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Island Mele
Friday, June 30, 2000

By John Berger


Conjugacion moves
in new directions


Bullet TC2000:
By Tony C (The Mountain Apple Company MACD 2051)

NEWLY BLOND Tony Conjugacion reinvents himself again with an album of original chants delivered in an amalgam of electronic percussion and dense multilayered sequencing. It's a bold leap beyond conventional Hawaiian-language music. These creations would fit perfectly in dance clubs around the world.

Conjugacion generally upholds tradition in his choice of topics although a song extolling masturbation as a form of safe sex reflects modern times. English translations of the lyrics ensure that mainstream audiences get the gist of his messages. Hawaii may not be ready for post-modern Hawaiian music but "TC2000" is one of the landmark albums of the year.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet E Huna To Ma'i
Bullet 'Ohu 'Ohu I Ta Pali
Bullet Ka'u'u e
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Hawaii Nisei Songs:
By various artists (HanaOla HOCD 36000)

MICHAEL Cord went deep in the vaults of 49th State Hawaii Records for this anthology of recordings from the 1950s. The selections are an amazing hodgepodge that includes Japanese pop hits, folk tunes, and songs "captured" by the Japanese during their invasion of China. "Japanese Rumba," is a postwar Japanese-English hybrid. Several others are "Occupational Forces Songs" written during the time of American military rule in Japan.

Annotation in English and Japanese adds what is known about this forgotten recordings. "Lounge music" fans will find this album particularly interesting.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Japanese Rumba
Harold Sasaahara & Club Nisei Orchestra
Bullet Suite Itanoni
Ted Shimabukuro & The Tokyo Seranaders
Bullet Yuhi Ni Akai Ho
Errol Nakao & Japanese Modernaires Orchestra
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info



Bullet Sweet Child of Mine:
By Mana Ohana (Hobo House On The Hill HHHR 0016)

MANA Ohana used so much studio help that there is little sense of the core trio, but its album has all the Jawaiian cliches -- vapid remakes, pseudo-rasta posing, earnest originals, and early '60s pop riffs. That alone should get it major play on "island music/island rhythms" radio.

Mana Ohana's David "Bruddah Yok's" Yokoyama is an adept commercial writer with a good ear for Jawaiian pop. He uses a rock idiom on "Mommy Dearest" and the soulful requiem is the most impressive song on the album. A stolid rehash of "Sweet Child O' Mine" ties with a Jawaiianized "Truly Madley Deeply" is the worst.

Mpeg Audio Clips:
Bullet Sweet Child Of Mine
Bullet Good Old Day's
Bullet Mommy Dearest
Quicktime | RealPlayer | MPEG-3 info

See Record Reviews for some past reviews.
See Aloha Worldwide for locals living away.

John Berger, who has covered the local
entertainment scene since 1972, writes reviews of recordings
produced by Hawaii artists. See the Star-Bulletin's Today
section on Fridays for the latest reviews.

E-mail to Features Editor

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