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

Greg Graffin: Cold As The Clay (Anti/Shock)

Greg Graffin: Cold As The Clay (Anti/Shock)

Okay, I'll admit it, I've never heard a note by Bad Religion, the band Graffin usually fronts (and which is regularly described as "punk" and had an album entitled Recipe For Hate).... > Read more

Cher: Closer to The Truth (Warners)

Cher: Closer to The Truth (Warners)

The prices Cherilyn Sarkisian paid on her way to becoming the iconic figure she is today were recounted in stark and moving detail in J. Randy Taraborrelli's biography Cher of '89. At the end... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO remembers the unique quality of Klaus Nomi

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO remembers the unique quality of Klaus Nomi

The transitional period between decades is always highly charged with the excitement of things to come, and nostalgia for an era coming to an end. The Seventies had their final burst of... > Read more

CLEO LAINE INTERVIEWED (2005): Ain't nothin' like a dame

CLEO LAINE INTERVIEWED (2005): Ain't nothin' like a dame

At 77 and with a career of almost six decades behind her, Cleo Laine admits she is slowing down a little. But not much. This year she is fully booked and that includes dates in Australia and... > Read more