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Chris Cudby / MOKOTRON photo credit: Ngaru Garland / Big Fat Raro photo credit: Sione Tuivailala Monū / Wednesday 13th March, 2024 10:22AM

The second single has emerged from MOKOTRON's (Ngāti Hine) new remixes album THE UNITED TRIBES OF BASS, reimagining works from the Aotearoa indigenous bass revolutionary's back catalogue. Following last month's SRN chart hit 'TAWHITO (Caru Remix)', today's retitled reimagining of 'Colonised Existence' by Big Fat Raro aka Tokerau Brown (ia, Kuki Airani) of Fanau Spa and Wheke Fortress beams out a critical call to action on a global scale to 'DECOLONIZE EXISTENCE'. The two artists' lyrical manifestos are bolstered by relentlessly jacking house / techno / electro rhythms and transportive strings, demanding listeners "decolonize existence / decolonize the world."

"Exclusively featuring Māori and Cook Island Māori electronic practitioners," THE UNITED TRIBES OF BASS is out in full on 22nd March. Hit play on 'DECOLONIZE EXISTENCE (Big Fat Raro Remix)' and head along to the all-star launch party on 12th April at Tāmaki Makaurau's Whammy Bar — details below...

"Colonized Existence was the first proper MOKOTRON tune. Because this project is about being urban Māori, my first song had to be about how I came to be in the city, being ripped away from my whānau, whakapapa, reo and tikanga and screaming soundlessly into the urban void. This is the darkest tune I’ve ever written.

Tokerau's remix moved me to tears because they responded to my despair with hope and aroha. The strings express an inescapable tragedy of loss, so recontextualising them within a message of hope transforms them into a crescendo of support. I love that they only sampled one word from my vocal, ‘resistance’, but replied to it by reminding me we also need to ‘have some fun’. The remix is a lesson for me". — MOKOTRON

"Firstly I just want to mihi to MOKOTRON for inviting me to remix 'Colonised Existence'. As tauiwi Pasifika living in Aotearoa, I have always acknowledged Tangata Whenua as the true landowners and kaitiaki here. The navigator Kupe launched from Rarotonga, the birthplace of his father upon his voyage to Aotearoa. As Cook Island Māori I also acknowledge these ancestors, the complex rhythms, the DNA and shared histories that connect MOKOTRON and I. My name, Tokerau, means North across the Pacific but North West in the Cook Islands. I was also born in Rawene, in Te Tai Tokerau. There are layers to this.

I love how dark and confronting MOKOTRON's original track was, with its strong, uncompromising lyrics. It has a Māori electropunk/goth sensibility and speaks 'forbidden' truths unashamedly. A true outpouring responding to the history of racism in Aotearoa, a painful and first-hand experience for both of us.

Initially I had planned to write something as a call and response, so slotting lyrics in between each of MOKOTRON's lyrics. I was bouncing off each idea and coming back with a positive call to action. So the first lyric 'Colonised Existence' I wondered how to flip that. The only answer: Decolonize Existence! This is the only way to save the planet, through complete decolonisation: returning the social systems, the caretaking of the land, the rivers, the sea back to indigenous peoples across the world.

The song is a call to all peoples of the Pacific, to start on your decolonising journey. That ongoing process and work has changed my world for the better. Hardly anyone wears pareu in the inner cities, except for maybe Tāmaki Makaurau. That was the simple first step on my journey, wearing pareu on the daily with my hoody. That small act led to many others... and here I am. It's the indigenous jailbreak, free your mind one act a time". — Big Fat Raro

Mokotron - The United Tribes Of Bass Release Show
featuring... Caru, Big Fat Raro, Akcept, Netana, Hasji, DJ Oboe, GALOLEAFI, and Big Wā
Friday 12th April - Whammy Bar, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

'DECOLONIZE EXISTENCE (Big Fat Raro Remix)' is out today on major streaming platforms via Sunreturn.


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Mokotron - 'The United Tribes Of Bass' Release Show
Fri 12th Apr 8:00pm
Whammy Bar, Auckland