29 March 2011

Review: Tiki 'In The World Of Light' + Shapeshifter 'System Remix'

In The World Of Light

System Remix

"There ain't no party / Like a NZ party / In the summer time" sings Tiki Taane over Summer Time, opening track of his #1 debut, second solo album, In The World Of Light. I reckon Tiki's one of the cleverest people in the NZ music business. He's fully aware of how marketable he is to, on the face of it, two hugely differing camps: those who lap up the pop-reggae of Always On My Mind and those who prefer the bass-heavy swagger of Soundtrack To Forever. Thing is, (aside from the astoundingly monstrous Tangaroa, easily the highlight of his solo debut Past, Present, Future) whichever way you want to slice it, Tiki's music is designed to please as many people as possible as often as possible - often all in one place at once. It's a pursuit he seems to take very seriously indeed. Having said that, this is a very big, very likeable album, with notable guest spots from Moana and The Tribe, Crushington and Hollie Smith retracing her Celtic roots atop heavy metal guitar courtesy Tiki's Dad, Uekaha Taane.

System Remix follows Shapeshifter's massive fifth studio album System Is A Vampire and is another example of crowd-pleasing bass-focussed music, but unfortunately the bulk of these remixes seem to be working to a thoroughly predictable and ultimately kinda dull template. There are undoubtedly highlights: Pacific Heights' gorgeous rework of The Touch; a reverent re-rub of Twin Galaxies by The Upbeats; and two stonkers from State Of Mind, with their reworks of Dutchies, and Electric Dream - easily the highlight of this collection, despite the original being taken from the Soulstice album. This collection is clearly intended for fanatical fans of Shapeshifter, but for me is a bit of a let down and really only serves to illustrate how much better the group's original versions are.

TIKI 3/5

Check out the review of State Of Mind's album Nil By Ear here...

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