Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: The Black Seeds, Dust and Dirt

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The Black Seeds. Photo / Supplied
The Black Seeds. Photo / Supplied

For some reason the phrase "'barbecue reggae" has taken on a derogatory tone here over the past few years, as if music which would be pleasing to listen to while sizzling up some steak is no longer so worthy of our attention.

Which is odd, because music that complements the relaxed and optimistic mood one often finds oneself in while barbecuing is a jolly good idea.

So the off-beat strumming, shining horn lines, funky synths and comfortable grooves that The Black Seeds purvey so very well, should always be welcome in the kitchen/on the deck.

That's not to say this new album from this well-established Wellington crew (the first in nearly four years) is only for barbecuing to. While it kicks off with spacey-bassey, down-tempo, synth-driven Out of Light, Wide Open is a harder-edged, darker, funk tune, while Don't Turn Around has a great squelchy 90s disco house vibe.

Loose Cartilage is a highlight with a crackin' bluesy guitar jam that wouldn't be out of place on a Americana rock record.

Musicianship is one of the seven-piece's strengths, and they've played to that this time around, with more minimal vocals and beautifully tempered instrumental sections. The less vocal emphasis, the better the tracks are.

There's a lovely old-school 70s' vibe to many of the rhythm and horn sections, and they've combined that with more adventurous, futuristic, dirtier synth and percussion.

The Black Seeds
Dust and Dirt

Verdict: Tasty grooves with some fresh touches on fifth album.
Buy this album here.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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