CD Review by Rick Narbutas
The Rhythm Hunters are a group based on the Central Coast of NSW dedicated to the pursuit of joy, discipline and community.
Arguably the oldest form of creating music, percussion takes not only great coordination but also dedication.
Percussion is not easy.
Founder of the Rhythm Hunters, Rendra Freestone, began exploring physical approaches to music studying Tibetan martial arts as a teenager.
Rendra’s passion was further developed through immersion in Japanese Taiko drumming some years later.
The music of the Rhythm Hunters is an original blend with strong influences from Japan, Indonesia and life in Australia.
Rendra Freestone is the founder of The Rhythm Hut which had its grand opening for its fourth location on 19th September, 2013, christening its brand new (and at that time, unfinished) stage with the talents of OKA, Declan Kelly, and Rhythm Hunters.
A few notable names have graced that stage: Shaun Kirk, Nathan Cavaleri, OKA, Ngaiire, Nahko & Medicine for The People, Nattali Rize, Bobby Alu, Caravana Sun, Mal Webb, Wild Marmalade, Afro Moses, Dave Stringer, Kim Churchill, Ziggy Alberts, Ash Grunwald, Nicky Bomba, Dustin Thomas, Mike Love, Fukushima Deathfish and Rising Appalachia to name a few.
The Hut had become a cornerstone of culture in Gosford, embracing all people who want to learn, who seek friendship and support, or who just love music.
It has since been forced to close permanently because of Covid.
The Sumatran Folk Theatre group, Musik Kabau, brought Rendra back to the melodic and colourful music of his roots.
The use of Sumatran kettle gongs and wind instrumentation, layered upon the thunder of Japanese drums is a unique characteristic of the Rhythm Hunters.
Other contributors performing on the tracks are Sean Cadogan, Jacqui Houston and Jody Lenihan.
The CD was recorded by Ben Hundson and mastered by Tim Scheumack in North Avoca.