… or should that be Indo Retro Music or Musik Indo Retro?
No matter, but such ruminations are what get you through grey overcast drizzly Sunday afternoons in the UK. Yes, yesterday brought a familiar ambiance to Jakartass Towers. An ideal way to spend such a damp afternoon is to go crate digging for … well, my choice yesterday was Indonesian music from the 60s and early 70s.
Naturally, physical effort on such a day is best left to others; I let my fingers do the walking over my keyboard. The obvious first stop was at Mad Rotter’s to see what treasures he’s recently unearthed.and discover those I’d missed out on because the links have expired. (Any chance of a re-up of the The Peels ep, Benny Soebardja’s first band? Please Henk.)
I already have several Benny Soebardja albums, but it is only now that his music is being sold. You can buy a double CD of his three Lizard albums from Light In The Attic here for a very reasonable $12; the single albums are “out of stock”: when in stock they’re $20 + post etc..
Of greater interest is that Benny S is reforming another of his groups, Giant Step, and they are reported to have a new album, Life’s Not the Same, out this month. It is being released on CD and vinyl through Singapore’s Rockpod Records and the US label Aural Records, So will it also feature on DeMajors for distribution here in Indonesia?
Giant Step will not be the same either. This was the line up on Giant On The Move! (’76) and Kukuh Nan Teguh (’75)
Adhy Sibolangit: bass – back
Haddy Arief: drums – middle left / Benny Soebardja: vocals, guitar – middle right
Albert Warnerin: guitar – middle (deceased)
Triawan Munaf: keyboards – front (head of Bekraf, Creative Economy Agency)
Another album from that era has recently resurfaced: Harry Roesli‘s Philosophy Gang from 1973. It was not sold publicly due, it was said, to taxation issues. However the real reason was probably because the contents were considered too socially progressive under Suharto’s New Order regime. So the album became a cult classic, and original copies fetch around Rp.4 million (c.$277).
As the relaunch is a repro vinyl release, it seems only fair that if, as Harry’s son said, he expected the album would introduce his father’s music legacy as a rebellious musician to the current generation, then it should be more widely available to them. So here it is, digitalised in mp3 format @320.
Odds and Sods
This site has 18 albums from that era, including those I mention above.
Java Java – Indonesia screaming fuzz-garage stomp indo-rock beat surf – two volumes of supposed Indonesian garage bands. They include Adnan Othman who was (still is?) Malaysian. Mind you, he sounds as if he was in Java and the recording studio in KL.
Finally, back in 2010, Jeremy Phillips had a “guest DJ set” which was broadcast “from what once was one of New York’s premier weekly soul nights, Lost & Found.in NYC“. His mix of “rare cuts of psych, funk, soul and garage from the Far East” can be listened to here and while you’re listening, right click and check out some of his other pages about classic 60s/70s Indonesian music in new tabs. He too is fascinated by an almost forgotten era of when Indonesian musicians spread their wings.
So, what did you do yesterday?