“This music comes from somewhere unknown and offers hope that there are worlds of music out there, unexplored and waiting to be discovered.”
That’s from a review of Orchestra Bana Luya from Kinhasa, Zaire
The likembé merge to provide a brutal, hypnotising beat, the cousin to The 13th Floor Elevators’ electrified jug or John Cale’s manic viola. The rapid intensity of rhythm matches the finest exponents of Krautrock, occasionally drifting close to the confused energy of Aphex Twin or Autechre, with the damaged tempo of Beefheart or Marc Ribot slithering in.
That’s what the reviewer heard … but I hear hypnotic gamelan, as I do in the other tracks gathered for you. I’ve pruned some 25 minutes off that track, so if you want to be transported click the link above.
Having been in Indonesia for nigh on 30 years, I’ve got to hear a lot of local music, yet very little of it excites me. This is probably because local musicians in general play for their audiences who want the familiar. I listen out for the excitement of extemporaneous sounds of musicians playing for themselves, for fun.
Although I’ve labelled each track with the nationality of the artist(s), none to my knowledge had nationalistic messages about character building or other such claptrap. The first three tracks have most definitely been composed to reflect the musicians’ love of Indonesian scales and melodies.
If you share that, then I hope you’ll download my compilation and listen with open ears.
The first three Gamelanish Grooves can be found here.