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simakDialog: The 6th Story

Indonesian band simakDialog is an interesting mix of jazz, rock and world music, progressive jazz if you will. The 6th Story is the band's sixth release and is the follow up to Demi Masa (2009).

The band was formed in 1993 by Riza Arshad (Fender Rhodes electric piano, acoustic piano, synth, soundscapes) and Tohpati (electric guitar). They are joined by bass player Adhitya Pratama and no less than three percussionists; Endang Ramdan, Erlan Suwardana and Cucu Kurnia. It is these players that add a Southeast Asian world flavour to these nine tracks.

Throughout the disc the musicianship is scintillating. The interplay between guitar and Rhodes piano is often quite riveting as the complex fills of both instruments compete for space usually with the percussion providing a steady backdrop. Often the band explores their improvisational side which contrasts nicely with their compositional form. A sort of organized chaos mixed with more gentler passages. The listening experience is both intense and relaxing often within the confines of the same song as evidenced by the album's first track "Stepping In" showcasing frenetic interplay between Rhodes piano and electric guitar as well as more calming passages. The second track "Lain Parantina" is perhaps a little mellower but still includes some crazy build ups and jaw dropping musicianship. One of the album's more calming tracks is the gentle "What Would I Say" featuring leisurely paced guitar and cascading waves of Rhodes piano. It is a nice reprieve from some of the more frenzied soundscapes. The same can be said of the mesmerizing "As Far As It Can Be (Jaco)", no doubt a tribute to the legendary Jaco Pastorius, where fluid piano and guitar lines lazily intermingle along the liquid-like soundscape.

The album is also very well produced and sounds excellent on headphones. Fans of world music, fusion and modern progressive jazz should be delighted. Released on Moonjune Records.

Track Listing:
1. Stepping In (10:01)
2. Lain Parantina (9:06)
3. Harmologic (3:52)
4. What I Would Say (6:17)
5. For Once And never (6:29)
6. Common League (3:53)
7. As Far As It Can Be (Jaco) (8:01)
8. 5,6 (4:38)
9. Ari (6:52)

Added: September 30th 2013
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: band's Official Site
Hits: 2419
Language: english

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