mamaku on soundcloud

Wild flavours of French Cabaret flirt with the pulse of Electro-Oriental-Jazz. An intoxicating affair of multi-lingual noir poetry, conjuring Balkan dance floors, spiced with a sprinkling of circus…”

The Mamaku Project was born of the meeting of two French-Kiwis: evocative bi-lingual vocalist Tui Mamaki and multi-instrumentalist/producer Monsieur E. 

The Mamaku Project has earned a reputation for compelling musical performances, embracing elements of Chanson, Dub, World Electronica. Their engaging show has taken them to numerous arts and music festivals around the globe, including Aotearoa / New Zealand, where they are based as well as Australia, Korea, Canada and Europe. The pool of talented musicians working with them, shifts and morphs over the years, revealing different incarnations of the music, but always staying true to their antipodean roots.

In 2006, their debut album, Karekare was received by critical acclaim, and their music described in NZ as “a new national treasure”. 

The unique allure of their live show soon made waves on the NZ Arts/Music Festival scene, particularly wowing crowds at WOMAD NZ in 2007. 

Their second album, Mal de Terre (2008), took a bi-lingual approach to festive gypsy styles, the colorful sounds belying some of the more somber topics, such as the (bad) news culture. In both these records, the earthy presence of Aotearoa land and sea, meets with exotic inspirations.

In 2009, a new show was launched at AK09 Festival in The Famous Spiegeltent. “Electr-O-rganic Sessions” remixed material from both albums, along with new tracks, in a live-electro club style.

Throughout 2010/11 “Electr-O-rganic Sessions” toured Europe, Canada and Korea, where festival and club audiences alike welcomed it as a cutting-edge breath of fresh air from the South Pacific, yet equally evocative of the co-founders European roots.

In 2012, “Metamorphosis” took the stage, featuring live-art projection by “Lupavision” (aka Paul Bradley), expanding on the project’s already strongly visual character. This collaboration transports the viewer into a hypnotic saltimbanque aesthetic, where image and sound exalt each other’s rhetoric, delivering a tender, dynamic journey through themes of circus, freedom, cross-cultural identity, travel and transformation.

UPCOMING Twigs of Gold (2014)

Mamaku’s celebrated electr-O-rganic sessions have crystallized into a compelling new album with a wide emotional spectrum, drawing on trip-hop, quirky grooves and chanson. The lush sound palette, carries tender vocals, broody harmony and rhythmic word. Cinematic layers of altered guitar, flesh out driving analog-synth bass lines and stirring beats. Woodwinds, horns and conch-shells adorn the compositions with luminous lines and inspired improvisation. Dark yet playful, contemplative yet dynamic, this record, indebted to Aotearoa/NZ’s soil and sea, offers songs of the moment with a truly global sensitivity. Album due in stores 24th January 2014…

 

“…Sprouting their own version of New Zealand song, taking in Pacifica, dub/reggae and jazz styles with a distinctly cinematic weave. A new national treasure.”

Simon Sweetman – North & South NZ

“… A very impressive show, weaving a dense musical web of sounds including sultry and moody dub, mixed with quintessentially French and bohemian melodies and enchanting elements of the east… giving off a very theatrical exuberance…Can’t wait ‘til they return!”

Luke Balzan – RIP IT UP n971 (Australia)

“Some of the best music I have ever heard… A magical combination … unique compositions, brilliant arrangements… outstanding vocals, here is a singer who knows how to use her voice as an instrument… one of a kind.”

Mike Nettmann – Northern Advocate NZ

HIGHLIGHT SHOWS include:

2011/12: Sounds Aotearoa – Taranaki NZ, Prana Festival – Coromandel NZ, Singapore F1 GP – SINGAPORE, Summer Series – Auckland NZ, Le Sentier des Halles – Paris FRANCE, La Pleine Lune – Montpellier FRANCE, La Musique Dans Tout Ses Etats – St Raphael FRANCE, Galao – Stuttgart GERMANY, Silent Friday – Stuttgart GERMANY, Ono – Bern SWITZERLAND, Gruener Salon – Berlin GERMANY, Noordelicht – Amsterdam HOLLAND, Festival Musiques d’Ici et d’Ailleurs – Chalons en Champagne FRANCE, Breminales Festival – Bremen GERMANY, Sunfest – London Ontario CANADA, Alianait Arts Festival – Nunavut CANADA, Franco-Fete – Toronto CANADA, Luminate Festival – Takaka Hill NZ, Festival of Lights – Taranaki NZ

2009/10: Gwanju World Music Festival KOREA, Taupo Erupt Festival – NZ,  ElectrOrganic Sessions NZ Tour, Christchurch Art Gallery Waitangi Day NZ, World of Wearable Arts – Wellington NZ, Aarde Festival – Amsterdam HOLLAND, Mano Café – Berlin DE, Kaffee Burger – Berlin DE, Lustspielhaus – Munich DE, La Dame de Canton – Paris FRANCE, Fusion Festival GERMANY, Fete de la Musique Isere FRANCE, Arts on Tour NZ (23dates), Palmerston North Culture Festival NZ, The Famous Spiegeltent AK09 Red Square NZ, Titirangi Festival of Music NZ, Cuba St Carnival – Wellington NZ, Organic River Festival – Wairarapa NZ

2007/08: WOMAD NZ, First Light AK NZ, Christchurch Arts Festival NZ, Tauranga Arts Festival NZ, Taranaki Arts Festival NZ, Auckland Arts Festival NZ, Waiheke Culture Festival NZ,  Nelson Arts Festival NZ, Imst Arts Festival AUSTRIA, Adelaide Fringe Festival AUSTRALIA, Bay of Islands Arts Festival NZ, Littleweed Festival NZ, Hamilton Gardens Festival NZ, Splore NZ, Jambalaya Rhythm Festival NZ, Popkomm Berlin GERMANY, Titirangi Festival of Music NZ, Kaikoura Roots Festival NZ

FURTHER REVIEWS

SOCO CARGO Garden Of Unearthly Delights, ADELAIDE

The weather may have been a little cooler than usual for this time of year, but the temperature in SoCo Cargo certainly heated up when New Zealand’s The Mamaku Project took to the stage! This five-piece band put on a very impressive show, weaving a dense musical web of sounds including sultry and moody dub, mixed with quintessentially French and bohemian melodies, and even enchanting elements of the east. The band has really embraced the carnival atmosphere too, with their show giving off a very theatrical exuberance, complete with costumes and sideshow performance. Fat basslines and groovy horns set the pace, and the band’s jazz-meets-dub style is certainly a winner with this punter. Can’t wait ‘til they return!

Luke Balzan – RIP IT UP n971 (Australia)

 

Hamilton Gardens Festival, NEW ZEALAND

The Mamaku Project’s sound was unique as they blended Eastern European influences with French and those of Pacifica; a place where the musical styles and cultures merged. Their integrated blend included typical jazz solo breaks and an eclectic mix of rhythms that challenged the feet to stay still with a hypnotic vocal presence. Their music began to inhabit a unique form, from there it mutated with free spirit as a natural consequence of events into a new habitat; their music was the uncharted journey where one became totally intoxicated with the plethora of little solos in a variety of styles. Nomad could not be faltered with its sensuous melodies. Loved the show!

Andrew Buchanan-Smart – WAIKATO TIMES

 

WOMAD NZ

“…Over on the tiny Dell Stage, the organisers have underestimated the popularity of New Zealand act the Mamaku Project. Punters are climbing trees, clambering up banks and using the toilet steps as a grandstand to get a peek at the rootsy dub act, with a French twist…”

Scott Kara – NZ HERALD