Ahoribuzz, the Aaron Tokona-fronted funk outfit currently on a mammoth NZ tour entitled Nation Of The State, are one of NZ's best acts. It doesn't take long to figure out why - just give their Facebook page a follow for Tokona's daily musings on the entertainment industry and life in NZ (sprinkled with 'whacups' and 'hoons' for good measure).
Ahoribuzz have the admiration of many well-known musos from Tokona's forays in other bands - Cairo Knife Fight, Fly My Pretties, Fat Freddy's Drop, their prototypeBongmaster and the long looming shadow of his rock group Weta ('Calling On, 'Got the Ju') - and though the Buzz has been on the back-burner lately, this latest release will place them firmly where they belong - on top, baby.
Into the Sunshine, a double EP, cobbles together four previously-released singles and their respective remixes and live versions. Though this is slightly disappointing for fans who've already bought the singles on iTunes, if anything, Sunshine is a great preview of and companion to the live show - an outlet where Tokona and his new bandmates truly shine.
Tokona, an eccentric, perma-pouting, axe wielding character who is the first to point out his flaws (again, check out that Facebook page for the rundown on John Key, Kim Kardashian and general Maoridom in 2015) is in his finest form with the funk. Each song is vastly different - bear in mind, this is more of a collection than cohesive album from songs dating back years - but luckily, they're mostly excellent.
‘Glitter in the Gutter', the band's first single from 2011, is a 10-minute jam that is quick cousins with anything from FFD's Live at the Matterhorn. Having been described as the 'Maori Hendrix', rather than 'Foxy Lady', this is far closer to 'Mother's Son', his playing strikingly similar to Curtis Mayfield - less vampy and bluesy; rather, a tone that is earthy, raw and beautifully flawed.
Opener ‘Turnaround' is the clear standout here, a mammoth nine-minute ‘Superstition'-esque stomp that contends for best NZ funk single of all time; up there with Sola Rosa's 'Turnaround' and Kora's 'Skankenstein'. Laughton Kora and Hollie Smith feature on ‘Sugar', a stylistic hodgepodge of disco Mars Volta dramatics that wins on eccentricity alone. ‘Providence' is pure excitement via electronic funk, whilst the title track, though slightly cloying in its lyrical content (which reminds me of OMC's ‘Land of Plenty'; not a bad thing), is triumphant in its classic rock-soul arrangement that gets better with each listen.
Special mention goes to the acoustic versions of the title track, featuring Anika Moa and Anna Coddington, and Sugar - moments of sweetness that let Tokona's vocals shine.
All in all, this is a strong release with quality songs made to play loud on Saturday nights/Sunday mornings. Ahoribuzz, phase one - success. Now for those live shows to show 'em what you're really made of, Tokona.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.