Haoloto (Warm Earth Records WMCD1008, 2009)
Haolotois the sixth release by South Pacific fusion band Te Vaka. The group’s leader is Opetaia Foa’i, who is the main vocalist of the group and songwriter as well. Opetaia Foa’i has deep roots in the South Pacific. He is half Tokelauan, half Tuvaluan, and was born in Samoa. He was brought up in a Tokelauan community in New Zealand and now lives in Australia. Accompanied by a group of exceptional musicians from diverse backgrounds, Opetaia Foa’i has turned Te Vaka into the finest South Pacific roots band. Those musical roots come from various islands in the area, including Tokelau, Tuvalu, Samoa, the Cook Islands and New Zealand’s Maori and European cultures.
The 15 tracks on the album include a captivating mixture of South Pacific fusion, pop songs and spectacular percussive pieces using various types of drums: pate liki (rhythm log drum), pate toa (double log drums) and p’au malu (goatskin bass drum). “This album has been the most challenging and most satisfying of all the Te Vaka albums,” said Opetaia Foa’i. “Once the canoe got rolling with all on board there was a feeling that we were heading for somewhere special.”
Haoloto fizzes with energy. It is an impressive recording by one of the most significant acts in the South Pacific area.
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