holding the top spot on the charts longer than anyone prior. Nearly two years later a licensing deal with the progressive US label Quango is finally seeing FFD hit our shores. Set to drop on Feb 6, New Zealand makes another impact. Following is my review of the CD for XLR8R magazine, as well as their video for “Roady.”

Having broken New Zealand’s record for most weeks atop the sales chart, Based on a True Story finally reaches US shores. FFD, led by the soulful Joe Dukie, has tapped into an appealing form of bluesy, reggae-inspired seven-minute songs, rare when we consider popular music. The hypnotic swing of bass lines and keyboard stabs immediately draws the ear in. The further combination of live horns, a remarkable drummer and DJ round out a sound somewhere between Motown-era funk and modern soul. When Dukie poetically declares “We do it for the love of music” there’s no fiction in sight.




2 responses

26 03 2007

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16 08 2007
My Happy Kids

Thanks for sharing this information. Really is pack with new knowledge. Keep them coming.

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