Apanui: Matariki (Frequency)

 |   |  <1 min read

Apanui: Ko Ko/Call Call
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 an electro-thump call for everyone to support the revitalisation of the language, lopes into a reggae-driven and timely celebration of Matariki (many could do with a new year about now) and thereafter weaves originals and familiar melodies (including a Pacific-reggae Pokarekare Ana) into a tapestry of contemporary and traditional songs about family and the broader culture.

Sometimes this is spare and moving (Te Marama which is just his chant-like voice over percussion, and Tena ra te Ara about the genealogy of his youngest daughter) and at others the songs are embellished with a full band (his spring-heeled rhythm and electric guitar interpretation of the Te Marama story).

Not the strongest of singers, Apanui still conveys deep emotion – especially on the short solo tracks and Ko Ko, which is a tribute to the resilience of Maori.

The moving ballad Tukua/Surrender (about the needless loss of young men on East Coast over the years) and the tribute to his mother are the standouts.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Dodson and Fogg: Roaming (wisdomtwinsbooks)

Dodson and Fogg: Roaming (wisdomtwinsbooks)

Elsewhere always tries to lend an ear to anything by the very prolific Chris Wade who records as Dodson and Fogg. But he releases such a steady stream of interesting folk-rock from his home in... > Read more

Neil Young: Hitchhiker (Warners)

Neil Young: Hitchhiker (Warners)

In a recent issue of Uncut, a diligent writer Tyler Wilcox looked at the “Lost Albums of Neil Young” and pieced together the track listings for nine albums Young recorded but never... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BOB MARLEY REMEMBERED IN NEW ZEALAND (2009): The symmetry of commemorations

BOB MARLEY REMEMBERED IN NEW ZEALAND (2009): The symmetry of commemorations

Summertime in the late Nineties and I am walking in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Around the corner come two Maori guys who greet me with eyebrow flashes and a hefty, "Kia ora."... > Read more

The Beatles: Carnival of Light, perhaps (1967)

The Beatles: Carnival of Light, perhaps (1967)

Even more than the 10 minute version of Revolution (below), the most sought-after and obscure Beatles track is the so-far unreleased Carnival of Light, a free-form instrumental which was recorded... > Read more