wai

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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?...

Eru Dangerspiel: Great News for Modern Man (Loop)

Eru Dangerspiel: Great News for Modern Man (Loop)

The Eru Dangerspiel rock'n'rolling caravan of soul, funk, reggae and more is helmed by Riki Gooch, formerly of TrinityRoots and here, recorded live at the Auckland Town Hall in August '09, the whole huge ensemble invited you to "leave your shit at the door" and get down with their good time grooves. With an extraordinary line-up of...

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...

Various Artists: Ihimaera (Universal)

Various Artists: Ihimaera (Universal)

Following the successful projects setting the poems of New Zealand writers James K Baxter and Hone Tuwhare to music comes this, the words of writer Witi Ihimaera getting musical adaptation by the likes of Warren Maxwell (of Trinity Roots), LA Mitchell, King Kapisi, Teremoana Rapley, Charlotte Yates (prime mover behind these projects) and others....

Apanui: Matariki (Frequency)

Apanui: Matariki (Frequency)

Ngahiwi Apanui, formerly of the seminal reggae band Aotearoa, was in the vanguard of the use of taonga puoro (traditional instruments) with his autobiographical solo album Te hono ke te Kainga/The Link with the Homeland in '89 which also brought in reggae and folk. A staunch advocate of te reo and cultural pride, he opens this album with...

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