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From New Zealand
Smouldering and soulful dub visionaries
There's almost 8,000 miles between Wellington, New Zealand and the Jamaican capital of Kingston, but when you hear the music of Kiwis Fat Freddys Drop, you'd swear this seven-piece lived no further away than a neighbouring island. That spacey, heavy dub sound is their sonic backbone, despite, rather curiously, the absence of a bass player in their line-up. It's just one reason why they can't be accused of merely reproducing carbon copies of the original Jamdown sound - there's also a discernible hip-hop/B-Boy flavour at work, along with a huge slice of soul (indeed, they refer to themselves as "the South Pacific soul monster"). Forming a decade ago, it wasn't until they cut their first studio album six years later that the band made waves beyond the Pacific Rim, the record being named 2005's best album by listeners to Gilles Peterson's Worldwide radio show. And as excellent as the records are, the live show's even better.
(Biography by Nige Tassell and Image by Kerry Brown)