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Live Reviews

Miri International Jazz Festival, May 14-15, Malaysia, Borneo

By Published: June 3, 2010

Opening with "Karuhun" from Demimasa (Moonjune Records, 2009) Arshad stirred up spacey sounds over a percussive wave which raced through the blood. The kendang played by Endang Ramdam and Erlan Suwardana seems like a hybrid African/Indian instrument; played sitting cross legged, the foot alters the pressure and the tone of the drum. On the powerful "Kemarau" there was a distinctly Indian quality to the two kendang during the blistering opening segment with Arshad's telegraph-like Rhodes riff charging the air. The gamelan gongs more commonly consist of between ten and twenty-four pieces, but metallophon percussionist Cucu Kurnia had only two, which he employed in a ceaseless pulse. In addition, Kurnia favored Ceng-Ceng—small overlapping cymbals—for further rhythmic tonalities. The rhythm section was completed by Adhitya Pratama on electric bass, who brought a deep, quietly grooving bottom end to the music.


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