The Jakarta Post
Jakarta-based indie band Bangkutaman performs in front of a crowd in Pangkal Pinang, Riau, on May 5. (The Jakarta Post/Courtesy of Bangkutaman)
As part of the time-honored tradition of releasing religious songs during Ramadhan, Jakarta-based indie band Bangkutaman has released a single with a theme steeped in spirituality.
The song, titled "Manusia Dalam Tanda Tanya" (Human Being in Question Mark), which tackles the subject of man's relationship with God, is available for free from the band's website, bangkutaman.id.
The song was the last written with the band's former guitarist, Irwin Ardy, who decided to leave the band shortly after the completion of the song's recording. Irwin cited creative differences as his reason for leaving Bangkutaman.
Despite its “religious” undertone, band leader Wahyu “Acum” Nugroho said the song was conceived purely from a technical reason.
"One friend came to our studio with a strange guitar that he brought back from Turkey. We then decided to do something that The Beatles did for the White Album," Wahyu said, referring to the Fab Four's masterpiece from 1968, which accentuates George Harrison's Eastern-inflected guitar sounds.
Wahyu said Bangkutaman decided to release the song now after last month's terrorist attack in Surabaya, East Java, which killed 18 people. "People who claim to be close to God, in fact they commit atrocities to mankind and nature," Wahyu said.
The song is among those produced during the band’s studio sessions for its next record. The band released its last record, Ode Buat Kota (Ode to the Town), in 2013.