Soane: Tongan Chic
By Stephen Jewell
Like a good DJ set, the debut from top Auckland house DJ opens slowly with a series of instrumental house and jazz flavoured tracks which feature a bevy of our finest talent including Thisinformation's Isaac Aesili and T-son/ Newmatic's Benny Staples (percussion). Soane waits until the seventh track to drop his first vocal number, Boavida which features One Million Dollars' Brazilian Robson Santos performing a sexy sounding poem in his native tongue. The R&B-tinged Where Do We Go sung by Solidarity's Anthony Gold should see Soane crossing over into Mai FM territory. 'Tongan Chic's' first single, All I Need, a genius pairing of Boh Runga and former King Kapisi and House of Downtown rapper Feelstyle, combines hip hop beats with a rocky feel and catchy chorus to great effect. The best vocal track is the sublime, heartfelt Runaway sung by America-based, former Sistas Underground member, Hassanah Iroegbu. Credit is also due to co-producer/ engineer Luke Tomes, who has succeeded in getting his own personal stamp on the record, and renowned artist Denys Watkins (Soane's father in-law) who deserves to win an award for the excellent cover art. 'Tongan Chic' should prove to be one of the best New Zealand albums in any genre this year. So don't turn the other!