October 2009: All Left Out, Antiform, Babylon Riddim, Clap Clap Riot, Daecolm, Dane Rumble, Dei Hamo

Out in an empty field, always down at the wharves, a purple suit, obvious karaoke, a visit to the war memorial, Dane in spaaaace, and cartoon drama.

Continue reading October 2009: All Left Out, Antiform, Babylon Riddim, Clap Clap Riot, Daecolm, Dane Rumble, Dei Hamo

June 2009: Dei Hamo, DJ CXL, Esther Melody Band, False Start, Falter, Haylee Fisher

The good life, all the boys together, on a boat, LA and LV, a superhero story, and a girls’ night out.

Continue reading June 2009: Dei Hamo, DJ CXL, Esther Melody Band, False Start, Falter, Haylee Fisher

April 2009: Boh Runga, Cobra Khan, Cut Off Your Hands, Dei Hamo, Deja Voodoo

A rough ride, a band deconstructed, girls in grey and black, and a high school musical.

Continue reading April 2009: Boh Runga, Cobra Khan, Cut Off Your Hands, Dei Hamo, Deja Voodoo

February 2006: Blindspott, Chong Nee, Cobra Khan, Don McGlashan, Frontline

Of course there’s a strip club. Also urban decay, suburban angst, Manhattan and the Hokianga.
Continue reading February 2006: Blindspott, Chong Nee, Cobra Khan, Don McGlashan, Frontline

Dei Hamo featuring Chong Nee “This Is My Life”

2005-dei-hamo-this-is-my-lifeDei Hamo teams up with Chong Nee for a declaration of his goals in life. That’s good. It helps to have goals.

Much of the video takes place in front of a CGI background. It’s pretty basic – just yellow pillars and plain red backdrops. It was likely made using the coolest technology at the time, but a decade later it ends up looking really cheap. The better scenes involve real settings, or real props in front of a CGI background .

Dei Hamo shares his wish to buy fancy cars for himself and his dad, and he goes into quite specific technical detail about the car, which takes the video into Top Gear territory. But as Dei Hamo explained to the Herald in 2005, “Kids are always asking me, ‘Where’s your big red truck?’ If I really had that much money I’d be very modest.”

There’s also a scene dedicated to technology. Dei Hamo is shown in playing a Nintendo DS, his “email address” is shown on screen (deihamo@yo.mammas.house.com, lolz). “I’ll get my lawyer to fax you back”, Dei Hamo threatens, knowing the brutal force of ’80s communication technology. Even more fierce – Dei Hamo takes a phone call on his Pocket PC phone with a flip-out keyboard and running Windows Mobile. Embarrassed 4 u, dude.

Much of the song is about how Dei Hamo is so cool because his rhymes are so fresh – and that is true. But musically the song is a bit flat (the chorus is forgettable) and the video involves so much that it ends up feeling quite unfocused.

Best bit: the parody of Eminem in 8 Mile, complete with the sign reading “8km to South Auckland” (Mt Wellington?)

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the brother of that guy in that band.

Dei Hamo “To Tha Floor!”

2004-dei-hamo-to-tha-floorThis is what the mid ’00s felt like. Peak hip hop, bling culture and Dei Hamo with a song that sounds like a regurgitation of all the popular music trends of the era. At the time it seemed very cool (the song reached number 5 in the singles chart) but now it just hasn’t held up.

Most of the video is Dei Hamo surrounded by a harem of hotties and various male members of the New Zealand hip hop community. The song’s lyrics are basically Dei Hamo bragging about how cool he is, how he’s a hit with the ladies.

He makes a reference to drinking “a whole 40 ounce of [malt] liquor”, or as it’s known in New Zealand, 1.2 litres of beer, which brings to mind the image of Dei Hamo spending most of the evening rushing off to toilet for a wee.

“Now move your body like a snake, ma,” he commands. Boringly, we just see one of the party girls dancing. I’d be more impressed if she dropped to the floor and started wiggling, hissing and biting.

The best thing about the video is that there is actually a lot of dancing in it. A whole lot of different dancers do their thing, with the centrepiece being some cool formation dancing. But then later, over the top of the song, there’s a lame Lord of the Rings Gollum skit for which there is no excuse.

If the song was about 90 seconds shorter, the video would be just fine. But as it is, it feels very self-indulgent in places.

Best bit: Awa from Nesian Mystik’s seductive eyebrow. I see you, boy.

Director: Chris Graham
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… lol-ita.

Dei Hamo “We Gon’ Ride”

2003-dei-hamo-we-gon-rideWell, there’s a lot going on in this video. The video starts with a prologue – Dei Hamo and pals sitting in a car parked in the pedestrian area outside the Britomart Transport Centre. After declaring that there’s no “new sound”, the four discover that – hey – you can make cool noises with things inside a car. This suggests that none of them have ever been a bored kid waiting inside a car.

After a minute of that, the song proper kicks off. Most of the action takes place in and around Commerce Street in Downtown Auckland, right in front of the bookshop selling cute Asian stationery. There are cars galore, along with boys and girls who are just as much into cars as Dei Hamo is. He’s pestered by the media (with one reporter played by Jane Yee) but just as things seem about to get boring, they instead get weird.

There’s Dei Hamo and Chong Nee dressed as military generals standing in front of a big wall of shiny mag wheels, Dei Hamo in white-face as Paul Holmes having a dig as the notorious “cheekie darkie” comment, Dei Hamo relaxing with an underwear-clad model in an RV. And then there’s Matthew Ridge excitedly boogieing down with the boys.

At the time the video came out, it all seemed very exciting. As Duncan Greive says over at Audio Culture, this is what big flashy hip hop videos were like at the time. It takes a lot of effort to make a video like this (the video reportedly cost over $50,000), but Chris Graham and Dei Hamo pulled it off. And yet… as Greive also observes, “something about the cumulative impact feels a little overblown – like, this is New Zealand. We can’t possibly afford to live that life.”

It looks like a world created for a music video, rather than an actual depiction of a blinged-out good life. The song was number one for five weeks, in that remarkable time in 2003-2005 when eight New Zealand hip hop songs made it to number one before the trend flipped over to reality TV show winners. And now, 10 years later, the world of “We Gon’ Ride” seems like ancient history, that time when entertainers used to dress up and dance around cars.

Best bit: Dei Hamo holds up a fat wad of Rutherfords.

Director: Chris Graham
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision


And with this blinged-out extravaganza, I’ll end the year. 5000 Ways will now take its annual break, back on Monday 20 January right in the midst of that particularly fruitful time for New Zealand music in the pop charts. As always, thanks to you, dear reader, and to everyone who’s commented and shared stories, and to all the people who’ve tracked down old videos and got them online. Merry Christmas, happy New Year and see you in 2003!

  • Robyn

Matty J feat. Dei Hamo “Somewhere You’re There”

1994-matty-j-somewhere-youre-thereThe first few seconds of this song seem quite sedate. There’s Marry J doing his soul crooning and it’s all very sweet when suddenly – bam! – here’s Dei Hamo with some rap to make things a lot more interesting.

Dei Hamo is filmed in black and white, with the lyrics of his rhymes jumping around behind him, like a YouTube lyric video. This tantalising and explosive intro is over quickly, and we return to Matty J, walking along a city street.

The camera always films him walking left to right, and we also see split screen shots of different angles of him. I know what’s trying to be achieved here (the spilt screen style was very cool in the mid-’90s) but it seems a bit awkward here. It has been done with some really horrible looking bevelling effects, like the sort of stuff that showed up in webpage design in the mid-’90s. Was there a point where this style was cool? Maybe.

Dei Hamo bursts in again, introduced by Matty J as “the Madd Coconut”. And then Matty J continues on his journey, walking through cityscapes in bold colours, particularly purples and blues. Finally Matty J’s journey ends with him walking right up to his sweetie, but the video abruptly ends before there can be any grand reunion. (This might just be the version that’s online.)

It feels like there are some really good ideas behind this video, but not everything manages to work.

Best bit: Matty J’s simultaneous look of loved-up and cool.

Director: Craig Jackson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… lying in the sand.

Nathan Haines “Lady J”

1994-nathan-haines-lady-jAw yeah. “Lady J” is a very cool song and the video is the dopeness. Compared to the more polite album version, the video version of “Lady J” has more of a low end, with a rap added courtesy of Sonny Sagala (aka Dei Hamo). That detail lifts the song, taking it a step away from its melodic jazz roots and making it the sort of tune that the Ice TV gang would gush over.

The spunky video is directed by Josh Frizzell and takes on a kind of scrapbook look. Shapes containing Nathan, Sonny and other band members slowly glide or fragment across the screen. It looks a bit like a DVD menu screen from the ’00s, but there’s something that makes it just that bit more sophisticated.

Nathan looks quite different to his usual appearance. He has closely shaven hair and is wearing tinted spectacles. It somehow makes him look much older the young man of 22 he was – but perhaps this was intended. And it was something that hugely appealed to me at age 19 – a video evoking a cool, sophisticated world that seemed out of reach for me in from suburban Hamilton.

In a way, a trick is being played. The video is taking a jazz track and presenting it in such a way that it crossed over to the world of teen pop, like a gateway drug to a cooler world of music.

Best bit: the side silhouette of Nathan’s trousers. Good cut.



Bonus: here’s Nathan in 1995 talking about his album “Shift Left” from TV3’s music show “Frenzy”.

Director: Josh Frizzell
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Missing videos from 1996

February 1996

Dei Hamo “International Whirl Rocker”

After making his mark doing the guest rap on Nathan Haines’ “Lady J”, Dei Hamo went solo with International Whirl Rocker (or “Rocca”, as it is listed in the NZOA database. The song was due to be released on Papa Pacific Records, but the label folded before this could happen, with Phil Fuemana eventually including the track on the groundbreaking Pioneers of a Pacifikian Frontier album. Here’s Dei Hamo performing the song live on Mai Time.

Teina Benioni “Gone Fishing”

Teina was nicknamed “the bard of Otara”. He played all the instruments and sang all the vocals on his song “Gone Fishing”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1996

Eye TV “Immaculate”

Another track from Eye TV. “Immaculate” was a return to a more electric sound for the group. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “Eye TV perform “Immaculate” in white room under flashing lights.”

Director: Sharron Ward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Moana and the Moahunters “Prophecies”

“Prophecies” was a track on Moana and the Moahunter’s second album, Tahi. It’s a gentle soul ballad, and Moana’s website says it touches “on more spiritual matters”. This looks like a case where the video was never made.

Splitter “What You Know”

Splitter had “What You Know”, described by the Herald as “XTC-meets-powerpop”. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The Splitter singer sings “What You Know” strapped to a chair in an interrogation room.”

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1996

Bike “Old & Blue”

Bike’s first single, “Save My Life”, is afforded digital immortality due to its inclusion on the Flying Nun “Very Short Films” compilation, but second single “Old and Blue” isn’t so lucky.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dam Native “Top Notch Vocalist”

The only mention of the Dam Native song “Top Notch Vocalist” is in the NZOA funding list. It seems like the sort of funding that might have ended up going to a different song.

Future Stupid “Greed”

Christchurch band Future Stupid were causing a ruckus with “Greed”. While the music video isn’t online, you can take your pick of 1997 live performances at the Summer Series, the Big Day Out or a DIY music video.

Lodger “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me”

Another song from Lodger, aka Damon from Dead Flowers’ side project. I assume that “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me” is a cover of the Small Faces song.

Second Child “Prove You Wrong”

“Prove You Wrong” is the sixth funded video from Second Child.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “Tremolo Panned”

Splitter was an Andrew Thorne project and “Tremolo Panned” was a nice piece of mid-’90s rock. But best of all, the Kiwi Hit List noted that the song features “Graham Brazier on electrified harmonica”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exponents “Do You Feel In Love”

The Exponents said farewell to Warner Music with a final single, “Do You Feel In Love”. Nga Taonga’s description suggests the video is a classic style Greg Page animation: “A claymation Exponents perform “Do You Feel In Love”.”

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1996

Breathe “Smiley Hands”

Breathe debuted with “Smiley Hands”, giving just an inkling of the major label excitement they stirred only a few years later. The olden internet has revealed this short but amazing article about the Smiley Hands EP. Taken from a December 1996 issue of RipItUp, it’s the kind of music writing that’s so scarce in this digital age.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dancing Azians “Elevator”

As if the awful band name wasn’t a giveaway, the Dancing Azians were a Rockquest band – the 1995 winners, in fact. “Elevator” was their first single, described by Pagan Records boss Trevor Reekie as “a genuinely funny song”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Igelese “Emotions”

“Emotions” was Igelese’s second funded video. There’s no sign of it ever having been made, which might be tied to the end of Igelese’s record label, Papa Pacific.

Lole “Feel Like Making Love”

Lole covers “Feel Like Making Love”, that’s the safe Roberta Flack song, not Bad Company’s rock classic.

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ngaire “The Look Of Love”

Having previously covered “Son of a Preacher Man”, Ngaire tackles another Dusty Springfield number, “The Look of Love”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Peaches “Go”

OMG, Peaches?! Wait, it’s not the Canadian performance artist, but a Debbie Harwood project. She got her musician mates to cover classic New Zealand pop. “Go” is project’s one original track, penned by Rikki Morris.

Seven a Side “Running Back to You”

Also from the Rockquest is Seven a Side, winner of the Tangata Pasifica Beats category. A funded video for “Running Back To You” was part of the prize package. The track also featured on Tangata Records’ compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Supergroove “5th Wheel”

“5th Wheel” is an attempt at a sweet pop song, complete with flute, strings, and ah-ah-ahs. I believe vocals are by Joe Lonie, and the video involved him sitting on the back of a ute.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The 3Ds “Vector 27”

“Vector 27” was from The 3Ds final album, Strange News from the Angels. It was also the final 3Ds video to be funded. Nga Taonga enticingly describes the video as, “The 3Ds go for a drive in the countryside and encounter flying saucers and aliens.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1996

Ardijah “Oh Baby”

After returning from five years in Australia, “Oh Baby” was Ardijah’s new single. The video isn’t online, but here’s a short clip of a live performance from the era. Nga Taonga describe the video as “Ardijah perform “Oh Baby” in cabaret setting.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bobby Owen “Falling”

The Kiwi Hit Disc described 18-year-old Bobby Owen’s single “Falling” as a “moody soulful ballad” that was recorded at Fuemana Studios.

Dam Native “Extremities”

Another cool track from Dam Native. “Extremities” was produced by Zane Lowe.

Greg Johnson “Softly On Me”

“Softly On Me” featured Boh Runga and was produced by Dave Dobbyn. Jonathan King directed the video, filmed at a Tongan church in Auckland.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mary “Golden Halo”

Mary was an all-girl band, and they were a very all-girl band. Check out this profile in the Herald – about half the article is about aspects of their all-girl-bandliness. Their sweet, girly song “Golden Halo” was the first of many funded videos. I’ve heard from a performer in the video who says she wore a halo, naturally enough.

Stellar “Real”

It’s cool seeing signs of Stellar’s early work, putting in the hard yards before they were snapped up by Sony and became pop icons. “Real” was another early single.

December 1996

Ardijah “Bad Buzz”

More Polyfonk from Ardijah, this time with “Bad Buzz”, a Bob Marley tribute. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Ardijah sing “Bad Buzz” walking through sideshows / amusement park.”

Director: Neil Cervin
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Brothers & Sisters “Parihaka”

Like both Tim Finn and Jacqui Keelan Davey, the young Maori band Brothers & Sisters pay tribute to the pacifist Te Whiti with their song “Parihaka”. The track featured on the Tangata Records compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

DLT “Black Panthers”

The instrumental “Black Panthers” was the second single off DLT’s album “The True School”.

Fat Mannequin “That Matters”

Fat Mannequin deliver “That Matters”, a very ’90s rock ballad.

In The Whare “Sister Dread”

According to NZOA, In The Whare’s music was a mix of reggae, hip hop, funk and metal. Their song “Sister Dread” also featured on Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Instead…

Here’s another music video from Fat Mannequin, “Room and Spine”, also from 1996. It’s noteworthy because the guitarist is wearing a Vision Streetwear t-shirt (just like the guy in EMF!) and because the lead singer, with his curly long hair and quirky performance mannerisms, looks like a parallel universe version of Lorde as a boy. The best bit, though, is the menacing old lady.

Director: Jeff Hurrell
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision