The Jakarta Post
An upcoming debut album from rock band Musikimia promises an interesting mix of multilayered music styles, colors and sounds.
Musikimia was set up in 2012 as a side project by million-copy-selling pop rock band Padi's vocalist Andi Fadly Arifuddin, drummer Surendro 'Yoyo' Prasetyo, bassist Rindra Risyanto Noor and renowned sound sound engineer-turned-guitarist Stephan Santoso.
The album, set to be launched in January 2016, was coproduced by five musicians with different musical styles, pointing, perhaps, to why it contains such an eclectic mixture of songs.
The coproducers working with Musikimia on the album, as yet untitled, include Gugun from blues band Gugun Blues Shelter, Eben from thrash metal band Burgerkill, producer and bassist Bondan Prakoso, jazz guitarist and musical director Nikita Dompas and guitarist Stevi Item from death metal band Deadsquad.
Fadly said that the work truly represented the band's name, a portmanteau of the words musik (music) and kimia (chemistry).
'This album is like a chemical compound of our music with other genres,' Fadly said during a sneak preview of the upcoming album in Jakarta on Wednesday evening.
'We wanted to push our limits, to challenge ourselves to interpret works from other genres. We wanted to do something that we hadn't done before.'
Each coproducer produced two songs for the album. Some clearly bear the influence of their producer's musical genre, while others are surprisingly different, completely deviating from the expected style.
Gugun, for instance, leaves a signature blues influence on songs entitled 'Hangus' (Scorched) and 'Meski Kau Tak Ingin' (Even If You Don't Want To).
Other producers, such as Eben, however, have produced tunes that are entirely different from their previous works.
In a song entitled 'Pesanku' (My Message), Eben, a metal musician, uses a surprising ensemble of traditional Javanese keroncong tunes delivered at a slow pace, almost like a lullaby.
In 'Redam' (Mute), Eben's genre influence is felt at the beginning of the song but afterwards, the song decelerates to a much slower pace.
Another remarkable song in the album, entitled 'Issue', comes from a collaboration with Stevi. The song features a majestic composition with a meditative quality that takes its listeners to another place in a fantasy and faraway land.
Despite this grand composition, the song's theme is very simple, telling the story of a man who cannot stand a girlfriend who does not trust him.
In 'Hitam Tak Selalu Gelap' (Black Does Not Always Mean Darkness), Stevi and Musikimia take their listeners back to the 1990s with a song that is rich with Brit-pop-influenced tunes and guitar riffs.
For the album's first single, Musikimia collaborated with Nikita to produce 'Dan Bernyanyilah' (And Sing) ' a very catchy pop song that somehow bears the influence of U2's early noughties' sounds. Nikita also works with Musikimia on another catchy pop song entitled 'Bertahan Untukmu' (Hanging On Just For You).
Bondan, meanwhile, coproduced a song entitled 'Sebebas Alam' (As Free As Nature), based on a poem by poet Sekar Ayu Asmara.
The song features a very groovy reggae tune with funky folk songs from the 1970s embedded. Given its outstanding musical quality, this song should have been the album's first single.
However, while Bondan's 'Sebebas Alam' is one of the album's best, if not the best, another of his efforts falls short.
The song, entitled 'Taman Sari Indonesia' (Indonesian's Garden), is an unreleased song composed by late folk singer Franky Sahilatua. Lyrically, the song talks about his love for the country and its diversity, but it is delivered in a bland narrative. Musically speaking, 'Taman Sari Indonesia' does not feature the musical layers and colors that mark the other songs on the album.
Overall, Musikimia's new album offers a refreshing choice for music lovers at a time when the country's music scene is flooded with low-quality, cheesy pop songs. The band's new album's quality shows the musical maturity of all the musicians involved in producing it.
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