Monday, July 26, 2004

Salute to Gutawa

When you were kid, you might get exposed to series of music or songs or movies. Of which you still have their memories till now. At least some melodies or tunes or beats stay in your head forever. I recalled some of those memories last night.
I am talking about the ever-talented Erwin Gutawa's new album: "Erwin Gutawa's Salute to Koes Plus Bersaudara". I couldn't help listening. ... And remembering those old days when Om Dahlan my uncle look after me. He's a Koes Plus-maniac, and later, Koes Bersaudara. (Those of you out there, Koes Plus was "Indonesian Beatles" -- well this might hurt their fans, but what I'm saying is nobody could have such tremendous musical impact on youth at that time in Indonesia, beside the Beatles. The band was banned for being "pro-western" or "pro-capitalist" or so it was accused by Soekarno. The members were jailed. But their music lives forever. Also in me the kid. And in me the adult now). Om, wherever you are, I thank you for the caring and friendship!
A word about this album. Great. Gutawa is dead serious: he invites 17 current Indonesian modern artists, 177 supporting musicians, and 7 sound engineers. They also collaborate with Victorian Philharmonic Orchestra from Australia. Of particular interest is Gutawa's creative arrangement: he combined some of Koes' songs into one composition. (Koes Plus' -- and later Koes Bersaudara's -- music is simple, yet melodically strong. Gutawa manages to combine those with very similar melodies). Of this album, I am particularly recommend the nice interpretation of "Kolam Susu" by the superb Indro (Halmahera bassist), "Mari Berjoget" by Dewa Budjana and Kikan Cokelat (never before I like "dangdut" to this level), and many others. But I hate Armand Maulana's take on "Jemu" (I still don't see the point of techno-funk).
Well... so much for music today. I have to give exam to a student.

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