29 Nov 2020

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Troy Kingi - Album Review: Holy Colony Burning Acres

23 Jul 2019 // A review by Jason Peters

The third instalment of Troy Kingi’s 10/10/10 challenge has arrived (ten albums in ten genres over ten years) Holy Colony Burning Acres delves into the dark corners of worldly indigenous issues and politics, following in the footsteps of NZ’s politically charged Herbs and infused with empathetic Marley inspired consciousness. Troy has not only drawn upon issues that affect Maori in his homeland but broadened the narrative palette to include stories and challenges from his indigenous friends globally as well.

70’s-styled deep roots and reggae is the flavour on this album, with tinges of dub and funk thrown in for good measure. Troy's band The Upperclass are tight, focused and on point with their playing and combined with crisp studio production they provide a solid base for this cake with Troy adding his sweet icing in the form of soulful and thought provoking vocals and lyrics throughout.

Holy Colony Burning Acres kicks off with a Te Reo intro that bleeds into first track Ethiopia, an upbeat pop reggae tune with tripped out dub flourishes, with Troy’s silky soulful vocals added to the mix this is a great opener.

Colour Of My Skin follows a similar vibe but with brass introduced throughout, super tight playing over a choice reggae groove, featuring luscious backing vocal harmonies that cascade under and around the main vocal this song hits the spot.

Pseudo Ego kicks off with a funky bass groove over sparse reverb piano, shades of dub permeate a tight but laidback beat on this one. Born Of This Earth is slower reggae tune with sweet soulful flourishes throughout, and with the thought provoking chorus lyric “You were born of this earth so how can you be a refugee no, love for one, for all” Troy really hits the nail on the head.

Mighty Invader picks up the pace again with a very cool bass line, infused with brass and luscious backing vocals I dig the funk vibe on this one and I'm sure this track will go off live too.

Other stand out tracks are first single Babylon Grows, First Nation and How Much Fruit? featuring talented MC Melodownz.

Album closer Truganini is a soulful spiritual lullaby that celebrates the life of the woman and her struggles and enduring strength, she was believed to be the last full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmanian. With light as a feather barely there drums this one has a Trinity Roots vibe and it’s a great way to close out this ambitious album.

If high quality conscious reggae/roots/dub/ infused with funk and soul is your cup of tea then this album will definitely be your top flavour. I’m very impressed with this album. Troy and his collaborators have crafted a tight, very well produced album that shines a light on many of the issues that face indigenous cultures at home and abroad without overtly preaching those points of view. Troy is acting as conduit to tell these heartbreaking stories with integrity and passion, and when his music is sourced from the well of honesty and truth then he can do no wrong.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Troy Kingi

Bay of Islands-based musician/actor Troy Kingi has embarked on an eventful few years with major acting roles in Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Pa Boys, Mt Zion and The Kick, while also enjoying a successful music career. Troy Kingi was nominated for an APRA Silver Scroll last year and earned Vodafone Music Awards for Best NZ Soul Artist and Best Maori Artist in 2018. His side project, collaborative soul band L(())VE & HOPE also received rave reviews but Troy's most recent offering is his politically charged roots/reggae record, Holy Colony Burning Acres.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Troy Kingi


The Ghost of Freddie Cesar
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Holy Colony Burning Acres
Year: 2019
Type: Album

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