Mellow Records Discus : 1st (ID,2000?)***°°
I heard on this CD combination of heavy progressive, symphonic, Indonesian music, jazz fusion, contemporary composition and RIO, jazz composition played with a heavy prog rock band (with electric guitar and el. bass and drums) with some nice flute, added with jazz passages and even some ethno pop tunes.
On "Lamentation & Fantasia Gamelantronique" (that lasts for 8 minutes) the rockband's playing is interwoven with Gamelan like keyboards, and starts with hints towards the traditional Indonesian music and develops immediately a very unique blend combining all these elements I have described before. It is a very interesting composition that combines all these elements incredibly fluently. This composition has many passages that seems to summarize an alternative access to the world expressed as a musical internet without consuming informations, but only involved with the potentional contents collecting colourful expressions of images, one by one, summerizing at the same time this experience. The second track, "For this Love" is a more easy going, almost a Latin Soul-jazz song without any pretentions, backed by the rock group playing jazzy passages. The influence of McLauglin can be experienced sometimes as well, but from another background / viewpoint. "Doc's Tune" is jazz fusion from a high level. "Considonance" is an acoustic jazz fusion track with a contemporary classic composition. Odd as a combination, but still effective.
Much of the CD will confuse some listeners at first because they might expect to be able to place the music very soon after hearing the first notes. So nobody will expect, after a first hearing, and after having heard the first truly progressive music track, such different approaches. But once you understand from which ground they start from you might start to accept and understand that these good skilled musicians really adapted anything.
"Dua Cermin" is a bit disappointing because it starts as an Indonesian mainstream pop song, and also "Wujudkan !" started like that, although the instrumentation is from a good backing band. This might be a way for Indonesian musicians to survive, adding & expressing such tracks, I'm not sure... A more atmospheric "Violin metaphysics" with violins echoing around are an introduction for one more more commercial pop song backed by the same good musicians. Luckily, "Contrasts", the last track of the CD goes back to where it started and that for about 13 minutes of advancement. If the whole album were like these tracks I would have given this CD the maximum grading (as "not to miss classic, completely unique *****"), but because of the lesser tracks, which are ok within its context, but which were also not really necessary on it for us collectors of new musical challenges (the CD is still 62 minutes long) I gave it a lesser grading. Never the less, this is a group very much worth to discover, and hopefully they will be appreciated much more for their advanced fusion. The two progressive tracks are the most interesting ones I heard, or even can imagine with additional gamelan.
Their second release is reviewed next -->