Hawai‘i ’13 (Easy Star Records, 2013)
The great Hawaiian reggae band is back in 2013 with a new studio album titled Hawai‘i ’13.The band is characterized by its combination of roots reggae with radio friendly pop, dub, blues, R&B, funk and rock elements.
Hawai‘i ’13 was produced and engineered Danny Kalb, who is well known for his work with Ben Harper. “Danny was one of a few mixing engineers we had on our second album Ways & Means,” says guitarist and vocalist Zion Thompson. “We were really happy with his work on that project and his overall vibe seemed right so we asked him to be our main guy for this record and the results are pretty magical.”
Highlights on Hawai‘i ’13 include the vibrant bass-driven roots reggae pieces ‘Even Before’ and ‘Hold Me Tight’; and the keyboard-infused ‘Forgive Me.’
The title of the album, Hawai‘i ’13 has several meanings. “It’s also a reference to a song that we grew up with called “Hawai‘i ’78” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo‘ole,” clarifies Zion Thompson. “The song deals with the issues and ongoing conversations about the changes that have happened to our land and people. It questions how our ancestors would react to seeing things like over-crowding, technological advancements and unwanted industrial growth. Something that many people and cultures around the world can relate to, but is an ongoing issue to the people of Hawai‘i to this day and is still very fresh in our minds. On this record we wanted to encapsulate this push and pull feeling of both a connection to the past and a progression forward, all in one.”
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.