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12 Aug 2016

Billy T.K.'s Powerhouse “Life Beyond The Material Sky” 1975 New Zealand psychedelic acid Rock

Billy T.K.'s Powerhouse “Life Beyond The Material Sky” 1975 New Zealand psychedelic acid Rock


Billy Te Kahika (Billy T K) left Human Instinct after their 1972 tour of Australia and shortly after began recruiting for his own unit to play more fluid, rhythmic music. He convinced former Blackfeather drummer Steve Webb to come out from Australia and along second guitarist John Bilderbeck from Wanganui and Gav Collinge on bass created Powerhouse.
Initially the band worked in Wellington where at Ali Baba’s and Lucifer’s nightclubs then with only Collinge remaining from the original line-up a new unit was pulled together back in Palmerston North where Billy and promoter Murray Taylor started their own nightclub called the Boulevarde.
The new Powerhouse featured Billy on guitar, Gav on bass, Ara Mete on rhythm guitar, Jamie Tait-Jamieson on keyboards, Bud Hooper (later Neal Storey [Dragon] and Peter Kellington) on drums, Arnold Tihema on congas and lead vocals and Mahia Blackmore on vocals and percussion. Powerhouse remained in that residency about 18 months playing their own brand of contemporary South Pacific rhythms with strong Santana influences. .....

A little-known lost gem, only ever released as a double album in Germany in the early 90's to my knowledge. It's a tasty one. An extraordinary Santana meets Hendrix style trippy fusion fronted by Maori guitar wizard Billy T.K. fresh out of Human Instinct. There are lots of wicked grooves and plenty of long tracks featuring dazzling guitars solos. Hot and really cooking! Although Billy T.K. is still around, it seems that he never did anything else like this.

Here's my original review in Audion #22, published in July 1992
It seems obvious that Maori guitarist Billy TK felt constrained within the band Human Instinct, they didn't have the inclination for his penchant of free riffing rock and fusion. Thus he left and formed his own group. This double album is the first released document of a classic band, live recordings circa 1975, mostly instrumental and featuring the guitar most extensively. Who would have guessed a Maori could sound so good? Elements of Mahavishnu Orchestra, classic Santana, the hippy rock jams of Sweet Smoke or Quicksilver. And most of the tracks are lengthy, there are only eight throughout its four sides! There's no way I could pick out a favourite track, the whole of it is quite astounding - almost endless guitar solos played with such dexterity and feeling that it's almost too much! Only one problem, being split onto four sides of a double album one loses the flow of the concert. A pity Little Wing don't release CD's, then one could experience the whole masterwork uninterrupted! ......

The only album from Palmerston North. The leader of the group - guitarist Billy Maori Teekay (Billy T.K., Bill Te Kahika) earned the nickname "Maori Jimi Hendrix." He was the first aboriginal Maori who became a world-class rock star, to combine in his work a modern blues-rock with progressive Pacific ethnic rhythms. He wrote a number of original songs, covers of which are often made other musicians, but most known for his work with the group "Human Instinct". The only album he released with his band "Te Whare Mana" ( "Powerhouse") in 1975, was produced in a limited edition in the UK and Germany and is now the collection rarity ...

Billy T.K. (Bill Te Kahika) — lead guitar, vocals
Piahana Tahapeti — 2nd guitar
Ara Mete — drums
Peter Mataparae — bass
Mana Rauhina — congos
Jamie Tait Jamieson — keyboards
Pauline Pool — cello, vocals
Eva & Maria Keuti — backing vocals

Tracks :
01 Heaven's Melody (12:54)
02 Beyond The Material Sky (5:49)
03 Guru Deva (9:03)
04 Race Into The Infinite (10:37)
05 Secret Of Life (11:49)
06 City Of Things (3:57)
07 Love Love (13:17)
08 Funky Trucking (5:26)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..