Title: Voodoo Lady / Chessboard

Format: 7 inch and 12“ disco mix

Label: Infinity Records/ Festival

Year: 1977

Genre: Disco / Soul

A national treasure in NZ little is known in OZ about this artist Dalvinus Prime. Dalvanius’ own music career started when he won a talent quest on Wellington’s 2ZB radio station. From there he joined a Porirua trio The Shevelles, before forming DALVANIUS AND HIS FASCINATIONS. They were early pioneers of Australiasian soul / disco music.

The 3 piece formed in 1973, signed to Reprise Records in 1974. The released their version of classics „Love Train“ and „Respect Yourself“. In 1975 they toured with Sherbet  on the “Life“ tour after impressing with successful gigs at the Sydney Opera House with Petula Clark and Diahann Carol. They tour Asia extensively 1976 and then eventually joined NY funk/soul legends Collision in 1977. The self titled Collision LP is definately work checking out. An LP was promised but has yet to surface. The 12 occasionally pops up.

His biggest industry moment was the hit single Poi E, recorded with the Patea Maori Club. The number 1 selling record in New Zealand in 1984, was his adaptation of words written by the late Ngoi Pewhairangi. Classically styled poi song with a funky backing. The song tied for 1st place inthe poi song category at the 1983 Polynesian Festival in Auckland. There is a 12 mix which is a fav with NZ breakers.

A deeply political man he once stood for election and strongly supported a policy of limited self-government by Maori for Maori He worked with youth groups and tried to support local musicians. As a youngster himself he notoriously stole the school bus and wrapped it around a pole. He came from a big family, seven brothers and four sister. He was of Tainui, Ngapuhi, Ngati Ruanui, Tuwharetoa, Nga Rauru, Pakakohi and Ngai Tahu descent.

He was also said to had a passion for the miniature Chihuahua dogs and a flock of carefully bred Wyandotte chickens. He sadly passed in Hawera on Thursday after a long battle with congestive heart disease and cancer. For more info check his Obituary in the New Zealand Herald by Arnold Pickmere.

I picked this up years ago and didn’t super dig it but after many years of trying to find better examples of Australasian oz funk/disco/ soul, I have decided it is probably one of the better ones. Strictly soul disco tip with great production values for oz at the time. Recently got the 7 as well.

Voodoo Lady / Chessboard 7“


VALUE: $25 but growing

Voodoo Lady / Chessboard 12“


VALUE: $50

Check out his version of Love Train on youtube

Love Train can easily be found on the recent CD compilation Waiata: Maori showbands, balladeers and pop star, release by EMI NZ, August 2011














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