Top 5 Reissues Of 2015

Haku's ‘Na Mele A Ka Haku' is one of the author's favorite reissued albums of the year ROGER BONG PHOTO

Haku’s ‘Na Mele A Ka Haku’ is one of the author’s favorite reissued albums of the year

The new year is nearly upon us. Since I haven’t had the opportunity to write about several of my favorite releases in this column, I figured this would be a good chance to share with Metro readers what I’ve been into the past 12 months. I’ve compiled two lists: In this article, we have the top reissues of 2015, and top new releases of 2015 will be featured here next week.

1. Martin L. Dumas Jr. Attitude, Belief & Determination 12″ — Everyone feels so, so good whenever they hear this track! Its positive messages and irresistible groove gives me chicken skin whenever I listen. Never mind that an original copy of this 12-inch costs upwards of $1,500 right now, the music here is priceless. It truly is one of the most beautiful, soulful songs I’ve ever heard.

2. Haku Na Mele A Ka Haku — A complete departure from anything you’d ever dream of being called “Hawaiian music,” Na Mele A Ka Haku is a strange yet important record that was made on Maui in 1975. Its magnificently weird blend of multicultural ideas manifested through storytelling, melody and synthesizers create something like nothing else the Hawaiian Islands ever has produced before. Its creator, Frank Tavares, has stated that he wrote the music as “a powerful judgement which helps remind us that the ultimate destiny and purpose of Hawaii rests in our hands.”

3. Psychemagik Magik Sunset Parts 1 & 2 — This one’s a tie, because parts one and two of Magik Sunset resonate strongly as separate releases and even stronger as a whole. The songs on these compilations take the listener across a dreamy summer landscape with carefree cosmic disco, drum machine Americana and jazz-electronic oddities gathered from all parts of the world, including one from Hawaii.

4. Mariah Utaka no Hibi — Although not nearly as strange as the Haku album sitting at No. 2, Mariah’s LP presents a unique set of Japanese tunes blending all kinds of new wave, folk, funk and almost-techno sounds into the backdrop of some serious musical exploration. I don’t know much about the musicians behind Mariah, but if there’s one album this year to test your ears on this year, it’s Utaka no Hibi.

5. Bing & Ruth City Lake — I look up to the guys behind RVNG Intl., the ambient-electronic record label based in New York. RVNG re-pressed this ethereal beauty, which was originally released in 2010.

Repetitive piano chords and drone allow the album to gradually build upon itself, like waves washing ashore or raindrops falling gently on your window.

I would love to hear what you think of these releases above. Shoot me an email at