TE VAKA: Havili
By Amanda Mills
Te Vaka are truly an institution in contemporary South Pacific music scene and with six albums under their collective belt, the group have a reputation for mixing authentic indigenous sounds with modern sonic touches. Having relocated to Australia, their seventh album ‘Havili’ shows Te Vaka in a more organic state. They have stripped back their sound, with acoustic guitar, log drums and vocal harmonies the focus – though still backed by a full band. There is a live feel to this recording, especially evident on the vibrant, dynamic log drumming track Vevela and the evocative didgeridoo in Luga Ma Lalo. The band once again meld Pacific sounds with Western popular music styles and the result is a collection of material that embraces pan-cultural music forms, with Lovely World being a good example. The high quality sound of reflects the studios it was recorded in (301 in Sydney and Roundhead in Auckland), and the people involved in the production and sound engineering process including Manase Foa’i, Neil Baldock, and Benjamin Knapp. Another good addition to Te Vaka’s catalogue.