Dr Boondigga and The Big Bw

Dr Boondigga and The Big Bw

This Maori/Samoan/New Zealander band claims influences as diverse as highlife, Berlin techno, and bhangra, but what their music sounds like most consistently is a strangely modern and soulful version of jazzy reggae

Artist: Fat Freddy's Drop

Genre: Dub

Label: The Drop

Release date:


Lead singer Dallas Tamaira (aka Joe Dukie) has an airy, soulful voice that sometimes comes across like a more nimble version of Roland Gift's falsetto, while the band can shift with equal agility between house, dancehall, funk, and one-drop grooves, sometimes within a single track. "The Nod," for example, starts out in a slowly chugging one-drop reggae mode before a lovely trombone solo heralds a segue into a New Orleans second-line funeral jazz interlude; "Big BW," on the other hand, juxtaposes a dark and bumping club groove with light soul-jazz vocals. "Pull the Catch" is straight-up funky dancehall, while "Shiverman" slowly builds a strong house beat beneath a chestier and more robust vocal -- it's a great sound, but at over ten minutes, the song is too long by half. It's hard to understand why the band chose to end the album with the relatively enervated and pedestrian reggae-soul of "Breakthrough," but overall this album is a hoot and a triumph.

About the artist

Fat Freddy's Drop is a New Zealand seven-piece band from Wellington, whose musical style has been characterised as any combination of dub, reggae, soul, jazz, rhythm and blues, and techno.

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