Berlin DJ DANIEL W. BEST, who, with his booking agency Best Works is a long running companion of JAZZANOVA and Sonar Kollekiv, has an impeccable musical intuition and aptitude for spotting talent.
For some time now his label Best Seven has concerned itself with the interface between soul and reggae and so far has offered artists such as EVA BE, KABUKI, FROST & WAGNER and CHAKA DOMU aka DOMINIC STANTON aka DOMU aka UMOD a home. Furthermore, BEST heightened the label’s profile with the two Best Seven Selections compilations (SBCD0005
) two impressively well rounded collections.
With early releases that became underground hits such as Midnight Marauders by JOE DUKIE and DJ FITCHIE (behind which is none other than DALLAS TAMAIRA and CHRIS FAIMUMU - singer and producer of New Zealand reggae superstars FAT FREDDYS DROP), BEST has made his contribution to the worldwide popularity of the New Zealand collective. Their development reached its high point when the FFD album Based On A True Story (licensed by Sonar Kollektiv) received the honored Album Of The Year’ title at GILLES PETERSON’S Worldwide Music Awards in late 2005.
Similar to FAT FREDDYS DROP, THE BLACK SEEDS are already superstars in their home country of New Zealand. The eight piece band, who have been active for nearly 10 years, have gold and double platinum status at home. Finally with the release of their third album Into The Dojo in summer 2006, it's now time to introduce THE BLACK SEEDS, through Best Seven and Sonar Kollektiv, to people here as well.
While THE BLACK SEEDS pass as a real pop band in their home country - you only have to look at the sales figures, they speak for themselves - for most people they will be something rather special, something for the musical connoisseur.
Where as FAT FREDDYS DROP are much more rare groove and soul orientated, the BLACK SEEDS on the other hand present a "classical" reggae sound with genre defining milestones throughout. Although the first two albums have a much stronger 80s sound, their new work Into The Dojo, sounds much more modern, elegant and contemporary. Completely freed from any musical clichés THE BLACK SEEDS have now left behind the somewhat cool sound aesthetic of past decades and opened up a much earthier style. It’s a style that focuses on hypnotic repetition and even makes room for distortion but without losing the core of THE BLACK SEEDS sound - pop songs with and almost hymn-like character.
In 2006 Best Seven released the BLACK SEEDS EP (SB7018
), an excerpt with four tracks taken from Into The Dojo. The song The Answer is also one of the highlights on Best Seven Selections Vol. 2 with such lyrical intensity and the longing mantra Don’t be so cold...!’. It’s a huge tune, which in all its melancholic depth is a perfect example of THE BLACK SEEDS other side; they're not just about light pop music but also telling highly emotional stories through the power of a tight live band.
Dub instrumentals such as The Prince also provide an excellent calling card for the band. Again to compare them with FAT FREDDY’S DROP, the band posses an incredibly coherent and ripe style that makes them a name well worth remembering. These guys are sure to gain an enthusiastic response from fans far beyond their home in New Zealand.