DEWA BUDJANA — Surya Namaskar (review)

DEWA BUDJANA — Surya Namaskar album cover Album · 2014 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
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.
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