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simakDialog MJR015
Demi Masa  
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For their first international (and MoonJune Records) release, Jakarta-based simakDialog delivers Patahan: a live recording that suggests how the Pat Metheny Group might sounded, were they from the Far East rather than the U.S. A combination of electric and acoustic instruments, the 14-year-old group is innovatively fueled by two percussionists rather than a conventional drummer -- and the effect is no less powerful! The result is an intriguing blend of cultural and musical stylings.This intricate offering is a superb-quality live recording, propelled by expansive solos, rich harmonies, telling interplay and driving, spirited rhythms. Weighing in at over 73 minutes, there is a lot of incredibly creative music -- music that is not limited by genre, stereotype or preconception.Keyboardist and composer Riza Arshad, guitarist Tohpati and bassist Adhhitya join vocalist Nyak Ina Raseuki and percussionists Endang Ramdam and Emy Tata for five lengthy, episodic and finely-detailed compositions that create a unique nexus of jazz and less-traveled ethnicity. This is an intoxicating connoisseur's blend of jazz and fusion which truly knows no limits.
 
 
TRACKSClick on any highlighted track title to listen to individual audio samples, or listen to them all on the player to the right.
4. Worthseeing (16:22)
 
 
PERSONNEL
RIZA ARSHAD: Fender Rhodes electric piano, synth
TOHPATI ARIO HUTOMO: electric, synth & acoustic guitars
ADHITHYA PRATAMA: electric fretless bass
ENDANG RAMDAN: kendang, toys
EMY TATA MAKASSAR: kendang, ceng-ceng, kethuk, vocals, poetry reading
NYAK INA RASEUKI “Ubiet”: vocals (Tracks 2 & 5)
with Special Guest
MARLA STUKENBERG: poetry reading (German) (Track 5)
PRODUCTION
All compositions and arrangements by Riza Arshad, except; Track 2 (Arshad/Ramdan/Suwardana/Tata/Tohpati), and Track 6 (Arshad/Ramdan/Suwardana).
Recorded by Riza Arshad, at Ponpin Studio, Inline Audioworks Studio and LikeEarth Recordings Studio, Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2008.
Mixed & Mastered by Riza Arshad, at LikeEarth Recordings Studio, in Jakarta, Indonesia, in January 2009.
Produced by Riza Arshad.
Executive Producer: Leonardo Pavkovic
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ALBUM REVIEWS

"Fleshed out with the aforementioned percussion and the odd vocal, wordless and otherwise, this is intriguing and compelling music from a part of the world that attracts too little attention from the jazz-listening public."

-Chris Parker, Vortex Jazz, UK

"One of the biggest jazz-related surprises of 2007, and not simply because it is Indonesian jazz, Patahan is truly something to get excited about for the twist it puts on the Pat Metheny side of jazz things. Keyboardist Riza Arshad and guitarist Tohpati Ario Hutomo really have the Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays chemistry down to a science, with feeling and virtuosity to boot. And Adhitya Pratama's basslines are delightfully sinuous and groovy. However, what sets simakDialog apart is the presence of percussionist Endang Ramdan playing traditional Indonesian instruments and the group's seamless integration of traditional classical Indonesian forms to its brand of quiet fusion jazz. The result, as heard on Patahan, is enthralling, with enough familiarity to attract jazz aficionados and enough originality to set the band's music apart from true Metheny copycats. Highly recommended."

-Francois Couture, All Music Guide

"This Indonesian jazz-fusion-world music band generates a horde of refreshing surprises here. Driven by keyboardist Riza Arshad’s resonating chord voicings, performed on acoustic and electric keys, the band spices up its overall sound with blissful themes executed with an energized gait. Arshad and guitarist Tohpati Ario Hutomo occasionally render ascending unison choruses atop gently flowing percussion grooves. But melody is a key a component throughout. In addition, the music is shaded with vocals and the percussionists’ use of indigenous rhythmic instruments. The artists also work thru these pieces with an uplifting sense of buoyancy amid sprawling backdrops. Arshad counters his lush chord phrasings with a forward-moving impetus while Hutomo’s clever use of volume control techniques provide a capacious edge. On some of these works, the artists fuse grunge rock and jazz-rock motifs with soaring solo escapades, all nicely contrasted by the keyboardist’s memorably melodic harmonics. Arshad’s ostinato during “Worthseeing,” is augmented by spiraling movements, where the group dishes out regal choruses amid a multilayered soundstage. And when you think you’ve heard it all, as in jazz-fusion ensemble’s engaging in technical gymnastics sans any substance, then this unit should serve as the antidote for the ho hum onslaught of characterless fuzoid outings. Don’t let this gem pass you by."

-Glenn Astarita, Jazz Reviews, USA

"This is top-end, killer sound quality and beautiful music! Every musician in that band is top notch, with guitarist Tohpati who is in the vein of the John Scofield and Scott Henderson.... it's really difficult these days to come across recordings that have the fusion mojo, and SimakDialog definitely has the mojo! Truly, this is a wonderful convincing record."

-Eric Paulos, 21st Century Guitar, USA

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ARTIST PROFILE

Keyboardist/composer Riza Arshad and guitarist Tohpati formed simakDialog in 1993. Living in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, this band couldn't avoid being influenced by the traditional sound of the gamelan ensemble. As one of the culturally richest and diversified countries in the world, Indonesia treasures a vast variety of art and musical forms that have been a global inspiration.

simakDialog are unique in having an understanding of the ancient rituals of temple music, as well as completely grasping the essence of those long-haired psychedelic sounds of slightly less ancient times. Prior to Demi Masa, simakDialog have released four albums: Lukisan, Baur, Trance/Mission and Patahan. They have won two trophies from Anugerah Musik Indonesia (Indonesian Music Awards 2003), for Best Jazz/Contemporary Jazz Album (Trance/Mission), and Best Jazz/Contemporary Jazz Producer (Riza Arshad).

Their international debut, Patahan, was released in 2007, with worldwide distribution by MoonJune Records -- subsequently gaining enthusiastic reviews in over 25 countries worldwide. The band has performed  in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Germany and Netherlands.

For worldwide bookings outside of Indonesia, contact MoonJune Records: noanoamusic {at} moonjune [.] com

Artist's website: www.myspace.com/simakDialog

Image: MoonJune Records artists, simakDialog.
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