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simakDialog: Live at Orion

Read "Live at Orion" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

There's a lot to be said for possessing a signature sound and style these days, regardless of genre. But the cunning Indonesian jazz fusion outfit simakDialog have gradually imprinted a deep-rooted mark of authenticity on the global fusion and progressive rock circuits. Recorded during the band's 2013 US tour which concluded at Orion Studios in Baltimore, a distinguishing factor pertains to percussionists Endang Ramdan and Erlan Suwardana's use of the Sundanese kendang drums, which are conventional staples employed in Southeast ...

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simakDialog at Shapeshifter Lab

Read "simakDialog at Shapeshifter Lab" reviewed by John Mark McGuire

simakDialog Shapeshifter Lab Brookyn, NYC November 10, 2014 The music of simakDialog represents a voyage of discovery: exploring new sonic landscapes through their ambitious, unpretentious but highly skilled approach to playing as individual musicians, and their corporate trust in one another's ability to grasp the subtle dynamics of a given moment and guide the music to its ultimate destination (wherever that may happen to be!). Despite my affection for their most exotic and ...

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simakDialog: The 6th Story

Read "The 6th Story" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The title, simple yet enigmatic, hints at the epic tale that is SimakDialog--the Indonesian prog-jazz band formed by keyboard player Riza Arshad in 1993. The band's international debut Patahan (MoonJune Records, 2007) served as a global calling card, with critics referencing jazz-fusion influences such as trumpeter Miles Davis, keyboardists Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul, The Pat Metheny Group et al. The foundation of the music, however, has always been the hypnotic Sundanese gamelan rhythms and this meeting between ritual/folkloric grooves ...

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simakDialog: Demi Masa

Read "Demi Masa" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

simakDialog--the complex, electrifyingly joyous brainchild of guitarist Tohpathy and composer-keyboardist Riza Arshad--was born in the Indonesian capitol of Jakarta in 1993. Arshad, who wrote and produced all of Demi Masa, their fifth album, won Best Jazz Producer honors at the 2003 Indonesian Music Awards for simakDialog's album Trance/Mission (2002, Ragadi Music), also voted that year's Best Jazz/Contemporary Jazz Album.

Arshad's adventurous, exploratory structures obviously come from the jazz-rock fusion perspective. But what distinguishes Arshad's sound is his powerful ...

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simakDialog: Demi Masa

Read "Demi Masa" reviewed by Gary Gomes

simakDialog's Demi Masa, one of the best releases of 2009, rejuvenates fusion music and takes it to an entirely new level.

The soloists are extraordinarily good on this combination of guitars, electric bass guitar, and keyboards with Indonesian kedang percussion, assisted by percussionist/vocalist Emy Tata, singer Mian Tiara and soundscapist Dave Lumenta--but more on this later.

The remarkable thing about the group's percussion team is how tight and well-integrated it is within simakDialog's sound. It sets up an underpinning closer ...

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simakDialog: Demi Masa

Read "Demi Masa" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The fifth album by this Indonesian unit offers a mélange of progressive jazz and cerebral rock, augmented by a highly entertaining form factor. Here, the Fender Rhodes electric piano resides as the primary musical voice as Riza Arshad toggles between it and acoustic piano, also using an ancient Oberheim analog synth for colorific textures. Moreover, Arshad frequently enacts odd-metered unison lines with guitarist Tohpati amid the omnipresent Indonesian percussion groove, topped off by the band's capacious metrics.

The ...

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simakDialog: Patahan

Read "Patahan" reviewed by John Kelman

Starting out closer to smooth jazz territory, Indonesian simakDialog ("to listen carefully to The Dialog) has come a long way since 1993 to get to Patahan, its first release to see international distribution. Based on the album's episodic and expansive opener, “One Has to Be, first impressions would suggest this Jakarta-based quintet is mining similar turf as the equally complex-yet-accessible Pat Metheny Group. But with two ethnic percussionists taking the place of kit drums, while the influence is indisputable, simakDialog ...


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