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Music from the South Pacific

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Album Review

On this nice, if fairly simplistic, collection of traditional Tahitian music from the Tahiti Here troupe, the music runs in precisely two forms: high-energy pahu drumming and fairly standard ukulele romps. In the ukulele-based dances, the group jams along fairly quickly, but tends to go off-key more than slack-key. The singers fall off their course from time to time and the ukulele lines never quite get anywhere. However, the simple joy of the performance is evident. This part isn't anything that you couldn't find on a standard Hawaiian hukilau album, but given a very slight twist in style here. On the pahu drumming (which actually incorporates the faatete drums more than the pahu), there's a constant high-speed barrage of strikes, pounding out larger-scale rhythms in amongst the rapid small-scale rhythms. This type of performance exists in Hawaiian music (in the more traditional hula recordings, for example), but is rare to find in this quantity. The Tahitian group powers its way through these pieces, leaving little room for any ornamentation beyond that of the drums, and trying to use speed in order to escape monotony. The album is lopsided, and the quality follows that lopsidedness. For traditional Tahitian music, there are albums of more gospel-based music available that cover the post-missionary version of the culture. For the pre-missionary version, there may be better examples available in the Hawaiian section instead.

Music from the South Pacific, Tahiti Here
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: Feb 12, 2009

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