DEWA BUDJANA — Dawai in Paradise

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DEWA BUDJANA - Dawai in Paradise cover
4.23 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2011

Filed under World Fusion


1. Lalu Lintas (7:44)
2. Gangga (5:33)
3. Masa Kecil (5:52)
4. Kromatik Lagi (5:52)
5. Back Home (5:47)
6. Malacca By (10:37)
7. Kunang Kunang (6:36)
8. Caka 1922 (5:52)
9. Rerad Rerod (5:09)
10. On the Way Home (5:55)
11. Dancing Tears (5:59)
12. Devananda (2:47)


Dewa Budjana: electric, acoustic & synth guitars;
Shadu Rasjidi: bass (1, 2, 4, 6);
Sandy Winarta: drums (1, 2, 4, 6);
Saat Syah: suling bamboo flute (3, 5, 9, 10, 11);
Indra Lesmana: keyboards (5, 10, 11);
Irsa Destiwi: piano (2);
Ade Irawan: piano (6);
Krishna Balagita: keyboards (7);
Bintang Indrianto: drums (7, 8);
Rishanda Singghi: bass (3);
Ronald Fristianto: drums (3);
Arie Ayunir: drums (7);
Dave Carpenter: bass (5, 9);
Peter Erskine: drums (5, 9, 10, 11);
Reggie Hamilton (bass) (10, 11);
Howard Levy: harmonica (9);
Deva & Dawai: vocals (3, 9);
Vinod Gangani: vocals (2);
Sophia Latjuba: vocals (2);
Ubiet: vocals (6);
Oni: violin (6);
Helmi: violin (8);
Surti: viola (8);
Wavan: violoncello (8);
Aminoto Kosin: string arrangement (8)

About this release

Demajors ‎– DIMI 203 (Indonesia)

Recorded At – Pos Studio
Recorded At – Coloseum Studio
Recorded At – Puck Studio
Recorded At – LikeEarthRecordings Studio, Jakarta
Recorded At – Temple Island Studio
Recorded At – Steve Ford Studio

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Dewa Budjana has been releasing albums in Indonesia for many years, but “Dawai in Paradise” is his first to get some international distribution, so to Westerners this may seem like his first album, but one listen will let you know that Dewa is hardly new to this. The sound of this album is vast and scenic, much like the soundtrack to a dramatic movie, and Budjana pulls out all the musical stops while drawing on an exotic smorgasbord of styles. Album opener, “Lalu Lintas” is a modern fusion rocker, but the following cut, “Gangga”, starts off like a Talvin Singh track with tabla driven drumnbass beats and south Indian vocals. This variety continues for the rest of the album with Budjana touching on post bop, Asian fusion, artsy pop, cinematic romantic melodies and lush electro-acoustic orchestrations. The uniting factor for all of this is Dewa’s gift for melody and his ability to develop those melodies, much as a classical composer does.

Its hard to find artists to compare to Budjana, not only because his music is unique, but also because his abilities as an arranger and composer put him in a higher class. One possible similar artist might be Ranjit Barot, whose Indian influenced orchestrated fusion has some things in common with Dewa’s Indonesian/ South Asian sound. Sometimes Dewa may also reflect the current post bop work of John McLaughlin, or John’s ambitious “Visions of the Emerald Beyond” as well.

Dewa Budjana is a very talented composer and I highly recommend this CD for anyone looking for something new in the world of Asian fusion. Although Budjana is quite capable of shredding on the guitar, his main passion is for melody, development and orchestration, and he is a master of all three. Budjana’s use of rhythm is also nice, with so many modern “jazz” artists turning to heavy handed and simple rhythms, its nice to hear an artists who is finding new ways to “swing”, but not just swing, as Budjana’s music often soars.

Members reviews

kev rowland
Moonjune boss Leonardo Pavkovic has a real love for Indonesia, and also for the music of the country. Although I have yet to go there myself, I do have some Indonesian friends and just from talking to them I understand how important music is to the people. Leo wants to ensure that he does all he can to publicise great music, and I know that he feels that music from Indonesia deserves a sub-label within his own roster and from what I have heard to date I totally understand why that is the case. This is the fifth solo album from Dewa Budjana, who may just well be the finest fusion guitarist you have never heard of. He may start the album with some strange sounds being pulled from his guitar, but he can shred with the very best of them while also at times just using simple nuances to take a number to a whole new level.

Leo describes this album as “ranging from the bold and adventurous to the gracefully elegant, Dewa’s playing bounces from the frantic urgency of a Fripp or McLaughlin to the organic intimacy of a Metheny or Towner with equal ease and fluidity. Previously unexplored waters are navigated with an adroit leisure, as his bountiful skills as both a composer and improviser are clearly on display. His international debut is chocked full of surprises, and it’s elegance and repose belies the enormity of the album's ambition. This is progressive jazz and world music of the absolute highest order, and a “coming out party” for one of its best-kept secrets.”

Personally, I am just blown away by the quality of the music on offer: if ever anything should ever be called fusion then this is it as he moves from avant-garde to folk influences to progressive to melodic jazz to anything and everything that takes his fancy. What impressed me so much with this album is that while it is his name on the cover, Dewa is more than prepared to take a back seat and let others shine while he just adds some poignant touches. There are a whole host of other musicians involved, but some that should be mentioned are Grammy-winning artists drummer Peter Erskine (Weather Report; Steps Ahead) and multi-instrumentalist Howard Levy (Bela Fleck & The Flectones), the renowned Indonesian jazz keyboardist and producer, Indra Lesmana, his Indonesian contemporary, celebrated pianist Ade Irawan, and the late legendary jazz bassist, Dave Carpenter.

When I played this the first time around I kept trying to think of one word that I could use to describe it, and while “masterful” and “incredible” are words that certainly fit, the one that makes the most sense to me is “beautiful”. This albums sums up why I stay involved with the music scene, and why I spend so many hours sat in front of a keyboard, because if it wasn’t for being sent this to review I would certainly never have found it on my own. Essential.

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