Hawai'i Authentic: The Pre-War Era Vol. 1 (1925-1936)

Release Notes
  • Epic island cuts from the pre-war era!! MUST HAVE! * 180gm Vinyl * Best we have to offer

Hawai’ian music is oft relegated to the confinements of Exotica, Easy Listening, or background “vacation music” for cultural tourists throwing a themed party with tropical drinks. In reality, the archipelago’s recorded legacy is as rich, dense and emotionally complex as any other nation with developed musical sensibility.

By the time recording capabilities came to the islands, Portuguese, American and English musical traditions, namely Jazz, had already made a huge impact on the native population and were quickly adapted into their already rich musical traditions. The Hawai’ian approach to the guitar and the advent of the ukulele not only changed the music on the islands, but swept across the Americas, with skilled Hawai’ian players like Sol Hoopii becoming very much in demand among continental Jazz and Pop troupes.

From that period onward, mainland America began recording their own renditions of Hawai’i’s newly-amalgamated and wholly original genre to some excellent results, but also many co-opted sounds and hollow imitations. Over time, the taste of the American and British ears to what made Hawai’ian music “Exotic” to them — the breezy elements of “Vacationland” and tranquility — began to dominate the increasingly larger amount of “Hawaiian” music exported from the state. The same was true for music recorded abroad by musicians, who, adequate as they were, had never stepped foot on true Hawai’ian style.

While authentic Hawai’ian music is still recorded, performed and evolving to the present day, it mainly falls on the ears of Slack-Key Guitar enthusiasts and island locals. The purpose of this volume, and the entire series, is to present a piece of the early era of Hawai’ian music, focusing mainly on lyrics in the native language and tracks that show the full depth of this musical sub-genre. We feel it is as rich and deserving as any other folk music and its pioneers should be regarded in the same light as those of their early Jazz, Blues and Country contemporaries.