MJR035 Save The Planet
Produced by Tohpati
Released on August 17, 2010
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
MJR035 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 4.0: ETHNOMISSION ACCOMPLISHED. At the moment, this disc would make my shortlist for 2010’s Best Fusion Album. Not bad for a band from Indonesia, especially one that is technically an offshoot of another band from Indonesia, simakDialog. That band showed an uncanny knack for approximating the best of 70s jazz fusion, under the leadership of keyboardist/composer Riza Arshad. And like a guitarist in another keyboard-led fusion band (Al Di Meola), when Tohpati stepped out on his own he stepped up to the plate to become a vital composer/leader in his own right. While Tohpati had impressed me on simakDialog’s Demi Masa with his fluency and digital dialects, I entered here with few expectations. His fourth solo record, Selamatkan Bumi (Save The Planet), is credited to Tohpati Ethnomission, a quintet that includes bass, drums, flute and one of simakDialog’s two percussionists, Endang Ramdan. Right from the opening title track, Tohpati Ethnomission dazzles with a unique sound that suggests John McLaughlin, Weather Report and Indonesian atmospherics all at once. Bassist Indro Hardjodikoro (who skillfully straddles the worlds of jazz and funk) and flautist/soundscaper Diki Suwarjiki are integral parts of the final product, but the real talent is Tohpati. His guitar playing shifts gracefully and breathlessly between complex structure and soloing, prog and fusion, damask beauty and rock detritus. My estimation of the man’s ability grew by leaps and bounds after listening to this album. The exhilarating title track, sentimental “Sacred Dance” and ferocious soloing on “Ethno Funk” establish early that Tohpati is both a top-shelf fusion guitarist and a gifted songwriter; no six minutes of mindless jamming here. I have to believe that Save The Planet would make a lot of critic’s top ten fusion lists for 2010 if given broader exposure, and that a line of willing collaborators would form here in the West. In fact, this may be the best Moonjune release I’ve heard yet. Could it be a new flagship for the label has arrived?

TRACK LISTING

  1. SELAMATKAN BUMI (SAVE THE PLANET)    9:07
  2. BEDHAYA KETAWANG (SECRED DANCE)    8:31
  3. DRAMA    1:47
  4. ETHNO FUNK    8:38
  5. GEGUNUNGAN (GATEWAY OF LIFE)    2:56
  6. HUTAN HUJAN (RAIN FOREST)    8:42
  7. BIARKAN BURUNG BERNYANYI (LET THE BIRDS SING)    7:27
  8. INSPIRASI BARU (NEW INSPIRATION)    4:13
  9. PERANG TANDING (BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD & BEAST)    8:16
  10. PESTA RAKYAT (FESTIVE PEOPLE)    5:10
  11. AMARAH (ANGER)    2:34

    All compositions and arrangements by Tohpati

CREDITS

TOHPATI -- electric guitar, midi synth guitar
INDRO HARDJODIKIRO -- bass guitar
DEMAS NARAWANGSA -- drums & Indonesian percussion (rebana, kempluk)
ENDANG RAMDAN -- Indonesian percussion (kendang, gong, kenong)
DIKI SUWARJIKI -- suling (Sundanese flute), soundscapes
Lestari -- lead vocals (2)
Irwan -- engineer
Eko Sulistyo -- miex
Risang Yuwono -- cover design and photos

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US August 17, 2010 Moonjune CD MJR035  

 

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