Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Black Seeds - The new UB40?

And I mean that in a good way.

It is my humble opinion that this 7-piece from Wellington, NZ have what it takes to become one of the biggest and most popular reggae bands in the world. They have a sound and a vibe that is very reminiscent of UB40 yet is distinctly unique to New Zealand. They have mined a successful formula through three albums packed with infectious reggae beats, smooth melodies and singalong lyrics, all wrapped up in a warm blanket of pop, rock and dub sensibilities.

Formed in 1998, The Black Seeds fuse dub, reggae and funk sounds to form a unique musical "party" sound. They usually perform with ten members, with instruments including vocals, guitar, saxophone, trumpet, bass, drums, bongos, keyboard, woodblock and more. The Black Seeds' lead singer Barnaby Weir is also the mastermind behind the sideproject Flash Harry, and band member Bret McKenzie is also a member of international award-winning comedy duo Flight of the Conchords

The bands most recent album Into The Dojo has been on regular rotation on my iPod. According to UK Reggae Guide " ‘Into The Dojo’ blends traditional roots sound with hints of funk, soul and sun-kissed grooves to create an impressive album worthy of note. The opening track ‘Cool Me Down’ sets the tone, with its smooth production, effortless swagger and beautiful summer vibe. ‘Way The World’ is an outstanding track. The muted and imposing horns make this track; they wash over you, creating a stirring sense of happiness. There are many remarkable tracks on this release, my promo copy has a few missing for some reason, however cuts like ‘Got a Girl’ just ooze style and class, with its slow, down-tempo beat, just perfect for chilling to on a sun-soaked summer day. ‘The Prince’ is another instant winner, a hypnotic dub-wise cut with huge depth and intensity. ‘Sometimes Enough’ rides a more funky reggae riddim, which skanks along at a fine head-nodding pace, again utilising some serious horn playing."

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