DEWA BUDJANA — Surya Namaskar

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DEWA BUDJANA - Surya Namaskar cover
3.63 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2014

Filed under Fusion


1 Fifty 7:24
2 Duaji & Guruji 6:56
3 Capistrano Road 5:28
4 Lamboya 6:18
5 Kalingga 9:10
6 Campuhan Hill 5:27
7 Surya Namaskar 7:42
8 Dalem Waturenggong 7:20


- Dewa Budjana / electric and acoustic guitars
- Jimmy Johnson / bass guitar, 'crazy' voices after track 1
- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums, 'crazy' voices after track 1
- Gary Husband / synthesizers (track 1)
- Michael Landau / electric guitar solos (track 7)
- Mang Ayi / vocals (track 5)
- Kang Pupung / Tarawangsa (Sundanese violin) (track 5)
- Kangiya / Kacapi (Sundanese harp) (track 5)

About this release

Demajors ‎– DIMI 333 (Indonesia)

Recorded At Stagg Street Studio & Henson Recording Studios

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Although Dewa Budjana has been putting out albums from his home base in Indonesia for many years, “Surya Namaskar is just his third album since he was able to reach a larger western audience by signing on with the MoonJune label. His first album with MoonJune was almost cinematic in its ambitious electro-orchestral approach, while his second came across as a little lighter. This third one finds Budjana back on track, but this time around with a lot more electric guitar, as well as more straight ahead jazz-rock jamming too. It was obvious on his earlier albums that Dewa could burn on the guitar when he wanted to, but on “Surya” he makes sure that those who like his well developed solos get all they need.

Much of this CD is in that style of fusion that features lengthy multi-sectioned semi-orchestrated songs. Some might be reminded of 70s albums such as RTF’s “Romantic Warrior” or Mahavishnu’s “Visions of the Emerald Beyond”. Some of the top tracks on here include “Duaji and Guruji”, with its killer repeating retro-rock riff, and “Kalingga”, which features some intense neo-psychedelic jams. “Kalingga” opens with a delicate solo on the Sundanese violin by guest Kang Pupling, which makes a great intro for the 60s flavored fuzz guitar riffs that follow. Most of the other tracks on here are good, although things seem to loose a little steam towards the end.

Jimmy Johnson on bass and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums are well known in the world of fusion and they provide the expected high energy and creatively aggressive backup for Budjana’s pyro-techniques. Fans of guitar centered classic fusion should pick this up. Dewa Budjana is one of the very best today, and far more musical than those who are just obsessed with speed.

Members reviews

kev rowland
Budjana is certainly making the most of being involved with a label boss who allows his bands to release material as often as they like, as he is already back with his third album, recorded with Jimmy Johnson and Vinnie Colaiuta. This time around Dewa is showing his harder more frenetic side, with loads of distortion and the use of fuzz. This provides a real edge to the music, but as always he is aware of the need for light and shade to provide the contrast and he often takes the back seat and lets Jimmy provide some well placed fretless bass before continuing back into the melody. There are also plenty of times when he and Jimmy are actually being very restrained, but the driving force that is renowned session drummer Vinni Colaiuta can’t keep still for long and provides plenty of force and angst.

Apparently most of the songs on the album are first takes, and although they were mostly charted it appears that Vinnie often didn’t follow the charts but stayed with Dewa and Jimmy, while the longest song on the album, “Kalingga” (just over nine minutes) was improvised. The title of the album means “Salute To Sun”, which is fitting as many of the songs are homages to various of Budjana’s guitar heroes, so “Campuhan Hill” was inspired by Ralph Towner and uses open strings, while “Capistrano Road” relates to his meeting with Allan Holdsworth.

Musically this is just stunning, a fusion masterpiece, and it is all credit to Leo Pavkovic that the packaging stands up to close investigation as the fold out digipak contains an essay by John Kelman about the recording of the album which I would have loved to have copied out and used as the review as it is so well-written. Budjana is making lots of friends in the Western world with his incredible techniques and love of the genre, and I’m sure that it won’t be long until he is back with another winner, but until then, if you enjoy fusion, then you will love this.

Ratings only

  • Fant0mas
  • lunarston
  • danielfortin
  • progshine

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