version of the award-winning album Holy Colony Burning Acres – the third instalment of multi-award-winning artist Troy Kingi’s aspirational 10|10|10 Series (ten albums in ten genres in ten years) – is a deeply personal project for Troy.
Troy (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) started translating the lyrics, and then recording the vocals during his Matairangi Mahi Toi Artist Residency at Government House in 2020.
This is a complete reworking of the album from a Māori world view, including brand new recordings of tracks such as 'Turūkanīnī. It has also been an opportunity for Troy and long-time production partner TeMatera Smith to make tweaks and changes to the production.
Like many of us on the journey of re-connecting with whakapapa, I feel extremely fortunate to have been given numerous opportunities and invitations to grow into and embrace the fertile, holistic plenitudes of Te Aō Māori.
Troy's lyric citing hīnātore as a metaphor for hope in a hopeless situation (He Kākano), sparked my own reflections on the numerous ongoing challenges of iwi taketake (indigenous peoples) around the world, and the sustained campaigning against systemic hegemony. One korero tells us that Hīnātore (phosphorous light) was the first piercing glimmer out of the dark expanse of the nothingness (Te Kore), that our Ātua saw when Tāne separated Ranginui (Sky Father) from Papatūānuku (Earth Mother). It is generous, ngakau nui creations like this album that collectively pierce through the din for ALL of us to embrace and reflect. The entire album is imbued with a multi-layered, conscious celebration of all things Indigenous; from the joyous collage or linguistic chaos of ’Taku Taku (Tower of Babylon), to the tasty eudaemonic ‘dubs’; a homage to Lee Scratch Perry scattered throughout. This piercing glimmer and celebrated continuum of indigeneity could not be any more celebrated in this stunning yet hearty collection of songs and story telling. To weave all of the threads of sublime production, with the highest calibre of exquisite musicianship and lyrical inteniont of a taiaha is no easy feat. In this album (and all his others!) Troy delivers. 'E hara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa taki tini’. In Te Ao Māori, individual actions and considerations are for the benefit of the many. And in this increasingly, fast-paced, dynamic world, our brother Troy makes time for us all. He invests his creative energies and aroha for us all. We mihi back to him and his beautiful whanau, and acknowledge their collective aroha embodied within this taonga, ‘Pū Whenua Hautapu Eka Mumura’. And because this album comes from the ngakau (heart), in my humble opinion, it soars high above any music industry metric. It pierces through the thick, multi-layered din of distraction and reminds us that through shared knowledge comes collective understanding, and from collective understanding comes kotahitanga / togetherness.
Warren Maxwell (TrinityRoots, Little Bushman, Fat Freddy's Drop)