11 August 2007

Te Vaka's new Olatia (CD Review)

Te Vaka: Olatia
(Spirit of Play)

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Polynesian culture has a musical champion in Opetaia Foa'i, leader of the New Zealand based Te Vaka. He dedicates this new collection to those Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Samoan leaders fighting for island sovereignty and cultural preservation. Musically, it's what we've come to expect from the group: songs about indigenous culture backed by melodic vocals, haka-fueled chants, and log-drum percussion.

The 13 tracks include the percussion-heavy "Lua Afe" (sample), written to inspire the famous All Blacks rugby team to victory; "Mataliki / Little Stars" (sample), a tribute to the first recognized Maori pre-school; and the multi-lingual Greenpeace-commissioned environmental plea "Our Ocean" (sample). A solid addition for anyone who loves Polynesian/Maori music.

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