Manaf, Tesla: Tesla Manaf
Tesla Manaf is an Indonesian fusion guitarist with immense talent. His new self-titled album contains two albums in one; A Man's Relationship With His Fragile Area and It's All Yours previously released in 2011.
The brand new A Man's Relationship With His Fragile Area features Tesla Manaf (guitar), Rudy Zulkarnaen (upright bass), Hulhul (clarinet, trompet pencak, Indonesian wood flute) and Desal Sembada (drums).
The short title track begins the album with interesting and abstract guitar structures but I could have done without the vocals which didn't do it for me. "Necrophilia" features Manaf's lightning fast guitar excursions with numerous tempo changes and augmented rhythms laced with Indonesian flute. The bass solo is very impressive. At times there is a disjointed feeling as if the instruments are out of sync. That said, this is certainly interesting music and the lack of conventional song structures shows a large amount of creativity and imagination. "Counting Miles and Smiles" is highlighted with melodic clarinet and a stellar display of bass and intricate drum work. "Moving Side" showcases the artist's aversion to the norm as tempo changes and stop/start rhythms convey excellent musicianship while "Early Years" is more melodic with tricky guitar lines, slower rhythms and almost ambient flute soundscapes.
The second half of the disc is the It's All Yours album and features the Balinese ensemble Mahagotra Ganesha adding a heavy dose of percussion. The catchy "Part 1" is the album's longest song and if not the best is certainly the most melodic. Tasty guitar lines weave an irresistible melody and even when playing fast Manaf has an innate melodic sensibility. "Part 2" is much more atmospheric with moodier textures, wisps of synths and gentler guitar and bass. With "Part 3" you get another fine melody highlighted with sax and resounding percussion sounds.
So, for experimental jazz fusion the first few songs should satisfy that itch while the It's All Yours album is a little more catchier and inherently more melodic although there are pieces that will challenge any listener, like the ambient and eerie "Part 5". This is an enjoyable listen any way you slice it.
A Man's Relationship With His Fragile Area (2014)
1. A Man's Relationship With His Fragile Area (0:44)
2. Necrophilia (1:30)
3. Counting Miles and Smiles (4:59)
4. Movin Side (5:58)
5. Early Years (7:55)
6. Multiply By Zero (1:33)
7. Chin Up (7:06)
8. The Sweetest Horn (6:43)
It's All Yours (2011)
9. It's All Yours: Part 1 (11:17)
10. It's All Yours: Part 2 (5:59)
11. It's All Yours: Part 3 (6:23)
12. It's All Yours: Part 4 (5:46)
13. It's All Yours: Part 5 (3:59)
14. It's All Yours: Part 6 (8:57)
Added: January 14th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
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