Artist: Paddy Free
Title: Paddy Free in Dub
Label: Dubmission Records
Released: 1st April
Back in 2008 Paddy released 'Karekare: Te Reo O Te Whenua' an album which differed from his previous digital dub releases as one half of Pitch Black, instead placing the focus on the traditional Maori music of his native New Zealand. Personally, I really brought into the tribal yet chilled sound that arose from this project. He continued this concept further teaming up with Richard Nunns and Horomona Horo and forming the group Nga Tae, who fused the traditional Maori music with electronica. Additionally, he produced the album and toured worldwide with Moana & the Tribe who fuse reggae and dance with their traditional music. Eight years on Paddy re-visits some of the tracks composed with the aforementioned groups utilising the dub techniques previously heard on Pitch Black releases.
I'm going to split the album into two sections and start with the first of four Moana & The Tribe numbers. The first track a short piece entitled 'House of Strife' begins with horns and vocal harmonies in a stereotypical Reggae style and to be frank I wouldn't have associated this as Maori music if I wasn't in the know. This is followed by the lengthier & dubbier 'Rangatahi' which displays much more of a Pitch Black vibe with Moana's vocal chorus dipping into dub. The Maori sound becomes more apparent with the use of shells and the language with 'Upokohue' and the mixture of beautiful vocals tones and spacey dubbed synth sounds really hit the spot for me. The final Moana track 'The Whole World's Watching' begins somewhat like a dubbed out soulful gospel number transcending into a more percussive dub reggae vibe followed by some wonderful horn sections.
The second section comprises three tracks by Nga Tae the first 'Orohanga' is a slow paced dreamy electro-dub with occasional chimes and masculine Maori spoken word. The snail pace trend continues with 'Star Waka' however, the bass frequency gets lower nestled alongside the haunting flute like sounds which I imagine are again created with shells and spoken word. The pace picks up with 'Whanau Puhi' which once again features those haunting shell sounds dubbed out to maximum effect.
Review by Woodzee