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Tohpati Ethnomission: Mata Hati

Indonesian guitar wonder Tohpati has certainly been a busy man over the last few years, not only blazing a trail with the killer modern jazz fusion act simakDialog, his own solo work as well as various sessions as a guest, he's managed to find time for his band Tohpati Ethnomission. Mata Hati is the first release from this group since Save the Planet, and while six years was quite a long gap since that debut, the wait was well worth it. Joining the guitar virtuoso here is bassist Indro Hardjodikoro, Diki Suwarjiki on suling bamboo flute & tarompet, kendang percussionist Endang Ramdan, and Demas Narawangsa on drums.

The group doesn't waste any time going for the jugular with the opening cut "Janger", a sweeping, symphonic slice of progressive jazz, which also features the Czech Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michaela Ruzickova. Moving into "Pelog Rock", the band opts for some savage '70s styled jazz fusion, the guitarist ripping into a blazing solo that contains bits of Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambala, and John McLaughlin, with Suwarjiki's flute keeping stride every step of the way. Hardjodikoro's nimble bass lines bob & weave around gentle flute and Tohpati's tasty solos on the title track, while the complex "Berburu" rocks hard in spots yet contains some great melodies, the players all locked in tight and creating some intricate arrangements, like a head on collision between Return to Forever and Jethro Tull, Ramdan adding a great rhythmic flair with his acrobatic percussion. Another fascinating piece is "Reog", which is part prog, part hard rock, and part Indonesian jazz, Tohpati's riffs crunchy yet funky, his leads fierce, and he's joined by a gymnastic drum section from Narawangsa, squealing tarompet courtesy of Suwarjiki, as well as more flute and wild percussion. Just an incredible song. "Pangkur" also rock pretty hard with some lethal guitar riffs, a drum/percussion battle, and commanding flute, while the rampaging "Amarah" closes out the album in ferocious fashion, with monstrous heavy metal riffing, blazing guitar leads, flute, intricate rhythms, and a boatload of attitude.

Mata Hati is, from start to finish, a scintillating album from a band of virtuosos. For many of us who have been following the MoonJune Records roster in recent years, we've been treated to the amazing skills of Tohpati in numerous settings, and here with his band Tohpati Ethnomission he's once again delivered a massive creation. Prepare for your jaw to be dragging on the floor folks...this is an easy contender for Instrumental Jazz-Fusion album of 2017, kick starting the new year off in grand fashion!

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. Janger. (6:29)
2. Pelog Rock. (5:27)
3. Tanah Emas. (5:17)
4. Mata Hati. (6:36)
5. Berburu. (6:42)
6. Rancak. (4:33)
7. Reog. (6:51)
8. Pangkur. (4:32)
9. Amarah. (5:01)

Added: January 2nd 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 2199
Language: english

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