Te Vaka “Lua Afe”

1998-te-vaka-lua-afeOceanic group Te Vaka, who have been working solidly and touring since the mid ’90s, had only two music videos funded by NZ On Air. I figure this is more about their personal style of performance. They’re the sort of band that tours extensively around the world and doesn’t need music videos or radio play to sell albums.

And indeed “Lua Afe” – “Two Thousand”, a celebration of unity for the new millennium – isn’t the sort of song you’d expect to hear on New Zealand commercial radio. It’s an almost acoustic piece, built around staunch pate drumming and men chanting, with only the merest hint of disco bass and electronic beats.

The video, directed by Angela Sparks, is “filmed in Auckland regional parks” (possibly Kare Kare, if a YouTube tag is correct) and it manages to give Auckland’s coast a slight tropical feeling.

Filmed in a warm, golden light, attractive young men and women give the camera dramatic glances. There are also scenes of Samoan pe’a tattooing, with close-ups of the inky stick tapping into the skin.

There’s a mysteriousness to the way the video has been shot, with lots of close-ups never letting us get a broad look at the action. This draws the viewer in. It feels we’re less watching from a distance and more that we’re actually part of the celebrations.

Best bit: the dirty dancing that sneaks in.

Next… a bunch of cool guys.

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