13 Nov 2018
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Bongmaster

Bio

The amorphous funk dubsters group Bongmaster was founded in 1997. Their journey started in Wellington when Iain Gordon and Aaron Tokona met Maaka Phat (Dam Native/Upper Hutt Posse/Southside of Bombay) and asked if he'd be keen to play drums for their cover band. Joined by Dallas Tamaira (Christchurch born, Ex-Pacific Underground Member) on vocals, Andreas Lepper on percussion and Elton on sax and keys, they formed the original core members of the group Bongmaster.

By late '98 early '99, after the departure of Elton, Warren Maxwell (Southside of Bombay/TrinityRoots/Fat Freddy's Drop) joined the band on Sax, followed by Legendary DJ Mu (Chris Faiumu) who performed samples & scratch duties strictly from vinyl before going on to mastering his production skills on the Akai MPC! Countless guest musicians performed with the bands in demand shows around NZ, including a year long residency at the Legendary ESC in Wellington from 1998-1999 and also Roots Foundation Sound System gigs!

Members of Bongmaster went on to start many other bands, including Ebb, TrinityRoots, Wai, Fat Freddy's Drop, AHoriBuzz and so many more!

Bongmaster were idolised by another local group Shihad, who personally requested for them to play support at their first big gig at The Electric Ballroom (now called James Cabaret in Wellington) - Maaka fondly recalls that particular gig as being one of his most memorable Wellington Bongmaster shows, as it was like an out of body experience!

Quote from Shihad's Drummer Tom Larkin.
"They were phenomenal - we even did a show with them back in the day. This has been a long time coming for them and they deserve it!"

The track Ground My Ego was recorded at Dental Records and was the first official release by the group on a NZ artist compilation, which included tracks from the members other collaborations such as Fat Freddy's Drop, Ebb, TrinityRoots and more. Recording engineer was Antsmif (now with Budspells based in Sydney), who was also a part time member of Bongmaster.

The group took a break from around the year 2001, but reformed for a one off show at the Cuba Street Carnival, Wellington Feb 2007.

The band's most recent Wellington show (which sold out 2 weeks prior) on 6th Sept 2014 was in Paekakariki to a rapturous audience and loyal fans.

Band Members:
Chris 'DJ Mu' Faiumu (samples)
Aaron Tokana
Dallas Tamaira (vocals)
Iain Gordon
Maaka Phat
Andreas Lepper (percussion)
Warren Maxwell (saxophone)

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Location

  • Wellington


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