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Disco dancing to the nation’s musical heritage with Diskoria

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Sat, May 6, 2017 | 01:12 pm

While some people were still in bed, DJ duo Diskoria got ready to make people dance to the beat at Jakarta’s weekly Car Free Day (CFD) on April 30.

Performing at the “Disko Pagi Kue Lumpur” (Morning Disco Mud Cake) booth near the Tosari Transjakarta bus stop, they played remixes of celebrated Indonesian tracks from the 70s and 90s. Among of the songs were Chrisye’s Serasa, Guruh Soekarnoputra’s Galih & Ratna, The Groove’s Dahulu, Chaseiro’s Rio de Janeiro and other upbeat local music. Some people danced and sang in front of the booth, enjoying the nostalgia evoked by the duo's set.

Formed in 2015, Diskoria, consisting of Merdi Leonardo Simandjuntak and Fadli Aat, are known for bringing Indonesian classic songs back to the dance floor. They are inspired by foreign DJs who focus on their local music, especially on how they collect the records and remix the music.

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Merdi explained the reason they specifically chose music from the 70s, 80s and 90s, “Back in those years [music] production was hard, so when they released something, the music had to be really good in terms of the lyrics, production and arrangement. Nowadays, it’s easier to make music, so sometimes it doesn’t have so much soul; but we feel that [the music] in the 70s, 80s and 90s had a certain soul that could attract people to have fun.”

Remixing old songs is not that easy though. “The music was produced using analog methods back then, so sometimes the beats sort of change up and down in the middle of the songs,” Merdi said, adding that they needed to remember which part of a song they wanted to mix or otherwise they could not mix it properly.

Surprisingly, Diskoria has attracted a significant following among the younger generation. “They hadn’t even been born in those years [when these songs came out],” said Merdi.

The “Disko Pagi Kue Lumpur” was held by Kaum Jakarta restaurant that is slated to open this May. During the event, they also served kue lumpur (a pancake-like local delicacy) for people in the CFD area. (kes)

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