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  Image: CD Cover: MoonJune Records MJR068: simakDialog, Live at Orion.  
simakDialog MJR068
Live at Orion  
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Recorded during simakDialog's 2013 tour which culminated with the gig at Orion Studios, in Baltimore, this two-disc set finds the Indonesian progressive icons in top form: serving up their own brand of inspired and spirited music which listens as much as it speaks. Touring in support of their most recent studio effort, 2013's highly-praised The 6th Story (MJR056), the group delivered a set inclusive of some of its best material, as well as other great songs spanning their twenty-plus-year career.
Composer and (Fender) Rhodes scholar, Riza Arshad, possesses one of the most capable sets of hands ever to grace a Fender Rhodes. His manipulation of this classic keyboard, whose warm and slightly rounded metallic voice has helped define modern jazz, brings out the very best it has to offer as he charts out new territories of sound. Arshad’s wonderfully sophisticated compositions form the perfect armature for the musicians to flesh out the sound in a very organic way that compels the listener to deeply take it all in.
Tohpati’s guitar work is the perfect dance partner to Arshad’s keys, as he alternately leads or follows, depending on the needs of each composition. His subtle atmospherics bring to mind David Torn, Terje Rypdal and Nels Cline, while his leadwork can possess both the fluidity of Holdsworth and the aggressiveness of Jeff Beck. Though there is no shortage of acrobatic axe-wielding on “Live at Orion”, Tohpati’s democratic interplay with Riza’s gorgeous Rhodes is the real star here – creating a powerful synergy that gives voice to the whole of the music over its parts.
The rhythm section of Endang Ramdan and Erlan Suwardana, each on Sudanese kendang percussion, along with Cucu Kurnia on assorted metal percussion and the understated and convincing “Bitches Brew” funk groove of bassist Rudy Zulkarnaen, creates a formidable foundation of one of the most original and innovative progressive electric jazz artists today. The band is joined for an encore number ("5, 6") which features a guest appearance by fellow MoonJune recording artist Beledo, as he and Tohpati push each other to new heights for the show's impacting climax.
... and they were not disappointed: the band delivered a rivoting performance for the ages. They even brought along a special guest for the occasion: fellow MoonJune artist, maestro guitarist, Beledo! (... who joined the band for the closing number, "5,6.") It was a night of pure magic, as the band's "musical ESP" was clearly in evidence -- inspiring both band and audience alike, and pushing their music to plateaus that precious few bands could ever attain.
This is a superbly-recorded and -produced album, documenting a monumental performance that none in attendance will ever forget!
 
 
TRACKSClick on any highlighted track title to listen to individual audio samples, or listen to them all on the player to the right.
DISK ONE DISK TWO
 
 
PERSONNEL
RIZA ARSHAD: Fender Rhodes electric piano
TOHPATI: electric guitar
RUDY ZULKARNAEN: bass guitar
ENDANG RAMDAN: Sundanese kendang percussion
ERLAN SUWARDANA: Sundanese kendang percussion
CUCU KURNIA: assorted metal percussion
PRODUCTION
All compsitions by Riza Arsad.
Recorded live on September 7, 2013, at The Orion, Baltimore, MD.
Produced by Leonardo Pavkovic for MoonJune Records, and Riza Arshad for Ragadi Music.
Executive Producer: Leonardo Pavkovic
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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, performing live in Princeton, in 2014.
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