Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Kaikoura Roots Report

Masses of respect to DJ Spin Zero from the Yardwise Crew for his report on the Kaikoura Roots Festival which took place last weekend.

Our expectations of the "Kaikoura Roots Festival" have been far surpassed. "Misteek and the Yardwise Soundsystem" eventually made it to the venue despite some serious vehicle trouble. Huge respect for Toby and Esther for coming through on that one. From a 5-star backpacker in an emergency rental car, to encountering four different guys called Paul, we made it to the grounds.

Saturday threw an incessant easterly at the venue, but the quality and volume of the session in progress more than made up for that. The crowd was out in all their irie glory, and not even the threatening rain deterred them from what was to become a perfect treat for bass lovers.

Through various bands, sound systems, producers, selectors and singers, the evening heated up with the sound of Ladi6 and selector's husky tracks, Kora's magnificent sunset and full harvest moonrise set, toward the brilliance of Salmonella Dub, Fat Freddy's and into the heavyweights of Kapisi, Digital and the night-time selections.

Dubwise Soundsystem got the crowd suitably rocking on Sunday morning, Papa Levi, Tuff Enchant and Messenjah busting out their magic from irie rootsy licks to serious dancehall growls. Polished and invigorating, the crowd was given an ultra downbeat rest of a few minutes by the likes of Son.sine, only to be compelled back to the dance floor by the sound of Wellington's frontrunners in reggae-dancehall, Yardwise.

Somewhat apprehensive of how our sound would be received at such a prestigious festival, we were humbled by the support and appreciation we received by way of the packed out dance floor and boundless energy of the crowd. Being called back by the inimitable "Kunte Kinte" trombone line, the crowd were quick to respond.

MC Kthrnak managed to communicate all our respect for the reggae massive through his toasts, versions and stingers while Jhan delivered heart-melting versions of "Bam Bam", "Truth and Rights" and "Tenement Yard" among other songs.

Slamming through our set from classic to contemporary, our set peaked with the bass-killer track "Dust Another Sound"; the only person we could see not going wild was the poor soundman, making sure we didn't rupture the bass bins with that one.

Over almost before we knew it, our 40 minute set delivered a sampling of what Yardwise represents, and hopefully expressed our Wellington and worldwide flavour. Massive thanks and praise to the South Island massive and all the travellers who made it.

But the star of the show was the one and only Mighty Asterix, with three billed sets and many unlisted, with many respected artists such as DLT, Cornerstone, Sunshine Soundsystem and others. That Upper Hutt sound which is so familiar in Wellington and Aotearoa, permeating the roots festival in his own unassuming way, was the perfect celebration of Roots in NZ.

Sadly the last one at that site, the Kaikoura Roots Festival was a definite 10/10 session. Respect to Andrew and the organising team who came through with not only a seamless musical event but quality stalls and facilities as well. Hoping that such a high grade event can be continued in the future. Bless.



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