258

Tohpati Ethnomission: Save The Planet

Mark Redlefsen By

Sign in to view read count
Tohpati Ethnomission: Save The Planet
In the world of guitar-driven jazz fusion, laced with world music, it has typically been a westerner who learns and ensconces themselves in another ethnic culture; processing, packaging, and exporting a digestible product back for listeners to experience. The absorption of jazz, rock, and fusion in Indonesia has produced some exciting results over the years, with original groups such as SimakDialog, and its virtuoso guitarist, Tohpati. His solo group, Ethnomission, puts jazz fusion and world music on notice with the stimulating Save The Planet. The authentic, homegrown sound that spans eleven compositions, with indigenous song titles, was captured and recorded entirely in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Tohpati's guitar sounds here are significantly different than with SimakDialog, where keyboardist/leader Riza Arshad is a noticeable and ever-present factor. Instead, electric and midi synth guitar rule the day, answered by the Sundanese flute and soundscapes of Diki Svwajiki. Indonesian percussionist Engang Ramdam, also from SimakDialog, joins Tohpati, while Demas Narawangsa adds more of the same and augments the sound with conventional drumming. The music shifts and pulls in an intricate tug of war between tightly played riffs and a wide array of drums and percussion. Indira Hardjodikoro's bass guitar balances out the tension, hitting a Stanley Clarke moment or two on "Inspirasi Baru," but the deep, more Tony Levin-like punch of his sound is felt throughout most of the recording.

Different thoughts as to who the Stratocaster-wielding Tohpati sounds like on different songs are inevitable. "Drama" and "Ethnofunk" draw John McLaughlin and Robert Fripp comparisons, while "Pesta Rakyat" has more of the Americana tone of Steve Morse or Nels Cline. Topathi's overdubbing on the closing "Amarah" reflects what it might sound like if Terje Rypdal was soloing over Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett's staccato riffs. Tohpati does not settle into any one template throughout the CD, and keeps the group involved at every turn, delivering joyous kinetic music. Save the Planet, as well as Tohpati's work with SimakDialog, is well worth checking out.

Track Listing

Selamatkan Bumi (Save The Planet); Bedhaya Ketawang (Sacred Dance); Drama; Ethno Funk; Gegunungan (Gateway Of Life); Hutan Hujan (Rain Forest); Biarkan Burung Bernyanyi (Let The Birds Sing); Inspirasi Baru (New Inspiration); Perang Tanding (Battle Between Good & Evil). Pesta Rakyat (Festive People); Amarah (Anger).

Personnel

Tohpati: electric guitar, midi synth guitar; Indro Hardjodikoro: bass guitar; Diki Suwarjiki: suling (Sundanese flute), soundscapes; Endang Ramdan: Indonesian percussion (kendang, gong, kenong); Demas Narawangsa: drums, Indonesian percussion (rebana, kempluk); Lestari: vocals (2).

Album information

Title: Save The Planet | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Transmigration
Makram Aboul Hosn
Wrongs
Dan Pitt Quintet
Polaris
Greg Skaff
Sun Beans Of Shimmering Light
Wadada Leo Smith / Douglas Ewart / Mike Reed

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.