If you know anything about any sort of world music that’s been making its way across the internet especially with the help of Bandcamp, you’ve more than likely come across the curated compilations made by the people from Unexplained Sounds Group. Thus far, they’ve covered ambient and traditional music from cultures all across the world like Africa and many regions across the Middle East. They’re wonderful studies into the traditional music of the cultures there as well as an exploration of their works that fall into ambiance or any of its contemporary sounds. Indonesia is where the latest excursion of music has taken place, and it’s possibly the most interesting one to date.
Indonesia had a history that’s as amazingly rich as it is tragic given how far back the very history of the different cultures on the islands goes back as well as how far back foreign visitors have been coming to their shores for all sorts of reasons. From ancient Mongols to Western travelers in just the last 500 years, the islands’ culture has been in peril of disappear due to all the outside influence, but it survived with plenty of fervor to still call its own and it’s on display beautifully throughout “Anthology Of Contemporary Music From Indonesia”. Every single artist that we see here brings something completely new and fresh to the table that all have tons of life to call their own. Some of them fully immerse themselves in the traditional Indonesian culture like Senyawa and Asangata, but then some go for a much more modern take that can sound pretty off-putting at times despite it having its own unique air about it like what we get from Patrick Hartono and Saaba. We get an absolute menagerie of flavors that find everything in between those two styles and they all play off their selected sound perfectly! The whole of this compilation is an absolute rollercoaster that gives us a wide variety as Unexplained Sounds Group truly cast a wide net with this one, and it really shows also in the talent as even the material that I’d normally turn away from I found myself oddly interested by to some degree.
Keeping in tradition with this Anthology series, this collection continues to broaden the perspective of any sort of viewer to cultures we never thought we’d be coming across from countries we’d never normally think to look for. It’s like what metal has done for me with countries like India and China, but here it’s done with Indonesia in the most exquisite fashion. It feels like a tour of an ancient culture that very few people have a chance to really explore, and it’s a plate full of many flavors that I’d happily recommend to any connoisseur of exotic music that is intriguing on every level.
LISTEN to “Anthology Of Contemporary Music From Indonesia” on Bandcamp here.