So this review has taken a while to write due to personal issues I had to ride out… Alas…

That’s all we wanted. ONE. MORE. SONG. Just one more….

When one talks about ‘pushing boundaries’, this entails a level of thinking that differs from the average person, an execution of this thought pattern that challenges the existing modes of thinking, unlocking a part of one’s mind to the possibility that there is more to experience, more to learn, more to express and more to feel. Tone Bar experienced this level of exertion when Electric Wire Hustle stepped foot on stage for their debut album launch performance in Australia. It has been a while since I’ve wanted a live act to play one more song. It wasn’t just a plea of my own, but a collective  of EWH fans bellowing from sporadic parts of the dance floor, encouraging New Zealand’s next level artists to play just one more song. It didn’t happen, but what did happen that night showed Sydney fans that EWH have what it takes to take the music industry up another notch. Their unique form of sonic self expression is something unlike I’ve heard in the last 10 years, so to see them before my own eyes with adoring fans was indeed one of the highlights of 2010.

Wearing a brown leather jacket and a black hoodie underneath, lead singer MARA TK took to the stage armed with his unique soulful vocals, his electric and bass guitar,with a chilled attitude that the rest of the band seemed to naturally ooze. An attitude that set the right ‘tone’ for the rest of the night. They were just three unassuming musicians playing because they love it. Keyboardist David “TaayNinh” Wright played every note with a head nod that was contagious. Their set list comprised of most tracks from their album and a surprise performance cover of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Move on Up’ with New Zealand’s Isaac Aesili on the trumpet, Rachel Fraser singing backing vocals, and Sydney sider Simon Kaye on the flugal horn. That in itself was a supreme highlight of the night, with each musician showcasing their skills on each instrument.

As much as I dislike focusing on one individual, particularly when the quality of performance on a whole was of high quality standards, special mention has to go to EWH’s drummer, classically jazzed trained Myele Manzanza. I’m not a drummer so excuse the lack of cohesive terminology, but Myele played off beat, on beat, triplets, grabs, with a solo moment showcasing his high skills – he teased the crowd. Myele played as you would expect a free jazz improv drummer to, with just the right quietness to allow the others members to shine. If it’s not the melody that captures my attention, it has to be the beat and Myele’s drumming moved me to do my infamous air drumming through-out the entire night.

Once again, thank you to Niche Productions for pushing the envelope, knowing what real music is and sharing it with us all. Log on to their website for new sohws in the new year! Next year will be a huge one for live music! HUGE!

If you get the chance to see Electric Wire Hustle live at some point in your life, do it! Many blogs on line have praised this New Zealand band including Okay Player having given this album 91 out of 100. I can’t stress enough how much this band will explode on to the international music scene. It’s better than Kanye West’s recent album. There. I said it.

Happy Christmas and don’t drink AND drive!




I was introduced to ELECTRIC WIRE HUSTLE at the beginning of this year by a close mate of mine who had been the lead singer’s room mate back in Christchurch. I have been mesmerized by their sound ever since. How do you encapsulate in words EWH’s sound without sticky taping labels that don’t seem to have a firm hold on them? Their sound can be best described as psychedelic, off beat hip hop with soul as the epicenter of their muse, splash a bit of jazz and contemporary electronica, and you have a sound that cannot be contained. It needs to be heard. They seem to inherently resist labels not from their own doing, but it’s like a sin trying to pigeon hole this band. It’s just wrong! They don’t care to fit a mould, or to stick to a typical formulaic generic sound of beats and samples. It’s the finer details that seem to make more noise than the framework itself. They stand out because they take risks, they experiment with sounds, instrumentation, tempo, mood, and dive deep in the multi layers of musical freedom. Plus, they know to loiter in the moment, for us to wait it out and journey with them through the raw landscape of dreamy sounds. EWH take their time and sit with you.

Electric Wire Hustle hail from Wellington, New Zealand, a three piece band – Mara (vocals/bass/guitar), Taay Ninh (bass/keyboards/MPC) and Myele Manzanza (drums/percussion), signed to the label BBE and WONDERFUL NOISE (Jpn). 2007 saw the band unite for the first time playing shows around New Zealand with a large following that soon built momentum around their native land. Their strong stage presence and unique sound traveled across the seas affording them the privilege of support act for international artists the likes of UK’s soul singer Alice Russell, America’s left field hip hop outfit SA-RA Creative Partners, Japan’s DJ Krush and Grooveman Spot, Talib Kweli, Peanut Butterwolf, Jean Grae and DAM FUNK. Electric Wire Hustle have also had the remarkable privilege of collaborating with well respected musicians from Georgia Ann Muldrow, Declaime, Stacy Epps and Steve Spacek, with a special guest appearance by MARA TK’s father  – New Zealand’s blues luminary BILLY TK. Keep in mind they have still yet to take the world by storm. Not bad for three years of musical development!

Revered by Gilles Peterson, BBC’s Radio 1Xtra DJ Benj B, LA’s DJ JAMAD, NY’s Tyler Askew, it’s no wonder the well respected Revivalist blog has also taken to their sound with pure curiosity and open arms at the prestigious College Music Journal Festival (CMJ). Surrounding themselves with talented hip hop and jazz musicians in New York City for CMJ festival, EWH performed to an audience that were hard to impress due to the amount of new music the festival had hosted all day and night. EWH appeared on stage positively cementing their position amongst New York’s music hungry elitist crowd. They released this album in New Zealand at the tail end of 2009 through their own label Every Waking Hour, only to then get signed to BBE (worldwide) and Wonderful Noise (Japan). “Perception” was the first single to be released in New Zealand receiving critical acclaim world wide:

““Electric Wire Hustle are at the forefront of talented musicians dedicated to putting out superior music and it’s a damn shame that the airwaves aren’t flooded with what this album offers, because it would well be worth it.”

“A great blend of forward thinking hip hop, jazz and soul.”

Waajeed (Platinum Pied Pipers, Bling47, Ubiquity)

Niche Productions have hit the nail on the head again touring EWH down to Melbourne and Sydney for their long awaited album launch of the same name ‘Electric Wire Hustle’! EWH are to hit Sydney tomorrow night at TONE, Surry Hills.  You’ll find collaborations from the above mentioned, plus an interesting scope into what the future of soul music is developing into. This album holds hands with time and simplicity, layering smooth vocal tones provided by Mara TK, allowing the energy to shape the mood without rushing into a middle eight, or bridge to capture one’s attention. It’s live instrumentation so you know you’ll be in for a real treat to genuine musicianship! To me, DAM FUNK and ELECTRIC WIRE HUSTLE are two major players in the music industry that will (f not already) take the underground world by storm through strength in simplicity and sound escapism. Get to know Electric Wire Hustle, they’re staying. They’re staying for good!

Tickets available through moshtix or at the door! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!! DJ Huwston from 2ser’s SOUL GLOW will be DJing on the night! No doubt you’ll be hearing something new, perhaps a new Jay Electronica track in celebration of being signed to Rocnation! That’s another blog there…














Niche Productions



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