Product Review | Roots of the Pacific

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Article
 
Mix Magazine
 
As part of California-based Big Fish Audio's ongoing Roots.... series, this beautifully packaged audio CD transports us to areas of the globe that are rich in rhythm, yet apparently unexplored by sample CDs - namely, the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, New Zealand and more. Top Hawaiian producer David Morgan Russell has captured ensemble and solo drum performances in amazing clarity, including indigenous drum patterns (stones, shells and wooden sticks, alongside more traditional sounding percussion), instrument hits and patterns (including the pahu heiau, or temple drum, and ipu), voices (chants and miscellaneous Hawaiian speech) and - for ambient fans - natural ambience (Hawaiian birds, a stream in Haiku and waves from Wailea). Whether this constitutes an acoustic postcard from paradise or another example of Western exploitation remainss open to question. That said, Russell is a 20 year resident of Maui, and has studied Hawaiian language and culture through chant and dance. It's an intriguing work; one that could prove equally inspirational to practitioners of musical genres outside of the world/ethnic market at which it's squarely aimed.
 

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