The Awakening, the debut album from pop chorister Dudley Benson, was rooted in New Zealand's colonial history and Dudley's own Franco-European. For Dudley's new album, he has lovingly reworked songs by the late Maori composer, poet and author, Hirini Melbourne. With the exception of Taonga Puoro played by Hirini Melbourne collaborator Richard Nunns, all of the songs on Forest: Songs By Hirini Melbourne have been reimagined with the human voice alone - including a capella ensemble The Dawn Chorus, beat boxer King Homeboy and 'Freak Folk' godmother, Vashti Bunyan. Dudley Benson talked to Sam Wicks about his brand new song cycle. Check out Dudley's site for all his upcoming tour dates.
English duo Darkstar made their name as electronic innovators on the uber-hip Hyperdub label. But during the lead-up to the release of their first album Darkstar found themselves unsure of their musical direction, and decided to move away from their signature sound. The line-up also developed as the duo of James Young and Aiden Whalley added vocalist James Buttery. Shaun D. Wilson spoke to James Young to find out about the process of making the Darkstar debut 'North'.
Dam Native's 1997 debut Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted struck a perfect balance between Danny Haimona's staunch 'horified' rhymes and the jazz-infused beat making of producer Zane Lowe. While many have declared the album an Aotearoa classic, it's only now that Dam Native have returned with a follow up. Sam Wicks talked to Danny about Aotearoa… Nobody Does It Better.