TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION – Save The Planet

Moonjune

Indonesian fusion is not my specialty, however after listening to this CD you could easily declare that things have arrived at a more than decent level in that area of the world. Tohpati Ario Hutomo is an excellent guitarist (already met in another Moonjune-produced project, Simak Dialog). Here he leads a quintet with two percussionists, bass and suling (a Sundanese flute) through rather testing scores – tricky rhythm signatures abound – impeccably executed and endowed with the right balance of Western and Eastern components. Do not think to come across mind-opening shocks in Save The Planet, but – sure as hell – these guys can play. They merge multifarious structures and suggestive melodies like drinking a glass of water, never missing a beat, often evoking clear influences without really depending on them. Over the course of eleven tracks, one does detect reverberations from the past: Robert Fripp’s nervous arpeggios, Mahavishnu, Kazumi Watanabe, Dixie Dregs, Bill Bruford circa One Of A Kind. Yet, not a single “oh, no!” was uttered from this writer, who repeated the act of spinning the disc twice in a row despite the 67-minute length. Fresh-sounding and brilliantly performed music: give this album a serious try.

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