Saturday, August 29, 2015

Album Review: AHoriBuzz - Into The Sunshine (2015)

AHoriBuzz is the “solo” project of prodigiously-talented guitarist Aaron Tokona. You may (or may not) be familiar with Tokona’s work with bands like Weta, Cairo Knife Fight, and Fly My Pretties. If you’re a fan of New Zealand music, you’ll surely at least be aware of his reputation as one of this country’s hardest working and most in-demand session musicians.

So while Tokona has featured on many local albums across the past decade and a half (at least), his own releases under the AHoriBuzz moniker have tended to be rather more spasmodic, if not few and far between. The recent release of Into The Sunshine goes some way towards addressing that, collecting as it does all of the “singles” released over the past couple of years or so and putting them in one place.

The album consists of five tunes, but ten tracks, with Tokona offering up five original versions and five revamped takes on the same tunes … so, for example, we get ‘Turnaround’, plus the Joe Revell remix of ‘Turnaround’, we get ‘Glitter in the Gutter’, plus the Rhombus remix of ‘Glitter in the Gutter’ etc etc.

There’s contributions from Anika Moa and Anna Coddington on the rejigged title track, Ben King and Jason Peters feature on ‘Sugar’, while the remixing skills of Dick ‘Magik’ Johnson turn the alternate ‘Providence’ into a real highlight.

Ultimately, Into The Sunshine clocks in at something close to 70 minutes, and I reckon it’s likely to be the funkiest hour-and-a-bit you’ll hear all year. You’d have to be a little bit dead inside if these tunes don’t make your knees quiver and buckle just a little. Make no mistake, this is dirty funk and psychedelic disco with a distinctly Aotearoa spin on it.

Or dancefloor music with an unmistakable “hori buzz” about it … as Tokona himself would surely have it. Not pub or club dancefloors necessarily – makeshift or impromptu backyard dancefloors; decks, garages, kitchens (at parties) and the like. Something close to home. Chur.

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