Preservation Of Scenery
Fresh off serving as creative director for the 2020 Māori gospel recording Mōhau, Wharekahika singer-composer Rob Ruha continues to bridge the gap between modern and classic sounds on his third solo album. The album opens with the celebratory “Taera,” which sets a party vibe—complete with bubbly sax solo—before settling into a harmony-filled album of soul and R&B, sung in both English and te reo Māori. Canadian First Nations ensemble The Halluci Nation (fka A Tribe Called Red) shares political solidarity over cavernous electro-funk on “As I Walk,” while lead single “Taka Rawa,” featuring Māori youth choir Ka Hao, builds on the inspiring mood of Ruha’s earlier gospel releases. Steeped in tradition yet keeping a sharp eye on the future, Preservation of Scenery showcases Ruha as both a stylistically eclectic bandleader and a resounding spokesperson for contemporary Māori culture.