HIRINI MELBOURNE & RICHARD NUNNS: Te Ku Te Whe
By Martyn Pepperell
Literally translating into ‘The Woven Mat Of Sound’, this Rattle Records 20th anniversary reissue remains, even 17 years after release, a spellbinding, and impressively, gold sales certified listening experience. Over 44 minutes and 35 seconds these two titans of local art music conduct an impressionistic voyage through the naturalistic landscape of Aotearoa. Songs archived here flutter and chip like a wander through a forest drenched in bird song. Others whistle and whine just as the wind screeches across mountain ranges, or bubble and pop, splashing between sandy beaches and ocean seas. Melbourne and Nunns achieve these haunted narratives through use of an extensive range of taonga puoro and te reo Maori voice (as the title suggests), woven together like a flax craftwork. For those seeking a truly experimental and local fringe sound; look no further than this valuable re-issue.