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Dewa Budjana and Tohpati: Janapati

Chris M. Slawecki By

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Janapati combines the names of two of the best guitarists (jazz, rock, jazz-rock fusion, world, and any/every other music you've got) from Indonesia, Dewa Budjana and Tohpati Ario Hutomo (Tohpati). As leaders of their own bands or as contributors to other recordings, the two have appeared on more than fifty combined releases, many for the globetrotting MoonJune Records label, and they suggest in their joint liner notes: "Long enough friendship in music makes us more familiar with each other and of course this makes it easy for both of us to create joint works."

Janapati features these guitarists in the exquisite musical company of the Budapest Scoring Symphonic Orchestra and the Czech Symphony Orchestra, with bassist Adhitiya Pratama and drummer Demas Narawangsa serving on several tracks as rhythmic linchpins between the guitarists and orchestras.

As you'd anticipate from its symphonic surroundings, Janapati sounds like the evocative score or soundtrack to a movie you haven't seen yet. Their "Children Songs" medley dances like twinkling pixies in a scene from The Nutcracker ballet, including a delightful passage that suggests "Dradle" played on banjo that shifts into waltz time, twirling all the strings in beautiful synchronous circles.

Janapati was originally conceived and planned under the title Duo and features twin electric/acoustic versions of "Duology." "Duology Acoustic Version" brings down the curtain in shimmering and soft nylon virtuosity, but its electric twin "Duology" screams the loudest and rocks the hardest. Twin guitar chords slam into your ear, peel away and then shift into zig-zag harmonized riffing like The Allman Brothers in race cars, while the rhythm section pounds out the four on the floor, hard-driving tempo. It's jazz, rock, global and powerful.

You can say the same about the opening, title track. "Janapati" opens in an orchestral swirl of musical cinema that shifts your focus by panning (like a camera) from sound to sound, leading your ears back to twin guitars woven so tightly with the orchestra that it's genuinely difficult to distinguish their separate sounds.

Track Listing

Janapati; Rainy Days; Ratu Kanya; Samudera Pasai; D Romance; Bermain; Duology; Children Songs; Rahadi's; Duology Acoustic Version

Personnel

Dewa Budjana: acoustic guitar, semi-acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Tohpati: classical guitar, electric guitar; Adhitiya Pratama: bass; Demas Narawangsa: drums; Budapest Scoring Symphonic Orchestra; Czech Symphony Orchestra.

Album information

Title: Janapati | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: MoonJune Records

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