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New Zealand reggae-soul hard hitters The Black Seeds return with their first offering in four years and with Dust And Dirt the group has taken a huge step forward, the likely result of being able to produce and record the album in the luxury of their own studio, in other words, having their own space has allowed them to be themselves. Therefore, we’re not just faced with another Kiwi roots-reggae record, it’s a reggae album that draws upon 70s Afrobeat, Motown soul and even surf rock for inspiration, although since the earliest days of the group they’ve been intent on pushing the boundaries of what reggae can achieve as a musical style. The album almost has a stadium feel to it with bright horns, booming drums and rocking guitar leads and riffage, however the warm vintage sounds along with subtle dubs and soulful vocal harmonies simmering underneath prevent the album from being a one dimensional piece. So once again the Black Seeds have upped their game and Dust And Dirt is a wonderful addition to a musical movement that New Zealanders are punching very highly above their weight in.

***1/2