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Fat Freddy’s Drop - Dr. Boondigga and The Big BW

Released by The Drop

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

There is something to be said about taking your time, just ask Fat Freddy’s Drop. Though the New Zealand group was assembled in the late 90s, it has only released two albums.

After six years of touring, the group released its debut album, Based On A True Story in 2006. The album was the first independent record to debut at number one on the New Zealand charts, and sold more than 100,000 copies, garnering the group international attention. Now after three more years of touring, anxious fans have to wait no longer — the group’s sophomore album, Dr Boondigga and The Big BW is out now.

Fat Freddy’s Drops is a combination of reggae, soul, hip hop, and dub. The group is essentially a jam band consists of a brass section, DJ, guitarist, bassist, and a vocalist. On Dr Boondigga and The Big BW, like Based On A True Story, most of the tracks are at least five minutes long, giving enough time for songs to build, morph genres, and become mini jam sessions. Take the “The Nod,” which begins with a harmonica sample, and then fills with the horn section to create a funk march that progresses with the soulful vocals of Dallas Tamaira repeatedly singing, “Something is cooking in the kitchen tonight.” Mid-song there is a break with only a synthesizer segueing into a New Orleans brass band sound.

With “Shiverman” and “Wild Wind,” the band explores a drastically different sound with a faster tempo and dubbed-out beats. “Shiverman”, with thumping rhythms and repeating hooks asking to get loose, beckons to be played late into a club night as the sun is rising. Meanwhile, “Wild Wind,” might be my favorite song — it’s hard to choose — with an edgy drum pattern, and sinister dub beat.

Fat Freddy’s Drop is one of those rare groups that create music that is entirely incomparable, and completely irresistible. Dr Boondigga and The Big BW does not disappoint.