Artist/ Band: simakDialog
Title: Demi Masa
Label: MoonJune Records
Year of Release: 2009
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

World-fusion quintet simakDialog returns with Demi Masa, another exemplary hybrid release on of world music and jazz-fusion on Moonjune Records. This band's approach to east-meets-west is more unique than some (though not all), yet sufficiently "western"; the music is free of formulaic, by-the-numbers indulgences and abundant with compositions that strum the listener's heartstrings like a spectral lyre.

Demi Masa is unabashed in its showcase of the Fender Rhodes electric piano, which resonates as a huge plus for fans of the instrument. Keyboardist Riza Arshad's "Rhodes finesse" is akin to the some of the '70s fusion greats like Zawinul, Hancock, Hammer. Arshad also gets time in on a Yamaha acoustic grand and Oberheim OBX synthesizer. And in lieu of conventional drums, again simakDialog's rhythmic duties are handled by a percussion tandem: returning member Endang Ramdan and cohort Erlan Suwardana. Bassist Adhithya Pratama's complementary (reined-in) basslines characterize the proceedings as much as Arshad and guitarist Tohpati's cut/probe ethic. Tohpati gets plenty of elbow room on "Salilana Pertama (Forever Part One)" and "Disapih (Being Away)," and breaks out an acoustic guitar on "Karuhun (To Elders)." The "Trah Lor" ("Northern People") 'trilogy' is a detour to abstract-avant territory, short pieces (running under four minutes), patternistic, yet freeform. Timbral distillations from the OBX, staccato piano repetitions, wordless vocals (courtesty of guest Mian Tiara)

Demi Masa's not so much a follow-up to the band's first album as it is a new pinnacle for southeast Asian fusion. Now that a new path has been paved, may other musicians in the vicinity follow suit.

Reviewed by Elias Granillo Jr. on October 17th, 2009

Tracks:

01. Salilana Pertama (Forever, Part 1)
02. Salilana Kedua (Forever, Part 2)
03. Tak Jauh Pertama (Not So Far, Part 1)
04. Tak Jauh Kedua (Not So Far, Part 2)
05. Trah Lor - Laras (Northern People - Voices)
06. Trah Lor - Rupa (Northern People - Faces)
07. Trah Lor - Tapak (Northern People - Prints)
08. Karuhun (To Elders)
09. Disapih (Separate Away)

Reviewed Discography

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