Monday, October 17, 2011

Various Artists (2011) -Those Shocking Shaking Days

Artist: various
Album: Those Shocking Shaking Days. Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock And Funk: 1970 - 1978
Released: 2011
Quality: mp3 CBR 320
Size: 175 MB

”What are we grooving on when we listen to these myriad and multiplying rock/psych/funk/soul/gonzo compilations gathered from the nether-regions of the non-Western world? Is it the universal grok? Is it the self-satisfaction that our counterculture not only resonated, but also penetrated and incorporated every thing it touched? Whatever it is, we can rest assured that, instead of the hundreds of Midwest punk compilations that used to fill the “V/A” bins at our local record stores, which taught us state capitals never memorized in middle school, we now will finally stumble upon geographical truths beyond the usual reasons Americans learn the names of foreign countries: their genocides, our wars and cough syrup recalls.
The high-caliber re-mastered tracks compiled here just hint at a trove of music from the period, and one benefit of such excursions is that it allows us to rethink our own founding countercultural myths. To wit: the 1970s were also the high point of American minimalism, as Reich, Glass, Riley, Adams et al borrowed tone and temporality from the Gamelan orchestras of Bali and Java. But the well-known kebyar style of Gamelan, with its rapid dynamism and virtuosity present even in its name (byar = “flare”), is not the timeless Southeast Asian art form many suppose it to be. Waves of foreign encroachment, from Islam to Portuguese and Dutch usurpers, forced musicians from Java to flee to the Balinese kingdom for patronage. Out of this frothy cross-island mix, a slow, courtly style of Gamelan, gong gede (large gongs), became prominent from the 16th century onwards. After the Dutch finally conquered Bali in the early 20th century, court revenues were limited, funds for art support declined, and many gamelan ensembles were melted down or given to neighboring villages. In conjunction with new flows of money, tourists and eager Western patrons looking for that “traditional” Oriental fix, northern Balinese villages developed the kebyar style around 1915, and it quickly spread due to its faster tempo, wilder dynamics, and tempestuous dance choreography. All of the original 78-speed recordings of gamelan music in the 1920s, which aroused the interest of Margaret Mead among others, were in the kebyar style. According to musicologist Michael Tenzer, kebyar both “posed a strong challenge to the hegemony of court aesthetic” but also acted as “the vehicle for a musical renewal encompassing the courtly past within its domain.” Ditto the 1970s, I would argue, as this compilation exhibits both aspects of Third World “freedom rock” — selective use of Western popular music to frame and pursue local dreams and passions, while also critiquing the ham-fisted authoritarianism usually propped up by these very same Western powers.

What about us, though? Why do we go to such lengths to seek out something so familiar? The story of the early 20th century gamelan switcheroo perhaps tells us that, to paraphrase Clifford Geertz’s notes on Balinese cockfighting, the most recent iteration of our love for Third World Rock is fundamentally interpretive: It is a contemporary Western reading of Western history and experience, or, more bluntly put, a story we tell ourselves about ourselves.
read full review by Kevan Harris

Panbers – Haai
2 Brims, The – Anti Gandja
3 Rollies – Bad News
4 Super Kid – People
5 Shark Move – Evil War
6 Golden Wing – Hear Me
7 Aka – Do What You Like
8 Ivo's Group – That Shocking Shaking Day
9 Ariesta Birawa Group – Didunia Yang Lain
10 Terenchem – Jeritan Cinta
11 Benny Soebardja And Lizard – Candle Light
12 Koes Plus – Mobil Tua
13 Gang Of Harry Roesli, The – Don't Talk About Freedom
14 Black Brothers – Saman Doye
15 Aka – Shake Me
16 Rasela – Pemain Bola
17 Freedom Of Rhapsodia – Freedom
18 Rhythm Kings – The Promise
19 Duo Kribo – Uang
20 Murry – Pantun Lama

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