moana

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BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Moana and the Tribe: Wha (Black Pearl/Ode)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Moana and the Tribe: Wha (Black Pearl/Ode)

Across her previous three albums Moana Maniapoto confirmed her status as one of New Zealand's most significant voices whose sound could just as comfortably incorporate politics and culture as seduce with her flowing lyrics in te reo and her astute ear for using the traditional within a contemporary context. This album might lack the...

Maisey Rika: Tohu (Moonlight Sounds)

Maisey Rika: Tohu (Moonlight Sounds)

This debut album introduces an impressive singer-songwriter who manages to be expressive without resorting to the cliches of the faux-soul yodel which has infected many in the post-Whitney/Idol generation. Rika keeps the melodies close and constrained and the result is her nakedly emotional lyrics have even more impact. That Room is far...

MOANA MANIAPOTO INTERVIEWED (2003): Kia kaha with a backbeat

MOANA MANIAPOTO INTERVIEWED (2003): Kia kaha with a backbeat

The view from Moana Maniapoto's Grey Lynn apartment is spectacular. Beyond huge windows, which can be flung wide to offer the impression of floor-to-ceiling sky is a vista across rooftops to the Waitemata Harbour beyond. Outside the front door is a pile of kids' basketball boots - the carpets have just been shampooed - and inside...

Te Vaka: Haoloto (Spirit of Play)

Te Vaka: Haoloto (Spirit of Play)

If the shadow of climate change has hung over previous albums by award-winning Te Vaka -- a pan-Pacific group (leader Opetaia Foa’i was born in Samoa, has family ties to endangered Tuvalu and grew up in Auckland‘s Tokelau community) -- then it is hard to hear some of this, their sixth album, without thinking of last year’s...

WAI INTERVIEWED (2000): One hundred percent te reo to the future

WAI INTERVIEWED (2000): One hundred percent te reo to the future

Maaka McGregor has had a good day. In Auckland for a week from his home in Titahi Bay and talking up the Wai 100% album he has recorded with his partner Wai (aka Mina) Ripia, he's just come from Mai FM. His pitch met with a positive, if unpublishably enthusiastic, response from programme director Manu Taylor. A good day. McGregor is...

TRINITY ROOTS REMEMBERED (2005): Spirit in the dark, and light

TRINITY ROOTS REMEMBERED (2005): Spirit in the dark, and light

What set Trinity Roots (1998-2005) apart for me was their musical subtlety, the nuanced way they moved from what we might call roots folk and reggae through elements of waiata, jazz and pop to create something which was at times indefinably about this country right now, yet also possessed a timelessness, as if it could have been written and sung...

DALVANIUS PRIME REMEMBERED (2002): from little things, big things grow

DALVANIUS PRIME REMEMBERED (2002): from little things, big things grow

It's a fair if not entirely original observation that the late Dalvanius Prime made an immediate impression. I'll never forget the day we shook hands in Patea. The big man was, typically, wearing his body-hugging pink tracksuit. Back at his modest, almost alarmingly small home he showed me his memorabilia and treasures, and was...

Wai: Ora (Wai/Jayrem)

Wai: Ora (Wai/Jayrem)

When the debut album, 100%, by Maaka McGregor and Mina Ripia (aka Wai) was released in 2000 (see here) it was hailed as a ground-breaking event for its deft blend of te reo (Maori language) and electronica. Yet in many ways the musical landscape had been laid by the likes of Dalvanius with Patea Maori, and then Moana who had also sung in te...

DEAN HAPETA'S 2002 UPPER HUTT POSSE REMIXES: Say The Word, and you'll be freed

DEAN HAPETA'S 2002 UPPER HUTT POSSE REMIXES: Say The Word, and you'll be freed

Dean Hapeta was the mainman in the Upper Hutt Posse (which also included singer-songwriter Emma Paki), the group which recorded the first New Zealand rap single E Tu in 1988. It was a powerful (if thin-sounding) statement of Maori anger and unashamedly used te reo (the Maori language) to strident effect. See lyrics below. Hapeta - as Te...

Upper Hutt Posse: Tohe (Kia Kaha)

Upper Hutt Posse: Tohe (Kia Kaha)

For quite a while it seemed that the seminal Aotearoa/New Zealand hip-hop outfit Upper Hutt Posse might have been reduced down to Dean Hapeta, who was actually appearing under the name Te Kupu (aka The Word). But here, on an album which kicks along on the back of staccato, minimalist dubstep beats and huge reggae style bass, the Posse are...

TrinityRoots: Music is Choice (Rhythmethod CD/DVD)

TrinityRoots: Music is Choice (Rhythmethod CD/DVD)

There was good news for Flight of the Conchords fans this week: Jemaine Clement confirmed, yet again, there wouldn't be another series. Strange as that sounds, some things are so perfectly formed they are best left alone: Fawlty Towers and the English version of The Office . . . or the never-ending Lost and drearily drawn out V?...

Emma Paki: Trinity (Heartmusic)

Emma Paki: Trinity (Heartmusic)

It has been an astonishing decade and a half (and a bit) since Emma Paki's remarkable System Virtue, Greenstone and her debut album Oxygen of Love. And since then mostly silence on the recording front. And she's in no hurry to rush back, this EP is just three songs in acoustic versions (two produced by Bic Runga), then mixed and remixed by...

RICHARD NUNNS INTERVIEWED (2003): The questions are blowing in the wind

RICHARD NUNNS INTERVIEWED (2003): The questions are blowing in the wind

The late Hirini Melbourne, who died of cancer in January '03 aged 53, opened a window on the past which has allowed others to see a future. Through his work with fellow musicologist Richard Nunns, Melbourne -- of Tuhoe and Ngati Kahungunu descent -- brought traditional Maori instruments back into the spotlight through performance, teaching...

Whirimako Black: The Late Night Plays (Ode)

Whirimako Black: The Late Night Plays (Ode)

Five years ago Whirimako Black received the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Maori music. Yet for some reason – because her albums have been in Maori perhaps? – she has rarely captured mainstream attention. Her decade-long recording career began with immediate acclaim (her debut Hine Pukohurangi won best...

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