20 Essential NZ Releases
LORD ECHO 'Melodies'
LORD ECHO ‘Melodies’
Lord Echo review by Scott Kara for Time Out, NZ Herald (17th Feb, 2011)
Verdict: Black Seeds man reveals his diverse musical nous
Under the guise of Lord Echo, Mike Fabulous of the Black Seeds breaks out and shows he is made of much more than just head nodding, catchy reggae. And while there is the echo and shudder of pure dub emanating from this classy solo album, Melodies also encompasses everything from chinking loungey grooves, reggae house, wild and joyous Latin and Afro-jazz influences, and moments of stomping heaviness, while still maintaining a solid uniform
sound all of its own.
‘That’s Right’ is a marvel with its smooth Black Science Orchestra/Ashley Beedle saunter and groove to it, ‘Wang East’ is similar, only more pulsing, psychedelic and soulful, and ‘The Book Keeper’ is a sleepy reggae gem while six-minute skanker ‘Sword Cane’ is sweet, yet oddly surreal. The Latin and Afro moments come through on the cosmic, sax-driven ‘Miracle Dance’, and the percussive and brassy funk of ‘Terabu’. And while the electronic bird cheeps during ‘Honest I Do’ ruffle the ears a little they are inspired.
With many guests from the capital city, including Fat Freddys Drop member Toby Laing and Phoenix Foundation’s Will Ricketts, Melodies doesn’t do much to dispel the idea that there is no such thing as the Wellington sound because it’s Wellington through and through. It has that same soothing, friendly, and warming Fat Freddy’s Drop and Black Seeds vibe, only with more variety – and it’s fabulous stuff.