11 Dec 2018

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Baitercell - EP Review: Toka

23 Nov 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton

Toka is the latest release from Baitercell; an EP comprised of three Drum n Bass tracks with 100% Te Reo Maori lyrics. The tracks Te Wai Te Ora (The Water, The Life), Te Pukumeke (The Final Strike) and Hine Ruru (A goddess in the form of a native owl of Aotearoa), are inspired by Papatuanuku, Tangaroa, Ranginui (the respective Maori gods of earth, water and sky) and the connection we need to have with our earth. As such, the tracks have as much of a natural vibe as a spiritual one, intertwined.

The EP features Huia and Rei on vocals, with Huia opening and closing the EP, and Rei taking on the central track. On the vocal side of things, the two vocalists provide similar yet opposing styles; Huia’s style adding a sense of fluidity and flow, with soft, lingering notes throughout, whereas Rei holds a deeper, concise, almost staccato quality. The Te Reo Maori lends itself well to the electronic genre, with the heavy presence of vowels allowing the stretching of words to occur without sounding forced, and the guttural, terse nature of the male pronunciation adding an additional percussive element.

While the EP begins with some dreamy synths, the oncoming fast paced drum beat never takes the forefront. Rather the instrumental aspect provides a pedestal for the vocal element. Huia’s tracks (Te Wai Te Ora & Hine Ruru) have a lighter sense to them, which lifts the soul and mirrors the Huia’s angelic contributions. A beautiful sound that I can easily listen to on repeat. Feels like an ethereal transient dream state, with a smooth almost jazz/lounge vibe, over the top of that underlying expeditious beat.

Rei’s central track has a much stronger, grounded vibe to it. With more snappy groove, and more contrasting between the verse and chorus, the energy levels peak and trough to a greater extent unlocking a rhythm that makes the body want to move. With a more bass-heavy influence and light vocal harmonies, the track has a lot of depth.

While the Te Reo vocals are the focal point of the EP, I would be remiss to not bring up the great drumming done by Corey Friedlander (possibly most well-known for his work with City Of Souls and 8 Foot Sativa). The consistent pace and tastefully chosen fills are a display of great control. Never stealing the limelight, but accentuating the tracks, with more hi-hat-centric patterns in Te Wai Te Ora, greater snare presence in Te Pukumeke, and an off-beat tom-snare combo in Hine Ruru. An additional piece of info for you too, all drums were recorded in an hour. An impressive organic display of rhythm.

A pleasant listening experience overall that makes me wish there was much more where that came from. A release that creates a feeling of ease with energy flow, tranquillity with awareness. All without knowing what the lyrics actually are. Well worth checking out.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Baitercell

Baitercell was formed in 1994, and has remixed everything from Push Push, The Clean and Kiss to Karen Hunter.

Baitercell are very much at the forefront of NZ's electronic dance music sound. He is signed with Kog Transmissions and is from Auckland.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Baitercell


Year: 2018
Type: Album
The Wall Of Bass Technique
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Year: 1998
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Alex Moulton

Gig Review: Ghost Who Walks @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 30/11/2018
06 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Cheers and squeals are let out around Auckland’s Anthology Lounge as The Rubics take to the stage. The six-piece group have been working on making a name for themselves as the groove-makers of the Auckland scene, and from the sound of the audience, they know exactly what they are in for.
Gig Review: 2Cellos @The Civic, Auckland - 3/12/2018
04 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
People were abuzz as they filed into The Civic to get to their seats. Many eyes were enjoying the venue itself as one of Auckland’s last remaining atmospheric theatres, with its soft-top design that floats above the auditorium, with stars and clouds that recreate the Southern Hemisphere sky-scape.
Lisa Crawley - Single/Video Review: Baby It's Fine
30 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Lisa Crawley’s latest single Baby It’s Fine is a delightfully unhurried and soulful pop track. Starting with a slow strum of the guitar and an almost acoustic vibe to the bass, there is a slow melancholic edge to the song.
Night Bus - Single Review: Korean Restaurant
28 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Self-described as a lo-fi electronic bedroom pop from elusive Wellington figure, night bus is definitely an obscure act. With a Facebook page created less than a fortnight ago, only 5 followers to their name, and a moniker that is otherwise impossible to search for due to common use, any further information about the artist is not forthcoming.
Gig Review: ZM's Friday Night Jams @ Western Springs, Auckland - 18/11/2018
19 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Ten minutes before gates open and the entrance way to Western Springs is packed to the brim with excited fans wearing cardboard Burger King Crowns in the hopes of receiving a free upgrade to the BK Stage. With some scattered cloud, the day was humid, but ultimately much more manageable, providing some respite from the intense sun.
Alice Foulds - EP Review: Oxygen
15 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
The Oxygen EP is the debut release of Invercargill singer-songwriter Alice Foulds; the four-track EP having total run-time just short of 16 minutes. Opening track Not Human is really the stand out song on the album.
This Flight Tonight - Single Review: Bender & Lies
13 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Bender & Lies is the latest single from This Flight Tonight, and interestingly the fourth track released from the 2018 EP Nothing to Declare, despite being the opening track of the release. The track tows the line between raw Rock 'n Roll, and light-hearted Pop-Rock.
Gig Review: Shepherds Reign @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 3/11/2018
11 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
It was looking to be a late night at Ding Dong Lounge with the 8:30 start time being pushed back to 9, then being pushed back even further as they waited for the patrons to make their way upstairs. Traitor’s Fate finally taking to the stage, Shepherds Reign vocalist Filivaa welcome everyone and introduced the evening with a very simple "Welcome to the Shepherds Reign party thing.
View All Articles By Alex Moulton

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Ariana Grande
    Lady Gaga And Bradley Cooper
    George Ezra
    Ava Max
    Post Malone And Swae Lee
    Travis Scott feat. Drake
    Marshmello And Bastille
    Billie Eilish
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem