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Reviewed by Jamie McCaskill

Whāia and the Māhician: Whāia

Reviewed by Jamie McCaskill

Whāia and the Māhician: Whāia

Listening to Whāia I heard whakaako ora passed down from generation to generation, through whakapapa. And a picture of how Māori moved in the world pre-contact and how everyone can apply those teachings in our modern world. Each song has a message or story radiating positivity and hope. He mārino tēnei. The album is 15 years in the making, featuring a host of musicians offering haka, ukulele, saxophone and Rhodes. Different genres and influences show up from track to track, starting with a reggae-type feel, mixed with country and folk. Kōrero I Te Reo has a heavy arrangement with a driving bass, a bit of distortion and some rock licks. Then we experience beautiful ballads plus ’80s funk mixed with a bit of Motown and a sunny song with an Island feel. Presented all in te reo Māori, Lois McIver‘s vocals are smooth and clear with lovely rhythms in the lyrics. Leyton Geening compliments with his beats and synth and is obviously a huge influence on the album. It is a pleasure to listen to te reo in these different genres. Dick Reade, the engineer and co-producer (as well as mixing and mastering) has been with the project from the beginning. Artwork design is by Huia Hamon and McIver. Whāia and the Māhician have released a well-balanced album with good vibes, positivity and a sprinkle of poūri. Mīharo.