Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 11, 2003

Spaz release makes for hearty party fare

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

Dance hall mixers for the clubbers. Contemporary Hawaiian providing snapshots of island life. A compilation spiced with variety. That's the menu for this week.

"React for Him" by Kutmaster Spaz (Vaihi Records).

• Genre: Reggae, hip-hop, urban.

• Distinguishing notes: Kutmaster Spaz has emerged as one of the powerhouses and beacons of the deejay-remix genre. His rapping and resourceful blends of reggae and blues combined with harmonic vocals by male and female artists make for hearty party fare, for listening or dancing. Because of the emphasis on melodic matter, this collection has musical merit as well as ingenuity in mixing hip-hop modes and themes.

• The outlook: Strictly for the young and hip.

• Our take: A skillful second CD by Spaz.

"Rumors" by Kutmaster Spaz. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

• • •

"You Will See" by Na Kane Nui (Wayoutwest).

• Genre: Contemporary Hawaiian.

• Distinguishing notes: This is another disc that slipped by without notice by a trio with a fetching sound — Kurt Kipapa ('ukulele), Kaleo Keli'iokoa (bass) and Herman Cosier (guitar), augmented by several other musicians. Most of the compositions are by Kipapa (with some collaboration), who has already emerged as a soloist of note. The tunes reflect Island living, such as the charmer "Just Six Men," about canoeing. The songs run from a gently rocking "Queen of Makaha," a loving homage to Rell Sunn, and "Kanak Attack," a popular buzz phrase for several years now.

• The outlook: A number of pleasant snapshots of island livelihood, with timeless appeal.

• Our take: If you like the joy of discovery, this is an ensemble worth meeting and embracing.

"Love Me" by Na Kane Nui. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

• • •

"Big Island's Own Hana Hou!" by various artists (JAGS Entertainment).

• Genre: Compilation of works by new and established artists.

• Distinguishing notes: This kind of assembly reflects what's on the minds and in the hearts of local artists. A project of Big Island Radio, the CD offers fun stuff, such as Walter "Boy" Tavares' "Hale Halewai," featuring the Ho'aikane favorite and singer Joshua, who was 11 when he did the secondary singing here; Pekelo Day's "Ku'u Home O Kahuku," examining the pleasures of a specific spot; Buddahead's funky "Where Are You Now," which has quite a wallop; and Kainui's "Waimea Slack Key," a kiho'alu entry that portends more to come.

• The outlook: With 15 tracks, there's choice and variety. While these artists may not become stars, this entry-level vehicle could serve as a quick-hit introduction and arena for sharing.

• Our take: A mixed plate, with a few nibbles to savor.

"Where Are You Now" by Buddahead. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com, 525-8067 or fax 525-8055.