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DWIKI DHARMAWAN - Rumah Batu cover
4.27 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2018


1 Rintak Rebana 10:39
2 Paris Barantai 11:43
3 Impenan 8:20
4 Janger 5:59
Rumah Batu Suite
5.1 Part 1 - Kaili 12:24
5.2 Part 2 - Parjelanan 14:14
6 Samarkand 7:40
7 Selamatkan Orang Utan 7:16


Acoustic Bass [Upright Bass] – Yaron Stavi
Bass Guitar – Carles Benavent
Drums – Asaf Sirkis
Electric Guitar, Sounds [Soundscapes] – Nguyên Lê
Gamelan [Balinese], Percussion, Guest – Nyoman Windha's Gamelan Jazz Jegog (tracks: 4)
Lead Vocals, Guest – Dewi Gita (tracks: 3)
Percussion [Kendang], Guest – Ade Rudiana (tracks: 1 to 4, 7, 8)
Percussion [Rapa'l Acehnese Percussion], Guest – Indra Maulana Keubitbit (tracks: 1), Teuku Hariansya (tracks: 1)
Piano – Dwiki Dharmawan
Suling, Guest – Sa'at Syah
Vocals – Sa'at Syah (tracks: 1 to 4, 7, 8)
Vocals, Flute [LaLove Traditional Sulawesi Flute] – SMIT (tracks: 6)

About this release

Moonjune Records ‎– MJR092 (US)

Recorded by Jesus Rovira on May 15 & 16, 2017, at La Casa Murada studio in Banyeres del Penédes, Catalunya, Spain.
Dewi Gita vocals recorded on January 26, 2018 at Musikita Studio, Bintaro Indonesia
Sa'at Syah and Ade Rudiana recorded on January 27-28, 2018 at Musikita Studio, Bintaro Indonesia
Acehnese percussion recorded on February 25, 2018 at Musikita Studio, Bintaro Indonesia
Balinese gamelan & percussion recorded on Oct 20, 2010 at Peliatan Royal Palace in Ubud, Bali Indonesia

Thanks to lunarston for the addition and snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

In recent times there have been several artists who have attempted to merge traditional Indonesian music with modern jazz fusion, some have been more successful than others, but possibly the artist who has created the ultimate seamless mix is pianist/composer Dwiki Dharmawan. On his latest album, “Rumah Batu”, Dwiki displays how he builds this unique synthesis. Unlike some others who try to force unlike components against each other, Dharmawan uses the essence of Indonesian music as the foundation for his fusion excursions, hence the two worlds become organically connected in a way that flows naturally. Dwiki takes these jazz and Indonesian elements and creates lengthy tracks with sprawling busy arrangements presented with a big production sound that recalls epic movie soundtracks or equaling epic gatefold album cover classic prog-rock.

The two lengthy opening tracks on “Rumah Batu” contain some of the album’s most exciting fusion jams. Dwiki and his band mate’s approach to fusion is very high energy and over the top as they veer into free jazz territory. Dharmawan’s massive assaults on the piano can recall McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock and Vijay Iyer, while guitarist Nguyen Le’s distortion drenched fiery leads may remind some of Larry Coryell or Pete Cosey. After these two openers the band settles into a beautiful vocal number sung by Dewi Gita. The vocal style presented here may be different than what western ears are used to, so maybe its time to open up and try some new things. The first part of “Rumah Batu Suite” is a funky jazz rock jam with some improvised vocalizing, while the second part is an all out free jazz free-for-all. The album closes with the folksy “Selamatkan Orangutan”, a pleasant farewell after the intensity of the previous tracks.

Members reviews

kev rowland
There is no doubt that one of the most consistently exciting record labels over the last 20+ years is Moonjune Records. Part of this is because this one-man organisation is run by someone who truly loves music, and when he isn’t putting musicians together and having them record, or putting out the next release, he is actually on the road with one band or another. How he actually finds the time to do what he does is beyond me, and I always thought I was good at time management. But, against a backdrop of incredible releases, I am now listening to what is possibly the best and most important album he has ever put out.

There has been incredibly high praise, and deservedly so, for Mark Wingfield’s ‘The Stone House’, and this album was recorded in the same studio and has the same title (just in the Indonesian Bahasa language), and also includes both drummer Asaf Sirkis and bassist Yaron Stavi who were/are key members of Mark’s band. To fill out the quintet there are Nguyên Lê (electric guitar, soundscapes) and Charles Benavent (bass guitar). Yes, you read that right, there are two bassists in the band. This core group were then recorded live in the studio, bouncing ideas off each other as they run through a series of Dharmawan originals, plus some traditional numbers he rearranged, plus one group composition. All of those involved are amazing musicians, although I do think it might be interesting to hear Dwiki solo with no-one else involved, as some of his piano runs, fills and flourishes almost defy belief.

If there was no-one else involved, and the recordings coming out of La Casa Murada Studio were all there was, then I would still be stating that this is an essential album for anyone into great music, but after the three days (yes, just three days) of recording were over, more traditional Indonesian musicians and singers were added to the mix. What this has done is taken an incredibly complex yet melodic and joyous album to a whole new level. There were times when my mind was trying to understand if I was listening to traditional music with a Western influence, or the other way around, and what on earth was making that particular sound I could hear, and did it matter? In the end, the only way to really understand the music is to forget about trying to understand it, forget attempting to categorise what is going on, and just fall in love with what is an incredibly complex interaction between cultures that is just incredible.

All praise to Mark Wingfield for mixing and mastering this, to Leonardo for having the vision of bringing together musicians like this, but mostly to Dwiki Dharmawan and all those involved for what is a truly great album. This is simply essential, nothing less. 10/10

Ratings only

  • Fant0mas
  • Kirk781
  • lunarston

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