Friday, November 28, 2014

Sharkmove - 1970 - Ghede Chokra's

Ghede Chokra's 

01. My Life
02. Butterfly
03. Harga
04. Evil War
05. Bingung
06. Insan
07. Madat

- Benny Soebardja / vocals, lead guitar, sings on "My Life" and "Butterfly"
- Soman Loebis / vocals, keyboards, piano, percussion, sings on "Bingung"
- Janto Diablo / vocals, bass, flute, sings on "Harga", "Madat", "My Life", "Butterfly"
- Sammy Zakaria / drums, sings on "Insan"
- Bhagu Ramchand / promotion, sings on "Evil War"

Sharkmove was established in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia in 1970 by Benny Soebardja (lead guitarist and vocals) who also wrote songs titled "My Life", "Butterfly", "Evil War", and "Insan". Benny, at that time was

registered as student at the Faculty of Agriculture, Padjadjaran University. He invited his best friend, Soman Loebis, a student at ITB (Bandung Institute of Technology) to join Sharkmove as keyboard player as well as percussion. He then contributed writing one song "Bingung" for the band's debut and only album "Ghede Chokra's".

They then recruited one of the best bassists in Bandung, Janto and also drummer: Sammy. Janto wrote two songs: "Harga" and "Madat". The music of the band was then recorded in the Musica Studio, one of the well-known label in Indonesia until today, and sponsored by Bhagu Ramchand, an Indian with Indonesian nationality. The contribution of Bhagu was significant as he contributed financial support as well as ideas to make the one and only album of Sharkmove "Ghede Chokra's" became a reality. The band was considered as pioneer in Indonesian rock scene by combining rock music with traditional harmonies and progressive sounds.

Some songs in the album were written using English lyrics while at that time most of Indonesian played sweet music and Indonesian lyrics. It was considered as "experimental" in the way the album was made. Right after the release of this album in 1970, the band performed frequent gigs in Indonesian big cities like Bandung, Jakarta (capital city), Palembang, and others.

At the end of 1970, a tragic event occurred when Soman Loebis passed away due to traffic accident in Jakarta and Benny Soebardja decided to stop the band and all of its related activities because at that time it was quite difficult to find Soman's replacement who could play keyboards as good as him.

My Life (9:04) starts mellow in ambient mood with traditional texture through the sound of flute played by Janto Diablo. Benny's vocal line enters beautifully in catchy and memorable notes. The song moves beautifully with excellent melody through vocal line and it then flows in crescendo as drum work by Sammy Zakaria enters. Beny's vocal quality is crispy and powerful and it reminds me to the vocal of David Byron (whom later formed a band called Uriah Heep). This song is to me very emotional because the overall tagline melody is very catchy, memorable, and it touches my emotion - deeply. Composition-wise, this is a masterpiece symphonic progressive rock offering which successfully blends excellent melody with challenging arrangement, especially knowing that it was written those days in 1970 when music was not that complicated and challenging in nature. (This is not to undermine a great album by King Crimson "In the court of The Crimson King" which is really masterpiece with its "21st Century of Schizoid Man").

"My Life" also moves dynamically through its passages with changing styles and tempo from a mellow one at opening part and to heavy part with music riffs and vocal shouting (beautifully) by Benny Soebardja. One thing peculiar is the way Sammy played his drum (at approx. minute 2:01) which then being followed by Guruh Gipsy through its "Indonesia Mahardhikka" composition. Guitar work by Benny is stunning especially when it's augmented by Soman Loebis' hovering organ work that represents truly the 70s sound! The guitar solo during interlude that starts at 3:13 is really top notch! For sure, this is a masterpiece song that all of you, prog warriors, would definitely enjoy! AT the later part of the song, when the song in mellow passage, flute work makes its mark beautifully.

Butterfly (4:28) cools down the music a bit through an ambient organ sound played by Soman Loebis. This song can be considered pop with some progressive touches like Procol Harum even though there is no such thing similar, musically, between the two. Throughout the song, Benny sings nicely, backed by organ sound that characterizes this song, augmented by acoustic guitar rhythm section. Again, this song is strong in melody-line and it's enjoyable for many ears, I believe.

Harga (2:51) is a mellow track with acoustic guitar serves as main rhythm section followed by organ in jazzy mood, augmented beautifully by flutework. This song features Janto Diablo on vocal as well as maintaining his role as flute player. The interlude part offers nice flute passages with acoustic guitar as rhythm section. This song is simple but it has a nice composition that makes it enjoyable listening to it.

Evil War (5:42) is another beautifully crafted song that features Bhagu Rhamchand on vocal. The unique characteristic of this song is its energy cast by Bhagu's vocal line combined with its composition that comprises classic rock style of music plus some musical jamming (well, at least it sounds like "jamming"). From the start of the song, Janto has demonstrated his virtuosity in playing bass guitar which serves as main rhythm section throughout the song. The most challenging part of this song is during the jam session part that starts at minute 1:43 where Janto gives his bass guitar solo augmented by Sammy's drum for approximately 1 minute, followed by Benny's stunning guitar solo.

The remaining three songs are basically ballad with unique texture through flute work. "Bingung" starts with piano followed with guitar fills to accompany vocal by Soman Loebis. "Insan" features Sammy on vocal while Benny focuses on guitar and Janto provides nice flute work. "Madat" starts with nice piano work followed by vocal line performed by Janto Diablo. The lyrics contain social protest and the heroic spirit to fight against its enemies.


Overall, this is an excellent vintage progressive rock - classic rock music that successfully blended the elements of progressive music, traditional harmonies and nice melodies throughout the songs it offers. One thing I need to mention here is that this album is quite original in musical ideas as you can see from the music. It's not totally a prog album as some songs are just ballads but the prog elements are quite significant. This album was a landmark and foundation of Indonesian progressive rock scene. It's truly a gem. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Benny Soebardja & Lizard - 1978 - Night Train

Benny Soebardja & Lizard
Night Train 

01. Wise World
02. Night Train
03. In 1973
04. Stroll-On
05. 18 Years Old II
06. Woman of Desire
07. Talked About My Girl
08. Struggle for Life
09. Calls Himself a Rider
10. Looking for Peace & Freedom
11. A Signal From Outer Space

Recorded in 1978, Night Train may very well be the rarest thing that Benny Soebardja ever laid down. Cassette copies of this creature fetch an upwards of three figures on the Indonesian market! The first track, “Wise World”, is a testament in itself; it’s also a track that paves the way for the rest of the album, preparing you for some amazing fuzz as well as other trippy musical dealings. Laced in classic Benny Soebardja psychedelic style, Night Train stands out as one of his most crowning achievements. Thanks to Strawberry Rain, this “Benny at his best” title has finally seen a proper vinyl pressing, although it is limited to 500 copies and is getting harder and harder to track down nowadays.

Benny Soebardja & Lizard - 1976 - Gimme a Piece of Gut Rock

Benny Soebardja & Lizard
Gimme a Piece of Gut Rock 

01. The Advantage of Music for Me
02. End of the World
03. Pensive
04. Circle of Love
05. Gut Rock
06. Young Widow

Ah, Gimmie a Piece of Gut Rock. Just the title alone is far out! Recorded in just 30 days — rumor has it that Benny was given unlimited studio time — the sound you get off Gimmie… is layered, at times complex, and not necessarily what one would expect coming off of Benny Soebardja & Lizard…but it works! It works so well in fact, that some collectors argue this to be his finest hour. While I personally don’t adhere to that opinion, it is nonetheless an epic ride and one definitely worth buying a ticket for. Hey, speaking of Lizard, guess who backed-up the noise on this effort? You got it! But what most people don’t know is that Benny also had help from some even older pals on this one, with Giant Step filling the gaps.

Benny Soebardja & Lizard - 1975 - Benny Soebardja & Lizard

Benny Soebardja & Lizard 
Benny Soebardja & Lizard 

01. 18 Years Old
02. Come Closer
03. Crime
04. In 1965
05. Sunny Day
06. Junky & How to Live
07. Cynthia
08. Candle Light
09. Loosing Time

Due in great part to the compilation release of Those Shocking, Shaking Days (Now Again, 2010), the exposure and subsequent interest in unknown and/or long forgotten Indonesian psych/hard rock groups of the late 1960s to early-mid 1970s has been growing in recent years. A virtual treasure-trove of lost tracks and obscure bands, one can only wonder why these Indo treasures weren’t excavated sooner. One of the stand-out tracks on …Shaking Days is undoubtedly Shark Move’s “Evil War”, an incredibly eerie, psychedelia drenched gem that just oozes monster tones and thumping bass. Lest we forget, during the early 1970s, Southeast Asia was very much in turmoil and littered with devastating violence. “Evil War”, a song written in the very backyard of that seemingly never ending conflict, speaks volumes about the people who endured so much, yet who persevered in spirit, as evidenced in their their music. And so, in 1973, against the backdrop of war, Shark Move laid down their one and only album, Ghede Chokra’s.

One of the members of Shark Move, a cat by the name of Benny Soebardja, would go on to work with another well-known Indonesian band of the period, Giant Step. It was with Giant Step that Benny almost caught his “big break”, when they came painfully close to signing with Virgin Records (UK). However, as with most Indo acts of the time, this was not to be; the world just didn’t seem ready. Eventually, Giant Step ran its course in relative ambiguity, being contained, and ultimately lost, within the confines of mid-70s Indonesia. Refusing to lay down his pen, however, as well as his guitar, Benny would go on to crank out some of the most phenomenal solo music the Indonesian music market has ever been hit with. Much like his earlier work with Shark Move and Giant Step, Benny’s seminal solo recordings of the 1970s were released without label support, making them essentially private pressings. Between 1975 and 1980, Benny recorded five albums, all of which have never seen any official vinyl issuing…until now. Thanks to the salvage divers over at Strawberry Rain, Benny’s first three solo albums, Benny Soebardja & Lizard(1975), Gimmie a Piece of Gut Rock (1977), and Night Train (1978), have been released on vinyl for the first time ever.

Where to begin? Well, for starters, this was Benny’s first “official” solo release. And, with no label backing this sucker, the creative freedom was flowing — and man, can you hear it. Hell, you can feelit! Backed by Lizard (a group made up of essentially mystery musicians, although I personally suspect some Sharkmovers are present), what you hear on this album is beyond amazing. Standout tracks include “18 Years Old” and “Cynthia”; “Cynthia” will leave you wondering if you’ve ever really heard a love song before. Upon its original release (if you can even call it a release), Benny Soebardja & Lizard appeared on cassette only, in sudo-bootleg form, and was ultimately absorbed by the sands of time. Enter Strawberry Rain records! This reissue has everything going for it. One, it’s a limited edition pressing of 250 copies (however, the Indonesian market had reserved 50% of those pressings, leaving only 125 copies available worldwide). Two, the sleeve on this LP sports the original banned artwork. And three, the album (as well as the other two re-releases) is housed in a vintage tip-on style jacket! How cool is that?

Kelompok Kampungan - 1977 - Mencari Tuhan

Kelompok Kampungan
Mencari Tuhan

01. Bung Karno
02. Mereka Mencari Tuhan
03. Ratna
04. Hidup Ini Seperti Drama
05. Aku Mendengar Suara

Bujel (flute, gong), Edi Haryono (percussion), Innisisri (drums, percussion), Sawung Jabo (guitar, percussion, vocals), Kelik (guitar, percussion), Bram Makahekum (bandleader, guitar, vocals), Agus Murtono (musical director, percussion, violin), Doddy Precil (percussion, vocals), Agus Salim (cello, gamelan), Rudra Setiabudi (flute, guitar, oboe, percussion), Joko Surendro (gamelan, guitar, violin), Areng Widodo (bass, gamelan)

One of the true gems of the Indonesian scene, this album stands to be one of the best, and also one of the most unique albums to come from the region. Banned by the Shuko government soon after release, it remains somewhat obscure to most collectors up until now. An album created by Bram Makahekum (who had no musical experience or training at all) Kelompok Kumpangan had multiple members by trying to recreate the sounds of nature, even using original handmade instruments invented by the band themselves. The end result is nothing short of brilliant, one of our personal favourites from the region. There isn’t much to compare this to, maybe the Indonesian equivalent of a Paebiru or Genesis from Columbia at times, but it’s very unique and stands on its own. Wonderful progressive folk of the highest caliber interweaving flutes, violins, acoustic guitars, Indonesian percussion and other instrumentation. We can’t stand behind this one enough, it’s truly brilliant. 700 copies housed in paste on covers, includes insert with photos and history written by Indonesian music journalist Denny Sakrie. One time limited edition, CD limited to 1000 copies and has 4 songs not on the LP version that were never released on vinyl before.

Harry Roesli and The Philosophy Gang 1971 Philosophy Gang: The Gang of Harry Roesli

Harry Roesli and The Philosophy Gang 
Philosophy Gang: The Gang of Harry Roesli 

01. Peackock Dog
02. Roda Again
03. Don't Talk About Freedom
04. Borobudur
05. Imagine (Blind)
06. Malaria
07. Roses

Harry Roesli (RIP) has been a well known artist in Indonesia who pioneered contemporary music with consistent delivery of social and humanity critics in a straight forward and transparent way. He was born in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia on September 10, 1951 an passed away on Saturday, December 11, 2004 at 19:55, Rumah Sakit Harapan Kita, Jakarta, Indonesia. He is a grand son of Marah Roesli - a well known literature writer in Indonesia.

During early 70s, Harry formed a band called Gang of Harry Roesli with his friends: Albert Warnerin, Indra Rivai, and Iwan A Rachman. Five years later the group was disbanded. Harry also established Ken Arok theatrical group in 1973 where they did a series of performances including Ken Arok Opera at Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), August 1975. Harry was then granted a scholarship by Cultuur, Recreatie en Maatschapelijk Werk (CRM), to study in Rotterdam Conservatorium, Netherland. To support his life while studying and expressing his musical talent, he played piano at Indonesian restaurants.

He achieved PhD in Music (1981) and he then lectured at the department of music at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) Bandung and Universitas pasundan Bandung despite his activities to compose music for films.

Harry Roesli also actively participated in the development of street performers and the poor where he dedicated his house at Jl WR Supratman 57, Bandung as meeting point. Everyday the discussion was conducted with all street performers and the poor to get better in life through music. He established Depot Kreasi Seni Bandung (DKSB) in an attempt to educate them. From this house, he and DKSB made a series of activities and programs which focus on social critics for the betterment of the government. His song Jangan Menangis Indonesia (Don't Cry Indonesia) taken from LTO album has been a heroic song that accompanied his social protest to the government. During Indonesia Reform, his creation which was planned to consume 24 hours was almost to be banned by the government.

Guruh Gypsy - 1977 - Guruh Gypsy

Guruh Gypsy
Guruh Gypsy

01. Indonesia Maharddika (15:43)
02. Chopin Larung (7:19)
03. Barong Gundah (6:57)
04. Janger 1897 Saka (8:53)
05. Geger Gelgel (12:04)
06. Smaradhana (2:26)
07. Sekar Ginotan (6:38) - Bali Trad. Music

- Keenan Nasution / drums,vocal
- Chrisye / bass,vocal
- Abadi Soesman / mini-moog
- Roni Harahap / all piano+organ
- Odink Nasution / guitars
- Guruh Soekarno /all gamelan,all lyrics
Plus guest players :
- Trisuci Kamal / piano
- Gauri Nasution / guitar
- Hutauruk Sisters / Female back up singers
- I Gusti Kompyang Raka / Gamelan +Balinese Singers
- Orkestra RRI / orchestra section
Releases information

Recorded at TRI ANGKASA Music Laboratory, Jakarta, Indonesia (July 1976 - November 1977); distributed by Pramaqua in 1977.
Released in luxury cassette tape edition with complete Booklet detailing the project.

Guruh Gipsy is basically a collaborative effort between Guruh Soekarno Putro - the fifth child of Indonesia's first President, Soekarno - and Gipsy. Guruh was born in Jakarta, 13 January 1953 and since his childhood his mother (Fatmawati) reckoned that he had strong passion for art and strong sense of accomplishment. Unlike his sister, Megawati, whom later became Indonesia's President, he pursued his dreams in art including music and choreography. He later established his own dance and music group called "Swaramaharddika" which was very famous in the 70s and 80s.

While Gipsy was basically a music group which its members are Nasution brothers: Gaury, Keenan, Odink, and Deby. It was previously established in 1966 under the name of Sabda Nada with members: Ponco Sutowo, Gaury Nasution, Joe-Am, Eddy, Edit, Roland and Keenan Nasution. They were very familiar with Balinese music and they ever did a gig at Bank Indonesia combining western with Balinese music with gamelan group led by Wayan Suparta Wijaya. In 1969 the band renamed themselves as Gipsy and the new line-up was established: Onan, Chrisye, Gaury, Tammy, dan Atut Harahap. They did cover for 70s groups like Procol Harum, King Crimson, ELP, Genesis and Blood, Sweat & Tears. In 1971 the line-up changed again: Keenan, Chrisye, Gaury, Rully Djohan, Aji Bandi, and Lulu. With this line-up the band played a gig in New York, USA.

This collaborative effort called GURUH - GIPSY was made possible due to Guruh strong passion for combining ethnic music of Bali based on pentatonic notes and western music which is based on diatonic notes. The effort took such a long time as it required sixteen (16) months of recording time. The elapsed time was used by Guruh for various complex activities, i.e. financing the project, scheduling with the only studio available at that time with 16-track system (Tri Angkasa), composing the music with Keenan Nasution (drums), Odink Nasution (guitar), Abadi Soesman (keyboards), Roni Harahap (piano/organ), and Chrisye (vocal). Actually, total studio days was 52 days.

The recording session was started in July 1975 and finished in November 1976. The long duration and difficulties faced during recording were due to many personnel involved during the session. It was not just Gipsy band members but it included violin players (Suryati Sumpilin, Suseno, and Fauzan), cello players (Sudarmadi Bambang Purwadi), contra bass (Amin Katamsi), flute (Suparlan), clarinet /hobo (Yudianto), and a group of Bali musicians. In addition to these there were backing vocals: Rugun and Bornok Hutauruk.

Music arrangement combining western music and Bali traditional gamelan required tight precision as the two had different spectrum in terms of notes and chords. For this purpose, Guruh spent a lot of time outside the studio to learn the subtleties of western music as well as Bali traditional music. He strived to find the best harmony that blended symphonic progressive rock with Bali tradional gamelan music.

His efforts paid off because the result was a brilliant album that was totally splendid!! It's masterpiece of symphonic progressive rock album with experimental music.

 Indonesia Maharddika (15:43)

This opening track really blew me away the first time I spun the cassette. It was complex for me at first but with multiple spins I finally got into music subtleties of this wonderfully composed music. The intro part reminds me to the music of ELP / The Nice with some influences of Yes. There is no similarity in chords and/or melody with those supergroups but the music is in similar vein. But hold on, there is a distinctive difference with other western bands whereby this track contains moog synthesizer melody which is truly based on Indonesia traditional music of Bali. It's very rich in texture and I bet you have never heard this kind of melody - unless you have ever visited Bali - the beautiful island in Indonesia archipelago.

After a long stunning symphonic progressive rock music (approximately 3 minutes) and powerful vocal by Keenan Nasution with ethnics music, in then enters into a stunning and long sustain keyboard / synthesizer sounds in the vein of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (of Pink Floyd) followed with powerful verses sung by Chrisye: "Aku dengar deru jiwa .." with really beautiful Balinese style pentatonic music with gamelan and synthesizer. Oh what a great part here! Chrisye bass lines are also excellent. The music flows into moog solo backed-up with traditional gamelan Bali music. Oh man .. I'm totally nggeblak! (my mind was totally paralyzed for a while, enjoying the beauty of notes played by this segment).

The next segments comprise a great combination of guitar solo, female choirs, keyboards and moog synthesizer solo. The ending part of this track is really killing and there is virtually nothing traditional music but the melody still maintains the Bali nuance. It's truly a memorable track that requires numerous spinning.

Chopin Larung (7:19)

As the name implies, this second track is the band's interpretation of Chopin and the condition that surrounds Bali Island as a continuous effort to preserve Bali traditions and culture. "Yen Chopin maring ing Bali .." (If Chopin comes to Bali ..) is a powerful and memorable verse that Chrisye sings beautifully in this track. This track has strong and memorable melody that I'm sure that human beings might experience mbrebes mili (having watery eyes) due to the melody subtleties produced by this track. This track includes great combination of piano, gamelan Bali and orchestra. The piano solo is very classical in nature. Oh man, you have to experience yourself with this track and am sure that you will be touched enjoying the melody and the composition!

Barong Gundah (6:57) (instrumental)

This track starts with a gamelan solo backed with an ambient nuance. You might hear something strange here because it's based on pentatonic notes unlike standard western instruments which are based on diatonic notes. After quite a while single gamelan solo it flows with gong sounds, continued with drum sounds and bass guitar work. This is really wonderful. It's then followed with guitar solo intertwined with moog solo and gamelan solo. Oh my God . this is amazing! It seems like I'm in different worlds but listening each world in one music. The gamelan solo is really nice - it sounds like jazz music when keyboard enters the scene.

Janger 1897 Saka (8:53)

This is where The Balinese Orchestra comes into play. This track combines Chrisye and Keenan Nasution vocal lines, female choirs and traditional choir with orchestral arrangement. The melody of the song is touchy, blended with excellent composition on orchestra part of this tune. There are many types of instruments used at this track which is based on traditional melody. I Gusti Kompyang Raka plays important role here. The sounds of gamelan and gong have enriched the texture of this music. They make the music quite dense with multi instruments. It sounds very colossal.

Geger Gelgel (12:04)

This track is a perfect example on how hard rock music and traditional instruments were blended nicely. The result is a truly progressive rock music. I think Keenan does vocal job here. It starts with the sounds of kendang (traditional percussion) followed with the dynamics of gamelan Bali sounds. It sounds so rocking to my ears especially when piano enters the music followed with keyboards, bass guitar and drums that make the music is rich in texture. The vocal enters right after long sustain keyboard / synthesizer sounds :"Dulu di Gelgel pernah geger .." is a powerful opening verse sung by Keenan. There are many symphonic part during this track, combined perfectly with gamelan and vocal line. Traditional choirs still exist to strengthen the music. Piano interjects in between breaks. The music riffs are unique as they combine western and traditional music. It's the track that you should not miss at all. Enjoy the interlude part which provides gamelan solo (instead of guitar / keyboard) which makes this track stands out differently with any prog music available on planet earth!

Smaradhana (2:26)

It's basically a love song performed by Chrisye (vocal) backed with Bali traditional orchestra which includes also a series of gamelan and rindik. This song was later popular in Indonesia as Chrisye launched it in pop music under his solo album. It's powerful in melody, I would say.

Sekar Ginotan (6:38) - Bonus

This bonus track would bring your exploration of pure Bali traditional music. It shows its dynamic in energy and drive, even before it's combined with modern and western music instruments like drums, guitar, synthesizers. So, you can hear that original traditional music has in itself energy, enthusiasm and drive which match perfectly with rock music.


Well, first off, don't consider me as Indonesian! I'm a citizen of Progressive Rock Music Community in the World. My nationality is Progressive Music. My major is Symphonic Progressive Rock. If you can imagine me this way, believe me . this is a masterpiece of progressive music! I dare to say that this album is at par excellent with Genesis "Selling England By The Pound" or Yes "Close To The Edge" or Pink Floyd "Dark Side of The Moon" or name other masterpiece prog albums! This album by Guruh Gipsy must be counted in. Unfortunately there has been no significant effort to preserve this record as it was only recorded in the form of cassette tape. My version is a CDR drirectly mastered from the original cassette tape. One should remaster this record and distribute globally. Keep on proggin' ..!

God Spell - 1972 - God Spell

God Spell
God Spell

01. Jalan Iblis
02. Pengharapan
03. Gadis Telaga
04. Cinta Dalam Syair
05. Discotheque
06. Kenangan Indah
07. Pusara
08. Cinta Dalam Syair

Here's another rarity. It's the 1972 promo for radio record from Heavy Metal/Prog-rock band God Spell. Extremely rare this one, seen it go on Ebay for well over 200 Euros.... Nice record and it was never released, a few metal bangers, some ballads, this is a pretty good record and it surprises me they never put this out..

Giant Step - 1977 - Kukuh Nan Teguh

Giant Step
Kukuh Nan Teguh

01. Kukuh Nan Teguh (5:44)
02. Hampa (4:27)
03. Mekar (5:48)
04. Untaian Warna (3:48)
05. Dialog Tanya (4:04)
06. Manusia (4:57)
07. Yang T'lah Lalu (4:38)
08. Dialog Jawab (2:33)
09. Perih (4:13)
10. Alam Bebas (4:42)
11. Senandung Malam (3:04)

• Benny Soebardja (vocals, guitar) - middle right
• Adhy Sibolangit (bass) - back
• Haddy Arief (drums) - middle left
• Triawan (keyboards) - front
• Albert Warnerin (guitar) - middle

Where are they now (the facts) :
• Triawan Munaf - owner of one of the biggest advertising agency/mass communication in Indonesia, father-producer-manager of his own daughter Indonesian talented young singer, Sherrina.
• Albert Warnerin - running his own business.
• Haddy Arief - executive banker.
• Benny Soebardja - running his own furniture and interior design business.
• Adhy Sibolangit - unknown

Giant Step - 1976 - Giant on the Move!

Giant Step
On The Move!

01. Farewell Today (6:52)
02. Giant On The Move (6:56)
03. Liar (5:52)
04. A Fortunate Paradise (4:45)
05. Allusion Way (5:09)
06. Decisions (7:16)
07. Waste Time (8:02)
08. So Long (4:53)
09. Air Pollution (8:04)

• Benny Soebardja (vocals, guitar)
• Adhy Sibolangit (bass)
• Haddy Arief (drums)
• Triawan (keyboards)
• Albert Warnerin (guitar)

One of legendary Indonesian progressive rock acts of the 70's, their music showed influences of the greats of prog rock, but still managed to deliver originality. They started in early 70's, went through a series of line-up changes with the "keepers of the flame" being Benny Soebardja and Albert Warnerin, and managed to release several albums before finally breaking up in 1986. Their best prog albums (as recommended by Denny Sakrie of M97FM) are Giant On The Move (produced by Nova Record Bandung), Kukuh Nan Teguh (Nova Record Bandung), and Persada Tercinta (Irama Tara Record).

Ariesta Birawa Group - 1973 - Ariesta Birawa Group Volume 1

Ariesta Birawa Group
Ariesta Birawa Group Volume 1

01. Si Ompong
02. Masa Depanmu
03. Minggu Pagi
04. Senyumlah Sayang
05. Untukmu Pujaanku
06. Qill Never Die
07. Pergi Pacaran
08. Persembahanku
09. KR. Bunga Nusa Indah
10. Terimalah Cintaku
11. Gadis Ayu
12. Didunia Yang Lain

* Oedin Syach,
* Jeffry Zaenal,
* Noerche.

Shadoks' first release from Indonesia is very special and was featured in Hans Pokora's 4001 Record Collector Dreams book as one of the rarest items from Asia. Originally released in 1973, this album contains beautiful, well-crafted songs with lots of guitars. Pure, heavy psychedelic with a good progressive Indonesian touch. If you like Juan De La Cruz' Maskara, or the Cambodian Rocks comp, this one is for you. If there would be a Vertigo release recorded in Indonesia this could be it. So far the only psychedelic release from Indonesia on the market, this CD version of the previously-released LP became a big success.

Released in 1973, this is the first CD version of this psychedelic pop album. Much of the inventive melodies, delicate harmonies, and breezy guitars are rooted in the '60s Western tradition but contain enough twists on the genre to give the tunes a subtly unique flavor. While not terribly groundbreaking, this album does hold the distinction of being the firstavailable psychedelic album from Indonesia.

It doesn’t take long after cracking open Hans Pokora’s renowned 4001 Record Collector Dreams (part 4 of the amazing record collector book series concentrating on rare Folk, Psychedelic, Progressive, Garage and Beat music from “Austria to New Zealand”) before stumbling across three serious-looking, hippified Indonesians, one with a mini-fro and a killer stache, who go by the Ariesta Birawa Group. Originally released in 1973 and extremely rare, ‘Vol. 1, Indonesia’ contains twelve 3-minute songs of psychedelic guitar-heavy songs that draw as much from their geographic roots as it does the Western 70s psych scene, like Hendrix’s melodic electric-funk accentuated by Eastern flute and exotic stringed instruments. One of the very few psychedelic re-releases from Indonesia, this album will please fans of worldly, psych and progressive tastes though don’t be scared, it is more accessible than you think, as well as connoisseurs of compilations like Cambodia Rocks. Releases like this one are why labels like Normal and distributors like Forced Exposure are so amazing.

AKA - 1974 - Skyrider


01. Sky Rider
02. Dunia Buram
03. Hati Sunyi
04. Marthie
05. Karena Dia
06. Groovy
07. Badai Bulan Desember
08. Cintaku Kembali
09. Tak Kuasa

AKA - 1971 - Reflection


01. Reflection
02. Jeritan Seniman
03. Mendaki Gunung
04. Cahaya Tuhan
05. Akhir Kesucian Gadis
06. Only One Man
07. Jatuh Cinta
08. Mira
09. Penjaga Padi

AKA - 1970 - Do What You Like

Do What You Like

01. Do What You Like
02. I've Gotta Work
03. Glennmore
04. Akhir Kisah Sedih
05. Diakhir Bulan Lima
06. Keagungan Tuhan

AKA rock band (an abbreviation of Apotik Kali Asin, a pharmacy owned by the father of Ucok Harahap, where they were headquartered and exercise) was established in Surabaya on May 23, 1967 with the initial formation: Ucok Harahap (keyboard / vocal major), Syech Abidin (drums / vocals ), Soenata Cape Tanjung (main guitar / vocals), and Peter Wass (bass). Peter Wass replaced by Lexy Rumagit injured when grenades were prepared for the rock group stage action of Ogle Eyes in Lumajang suddenly exploded and wounded him. Since 1969, Lexy Rumagit Kaunang replaced by Arthur Kaunang. Noteworthy, all AKA bass players are left-handed.

The worst thing I have to say about it is it is quite inconsistent. On hand is a mix of mind blowing psych hard rock, psych flavored garage, and garage driven ballads, some sung in English, some in their native tongue. The ballads are their Achilles' heal and are ill suited to their style, seeming completely out of place on this record. I've never been able to figure out why bands who try, and succeed, at making a name for themselves with hard rock, try to prove to the world that they are equally adept at soft ballads, when they are clearly not! Such seems to be the case with AKA. But fortunately, they more than make up for it with the stuff they are good at. I have yet to turn up this beauty in either original form, or reissue. But you can bet I will be keeping my eyes open for this or any other of their releases!

Capitolo 6 - 1972 - Frutti Per Kagua

Capitolo 6
Frutti Per Kagua

01. Frutti Per Kagua
02. Grande Spirito
03. Il Tramonto Di Un Popolo
04. L’ultima Notte

- Riccardo Bartolotti / vocals, guitar, flute
- Antonio Favilla / keyboards
- Maurizio Romani / bass
- Lorenzo Donati / drums, vocals

Capitolo 6 was another of the many groups that rode the tidal wave of progressive rock that swept across Italy in the 1970. Personel issues hampered the group, and despite good reviews from their various apperances on TV, and in the pop festivals across Italy in the early 70's they only left us with this one album. Frutti Per Kagua — a concept album about the tricky negotiations of Indian lands by the white man.

The title track encompasses the entire first side on the album, running for 22 minutes. Their crowning glory is truly a prime slice of progressive rock heaven with beautiful flute passages interlaced with guitars and keyboards. The vocals are exceptional, very expressive and fit well with the music.

The album’s second half begins with ‘Grande Espiritu’, an acoustic ballad with a catchy main motif. The last two tracks are the most colorful in the album. “Il Tramonto di un Popolo” starts with a brief chant and drum rolls, before the instrumentation brings a solid alternation of furiously rocking passages and pastoral ones. The diversity that took 18 minutes to develop and settle for the suite is here comprised in 5 ? without losing an ounce of tension. The closer ‘L’Ultima Notte’ bears a very similar vibe, albeit with bigger doses of expansion and fluidity, which is fine for its 11 ? minute span. The drummer works efficiently in the basis while the lead guitarist delivers what are arguably his best solos in the album. The last rocking moments are filled with sarcastic gibberish: a touch of Zappa in this exposure of Mediterranean psychedelia.