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Yogya-based rock band belts out about sensitive issues, social injustice

Bambang Muryanto

The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta  /  Sun, October 7, 2018  /  04:32 pm
Yogya-based rock band belts out about sensitive issues, social injustice

Tashora performs at Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardjo, Yogyakarta, on Oct. 2, 2018. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Standing on stage during a concert last week, female bassist Gusti Arirang from rock band Tashora spoke to the crowd about social injustice in Yogyakarta, saying that few knew about the Yogyakarta administration’s “racist” regulation that prohibited non-pribumi (non-indigenous) residents from owning land.

“This song was written about the eviction of street merchants in Gondomanan and the separation between pribumi [indigenous] and non-pribumi in [Yogyakarta’s] regulations,” Gusti, who is also the band’s vocalist, said last Tuesday at Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja, the concert’s venue.

“Hopefully we will always maintain peace in Yogyakarta without pretending to be blind and covering our ears.”

The group then performed “Sabda” (proclamation).

Established in 2016, Tashora is best known for the song “Nista” (nothing), which was dedicated to the forgotten activists who fought for Indonesia’s democracy, such as Mak Hindun who died in March 2017 and was shunned for her support of former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaya Purnama.

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Tashora is a progressive rock group made up of Dita Permatas (vocals, accordion, keyboard), Danang Joedodarmo (vocals, acoustic guitar), Gusti Arirang (vocals, bass), Danu Wardhana (violin, vocals), Sasi Kirono (guitar, vocals) and Mahesa Santoso (drums).

The band works to highlight sensitive social issues through its music.

Though relatively new in the music scene, Tashora (a name taken from Jl. Tasura in Yogyakarta, a studio where they often practiced music) has performed at prominent art events such as ARTJOG and Java Jazz. The band’s shows have attracted the attention of music fans, particularly because of the vibrant costumes its members wear.

Danang said Tashora wanted to encourage people to discuss these sensitive social issues in a more relatable way through its songs.

“The least we can do is try to mend the current situation,” he said.

The five-song concert performed on Tuesday was recorded and will be used in the group’s first album, slated for release by the end of this year. (kes)

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