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Jakarta Post

Float: Each mile on the string

  • Felix Dass

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, September 22, 2013   /  12:16 pm
Float: Each mile on the string

Vocalist: Vocalist and lead guitarist Hotma '€œMeng'€ Roni Simamora (center) performs along with other Float members at a gig.

Folk collaborative Float reminisces about taking its music on the road.

Their story began in 2004 when Hotma '€œMeng'€ Roni Simamora and Windra '€œBontel'€ Benyamin were involved in the same musical project in Jakarta. Bontel was Meng'€™s producer for his then planned solo album. Their bond grew stronger months later after Raymond Agus joined them as a bass player.

Float produced mostly folk and acoustic tunes, joining the country'€™s indie pop music scene that flaunts breezy sounds, thickly influenced by Britpop and retro pop. As laid back as its music, the group is not that ambitious.

Until today, the band has bagged few releases under its belt. The most notable one was the original soundtrack for Tiga Hari untuk Selamanya (Three Days for Forever), in which film director and producer Riri Riza and Mira Lesmana handpicked their songs to be part of the road movie.

The mood of the band'€™s music suited the movie, which tells the story of two cousins stuck together on a trip for three days.

Meng, the lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, is the main man behind the group while Bontel perfects harmonies with his skills as sound designer and guitarist. Raymond completes the package with a compatible bass. The trio has passed the years in and out of music, due to their loose connection. They are also involved with other musical groups and projects.

'€œEach member of the band does what they like. That has always been the core of our interaction as a band and it'€™s a very fine mutual symbiosis, for the sake of our very own self-contentment,'€ said Meng.

'€œRunning a [band] like this needs lots of inspiration. And inspiration is like good luck, it doesn'€™t come often.'€

Float members: Float members are (from left to right) Hotma '€œMeng'€ Roni Simamora, Raymond Agus and Windra '€œBontel'€ Benyamin.Float members: Float members are (from left to right) Hotma '€œMeng'€ Roni Simamora, Raymond Agus and Windra '€œBontel'€ Benyamin.
The simplicity of Float'€™s music is what draws people in. Its music is eclectic as a diverse source of sounds '€” from horns to choirs '€” accompanies Meng'€™s vocals. There seems to be no limit in terms of musical direction, as long as it fits the simplicity of what its members want to deliver.

'€œThe best time to listen to music is when you are on a journey, especially when you lose sense time,'€ Meng said.

Along with the band'€™s endless longing for travels, the group has put on Float2Nature, a picnic and outdoor music festival, for the past two years to connect with their fans.

Last year, Float went to Dieng Plateau, East Java. The abundant energy of playing outdoors brought the participants closer to each other.

'€œThis event made us feel good. I really like traveling and being in the middle of nowhere,'€ said Meng.

In November, Float will hold the sophomore series of the event in Sukabumi, West Java. Registration has just started on its website, float2nature.com. The band is also planning to release its new album during the upcoming trip.

'€” Photos courtesy of Float

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