12 Aug 2020
UsernamePassword

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

Rei - Album Review: Hoea

14 Jul 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu
Over the past five years, Rei has worked his way to become arguably Wellington’s new king of Hip-Hop, on top of which he is also one of many in the rising tide of Rap artists writing in both English and Te Reo. Ever since I saw Rei open for Sons of Zion at The Powerstation two years ago, my interests have piqued further every time his name is mentioned on air or shows up billed on a music event.

I should state early on that, though my understanding of Te Reo has not exceeded Intermediate School levels, I still hold deep reverence for the language and culture. Needless to say, I’ve also been watching with equal parts interest and excitement the gradual rise of Te Reo in Kiwi music in recent years. Besides, there’s much more to music than just a song’s lyrical content, so understandably, when this album fell in my lap I was beyond eager to hear what Rei has been creating.

Straight off the bat in the opening instrumental, the cultural influences are clear, as heard in chorused chants and traditional wind instruments. Immediately followed by the lead single, and album namesake, Hoea, a groove-heavy number with a hyper-catchy chorus.

As with the rest of the album, there are some very clean and clever rhythmic manipulations in Te Reo on every track. It becomes clear pretty early in the album that one doesn’t necessarily need to comprehend the lyrics to appreciate the positive energy and songwriting that has gone into creating this album.

There’s the radio-ready Ohia, which is pumped full of melodic hooks smoothed out over a bopping, tropical-house groove. Most rhythms across the album revolve around deep bass kicks and snappy snares, in the mid-to-slow tempos common in hip-hop since the early 2010’s. Tracks like Ohia and Nohea lean harder into reggaeton grooves, giving summery and refreshing Pacific tastes that have long been signatures of Aotearoa pop and RnB. The more urban sounding tunes of Auahi Ana and Rapeti boast a generous serving of attitude and deep basslines.

Holy Heka, serving as the album closer, is also the only track that features English lyrics. The rhythms on this song are particularly deep, making it easy to picture this played at a downtown nightclub. However, Rei’s imprint of heritage is not lost, as samples of tribal drums and flutes punctuate the choruses. Possibly the most impactful track of the record, it’s an understatement to say that Rei has saved the best for last!

Hip-Hop and Rap music has thrived in New Zealand for as long as the genres themselves have been around; here, Rei has now left a mark on the scene that is unique and created a sound of his own.

Be sure to follow Rei on Facebook and YouTube, then stream his latest album Hoea on Apple Music and Spotify.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Rei

Chief, Rangatira, Fair-skinned, Rapper… we all have our definitions of ourselves and those that are given to us. Rei's album A Place To Stand is a personal and universal. It's beautifully produced with content that rides the line between reverse colonisation, inspiration, hip-hop, culture and a passion to make a dope album.

If Rei is an example of upcoming Kiwi artists, the future looks bright. From creating music the last 10 years to present his multi genre sound, Rei is definitely on the cutting edge, and is influenced by our global music community. Mostly by the UK House/Garage style, by Hip hop from major US rappers but, his album has the extra elements of Maori language, haka and kiwi slang, making the sum of A Place to Stand a smoothly produced audio experience. It also sounds BIG in a stadium or club setting.

Already releasing a number of tracks from this album, A Place To Stand includes beauties like Mix an electro acoustic ballad (with Rei on guitar), a lot of club bangers such as Deep and a few not-so- cheesy love songs like Basics.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Rei

Releases

The Bridge
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Rangatira
Year: 2018
Type: EP
A Place To Stand
Year: 2017
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Steve Shyu

Steve Hutchinson - Single Review: pfmcfnc
16 Jul 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Residing in Nelson, Steve Hutchinson creates rock and heavy metal music as a means of expressing himself, and to leave a mark on Aotearoa’s music scene. Though disabled, this has not deterred Steve from venturing forth and making some noise on guitar.
Read More...
PolarisRadio - Album Review: Deadline
03 Jul 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Dean Moroney, under his stage name PolarisRadio, is on track to becoming Aotearoa’s finest retro-synth music producer. Over the past six years, from his home-base in the Hawke’s Bay, he has released numerous one-off singles and full-length releases, including Virtual Paradise.
Read More...
Voodoo Bloo - Single Review: MMA
11 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
With lockdown officially over, here comes the time to see live some of the music that’s been recorded or released while Aotearoa has been in isolation. Out of the now indefinitely-shelved Wellington band Lucifer Gunne comes Voodoo Bloo, the new project of the musical mastermind Rory McDonald.
Read More...
Channeled - Single Review: Isolation
04 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Just by reading the title you’d be forgiven for thinking this is “just another song about being in lockdown”. Before you dismiss this outright, you’d be relieved to know the songwriter actually composed this years before Covid-19, and in his own words, it’s about "running away from being locked inside your head and turning away from the person you once were".
Read More...
Ten24 - Single Review: Blissful Affliction
01 Jun 2020 // by Steve Shyu
One of the newest and most brilliant acts to come out of Wellington recently is Ten24, the alternative rock four-piece that took out the Smokefree Rockquest People’s Choice Award of 2019. Steadily gaining traction and attention from throughout the capital, the band have recorded and released their very first single, entitled Blissful Affliction.
Read More...
Lorenzo Hazelwood - Single Review: Pharos
21 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Having performed lead vocal duties with Auckland hard rock band Close to the Bone, Lorenzo Hazelwood has added another entry to his musical repertoire by going solo. Known for his guitar playing, bold vocal range, and an uncanny resemblance to Incubus’s Brandon Boyd, Lorenzo beavered away at this home studio, recording all parts himself.
Read More...
Primacy - Album Review: Seeds of Change
14 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland’s groove/alternative-metal quintet Primacy are primed for great things. Consisting of vocalist Rhys, bass player Sid, drummer Will and axe-wielding duo Jared and Adrian, their debut EP Failure & Sacrifice peaked at Number 13 on the Official New Zealand Album Charts.
Read More...
Midnight Manor - Single Review: Save The World
04 May 2020 // by Steve Shyu
Auckland’s hard rock stalwarts Midnight Manor are venturing ardently through their music-making journey. Having released a single just last month to great praise, the band are carrying forward the momentum in preparation for the release of their second full-length album Mindful Games.
Read More...
View All Articles By Steve Shyu

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • GO CRAZY
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
  • ROCKSTAR
    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
  • MY FUTURE
    Billie Eilish
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • ROSES (IMANBEK REMIX)
    SAINt JHN
  • CARDIGAN
    Taylor Swift
  • BREAKING ME
    Topic feat. A7S
  • WHAT'S POPPIN'
    Jack Harlow
  • BLINDING LIGHTS
    The Weeknd
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