Slapp compilation collects local talent


POSTED: Friday, October 02, 2009

'The Slapp Collective'

Various Artists

; Slapp Symphony—self-styled “;musical prodigies”; Westbrook and Let-T-Let—have joined forces with DJ Jimmy Taco for this free, 24-track download-only compilation available via the local producers' MySpace page ( Taco did the mixing, but give the duo full credit for assembling this fascinating cross section of local talent and a track or two by artists from outside Hawaii.

If one track doesn't click for you, another probably will. Local MCs OriginAL and Mox step up with “;Gimme Sumthin”; and challenge “;wack rappers,”; whose act consists of “;yelling on the mike when you take the stage.”; Slo-Mo & Jik deliver dry, risque humor with “;ABC's,”; and Perfect Strangahz (Bladez Whyte and ODDisC) share real-life vignettes of local living with “;Landz of Da Lost.”;

The women are represented by Hassanah, who shows mainstream pop appeal on “;With Me, With You.”; Female voices are also featured on “;I Wish.”;

“;Holiday”; relies on the Bee Gees' hit for its hook, but such blatant reliance on a pop hit is the exception here.

;» ”;Before You Know It”;
;» ”;With Me, With You”;
;» ”;Ride Out”;

'This Is the Life'

Kolohe Kai
(Go Aloha Entertainment)

; If the debut album by this young Windward Oahu quintet brings to mind the long-ago 1998 debut album by the Opihi Pickers, there's a good reason: Imua Garza, founding member and resident ukulele virtuoso of the Opihi Pickers, and more recently a member of One Right Turn, stepped in to help out as the group's arranger and co-producer. The creative hookup with Garza gives the young group—Roman De Peralta, Jordan Agustin, Noah Cronin, Ryan Eastham and Jasmine Moikeha—a better calling card than the young Pickers got out of their first effort.

This group has several things going for them. One is guitarist De Peralta. He sings with the same youthful commercial appeal that helped launch Garza and the Opihi Pickers 11 years ago. De Peralta is also a competent young songwriter; all the songs here are originals, and he wrote them all.

Moikeha gives the group a woman's voice in the backing vocals. That's something else that helps set them apart.

It would have been interesting to hear one or two songs performed with only the instruments the quintet themselves are credited with playing—two guitars, an ukulele and a sax—but Garza's addition of drums, bass and keyboards brings their sound into the Jawaiian mainstream and heightens the odds of their commercial success. Conversely, when Garza switches from Jawaiian to pop with “;Genuine Love,”; he shows that he and De Peralta can take the group in other directions.

;» ”;Butterflies”;
;» ”;Lover Girl”;
;» ”;This is the Life”;

'South of the Boudoir'

Don Tiki

; Don Tiki co-founders Kit “;Perry Coma”; Ebersbach and Lloyd “;Fluid Floyd”; Kandell lead a talented ensemble in another successful foray into the traditions of exotica—the genre of romantic albeit fanciful “;world music”; created by Martin Denny more than 50 years ago. All but three of the 15 songs are originals by Ebersbach; he co-wrote another with guest vocalist Lauritz “;Da Fritz”; Hasenpusch (”;Friendly Islands”; is a vintage composition by Hawaii jazz vocalist Ethel Azama).

Ebersbach is the group's equivalent of Denny and does his usual highly competent job on keyboards. Among the other members of the group are Lopaka Colon (jungle percussion), Noel Okimoto (vibes, marimba, drums and percussion) and Carlinhos de Oliveira (Brazilian percussion). Vocalists include Hai Jung, Sherry Shaoling, Delmar deWilde and Jimmy Borges (performing as Yo Ma-Ma).

Don Tiki's treatment of exotica has always seemed to include a bit of exaggeration and tongue-in-cheek. While most of the songs—“;Friendly Islands”; and several beautiful instrumentals, for example—treat Denny's legacy with reverence, one or two others are parodies of it in one way or another.

A third approach is taken as “;Billions of Brazilians”; describes the inhabitants of that tropical land in clever, unconventional, casually non-PC terms. “;Feces”; would seem to be an unlikely choice in this context as the rhyme for “;species,”; but it fits—somehow.

;» ”;Friendly Islands”;
;» ”;Odd Man Out”;
;» ”;Billions of Brazilians”;