'Kambek (I Lilikun Mulai)' is the new album from PNG legend Telek
ARIA Award winning Papua New Guinea legend George Telek MBE releases his new album "Kambek (I Lilikun Mulai)".
The album title "Kambek (I Lilikun Mulai)" includes the languages Tok Pisin and Kuanua, referencing Telek’s recovery from a long fought battle with mouth cancer, which preceded the recent years of absence from touring and recording due to the global pandemic.
Additionally "Kambek (I Lilikun Mulai)" is the first album Sir George has recorded in his home base of Rabaul since the volcano Tavurvur destroyed the town (including its recording studios) back in 1994. For this album Telek teamed up with his former bandmates from Painim Wok, PNG’s biggest rock band of the 80’s, with legendary guitarist Sir John Warbat, drummer Henry Maniot, and bass player John "Pooger" Yass. The album was mixed by Simon Polinksi (Yothu Yindi, Paul Kelly) who recorded and mixed Telek’s self-titled album in 1997, which received an ARIA Award for Best World Music Album.
First single, "Noken Paitim Meri" (English translation: No violence against your woman) is a powerful ballad, where Telek speaks directly to other Papua New Guinean men, that domestic violence is abhorrent and acceptable under no circumstances. The vocal is yearning and heartfelt, the chorus epic. Telek believes that the women of Papua New Guinea have for too long shouldered the burden of finding solutions to the gender-based violence issue, and it is now time for men to stand up strong and join in the cause to appeal to each other to eradicate such inequality.
Telek hopes that his song will be a powerful tool in advocating positive change in communities throughout the Pacific. In 2018, the World Health Organisation reported that the Oceania region had the highest prevalence rates of intimate partner violence in the world, with PNG having the 3rd highest rate amongst surveyed countries. According to the PNG Parliamentary Coalition to End Gender Based Violence, PNG’s Demographic and Health Survey (2016-2018) found that 56% of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence.
Telek believes in the power of song. The new single is written from a male perspective to other men and sends an important message - that resorting to violence is immoral and should not be the Pacific way. It is a heartfelt and emotional song. "Noken Paitim Meri" follows in the footsteps of songs of advocacy Telek has written in the past - supporting the freedom movement for the oppressed peoples of West Papua with the incredibly popular West Papua single, the messages against illegal logging in Akave, and extolling the virtues of a village based garden diet in Gadin Kaikai.
The single is accompanied by a film clip produced by Papua New Guinean woman Natasha Henry, with footage of Telek by Juan Low and additional footage of actors from Goroka provided by Dilen Doiki. George Telek has offered this single and film clip to a range of Pacific Islands NGOs and not-for-profits working in this space to use as a tool in any way they see fit.
Telek's eagerly awaited album "Kambek (I Lilikun Mulai)" was released on October 7th, 2022.