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AHoriBuzz - Double EP Review: Into The Sunshine

20 Aug 2015 // A review by Andrew Smit

Modern Funk with ballsy riffs and beats are abundant in this double EP, with 5 original songs and 5 remixes. The 1st full length release for the talented singer songwriter Aaron Tokona, and his band AHoriBuzz, Into The Sunshine simply resonates with songs that are a wonderful mix of traditional funk fused with new sounds and percussive beats, like the opening track Turnaround with its thick bass riff, mixed with keys and brass elements that groove to a steady beat and bubbles along for over 8 minutes. A very groovy kind of funk awaits you in the smooth track Glitter in the Gutter,with its expressive keys and simple beat, and the smooth dreamy vocals from the soulful female vocalist Lissel Stewart sounds very cool.

Sugar has a very sweet little intro before we are led again into a vibrant funk city, with a wonderful set of vocals first from Aaron and then from Lissel. The song has so much expression and energy and it builds up effortlessly to a frenzied guitar and brass ensemble that is mega funky. Providence is brimming with a hand clapping and feet moving disco rhythm thanks to the jazzy guitar strumming, the wonderfully funky vocal harmony on the chorus really gets you hooked too. Into The Sunshine offers a smoother beat with soaring vocal hums that lead to a sturdy melodic central section, the song is decorated with great brass parts and layered with superb vocal harmonies.

The 2nd part of this EP are commissioned remixes of all 5 songs by songwriter Aaron Tokana, he respects the art of a remix and has chosen wisely as the remixes are quite special. Some are funked up even more while others have a cooler “lounge mix” sound. A real highlight is the acoustic version of Into The Sunshine by Anika Moa and Anna Coddington, a live sounding performance with wonderful expressive harmonies and sweet guitar and piano accompaniment.

As the band embark on an extended tour of the country with over 53 dates to be performed until the end of 2015, these songs will no doubt keep the dance floors around the country full of cheerful moving bodies, and so they should be awarded for raising heart rates and improving the health of the nation.


About AHoriBuzz

“People make music for a variety of reasons, to make money (little musician’s joke there), to pick up girls or boys, because they like travelling in confined spaces in vans for extended periods of time or simply because they view life as a musician as glamorous.

Others do it simply because it’s as natural to them as breathing - it’s not just something they do, it’s a part of who they are. For these people, to do anything else but meld beats, lyrics and melodies together with their time is a foreign concept. Aaron Tokona is such a musician. In his hands a guitar talks. It’s the reason he’s been dubbed ‘‘New Zealand’s answer to Jimi Hendrix’’ in the media multiple times.

His heart and soul punch you in the face every time he opens his mouth and sings. He strives to serve the song, not himself. His solo project AHoriBuzz emerged from the same pot of phat beats that first spat out Fat Freddy’s Drop. Tokona’s first gig was busking on the streets with his dad. He recalls Christmas Eve as being the best of those gigs. Rising through with essential Kiwi group Weta, Aaron Tokona’s next project, in two-piece Cairo Knife Fight, saw him share the stage with Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures, amongst others. An American tour saw them cleverly crashing the SxSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for AHoriBuzz


Into The Sunshine
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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