Giving new meaning to the term "Highly Anticipated", the fact that this album went Gold the day it was released speaks volumes about the significance of this record and band behind it. No introductions are required here, Fat Freddy's have been wowing audiences here and abroad for the last seven years, up until now teasing us with the odd compilation appearance, a live recording here and there, and a handful of limited vinyl singles, which are quickly snapped up. But, after many delays, the wait is over - Fat Freddy's debut studio long-player is finally here!
"Based on a True Story" reveals DJ Fitchie (Mu) as the phat controller, directing the traffic from behind his MPC2000 sampler and ever-present space-echo. The well-loved and iconic Wellington musician produced and recorded "Based on a True Story" in the basement of his house, The Drop HQ and just footsteps from Wellington's Lyall Bay beach. If Fitchie is the brains of the operation, sublime vocalist Joe Dukie (Dallas Tamaira) is the heart and most definitely the soul. On "Ray Ray", Dukie asks us "What's the world with no soul?" The answer is that as long as he keeps singing there'll be plenty to go around. Rounding out Fat Freddy's sound is Jetlag Johnson (Tehimana Kerr) with his old school reggae guitar skank; analog keyboard scientist Dobie Blaze (Iain Gordon from Ebb) laying down the funk; and the booty shaking horn section made up of Fulla Flash (Warryn Maxwell from TrinityRoots) on saxophone, Hopepa (Joe Lindsay) on trombone & Tony Chang (Toby Laing from Black Seeds) as resident trumpet maestro.
As well as the core seven members of the group, other familiar players in the Aotearoa music scene drop in and throw their talents into the mix. TrinityRoots' Riki Gooch and Rio Hemopo add some organic beats and bass while Hollie Smith, Ladi 6, and P Digsss (of Shapeshifter fame) lend their considerable vocal talents and Aaron Tokona (guitarist for Weta and pre 'drop group Bongmaster) even pops in to jam with the bros.
Patient fans may think it seems a little lean with only 10 tracks but they not likely to be disappointed for long, as they discover within the running time of over an an hour, new versions of live favourites like 'This Room', and 'Ernie' (a.k.a 'Willow Tree'), alongside the recent sold out 12" 'Flashback' and six completely new tracks. A new, almost gospel version of "Hope", the song that introduced Fat Freddy’s back in '98 (on Radio Actives 21st birthday CD), is a enduring standout and a fitting closer for this truly outstanding album. Highly Recommended.