Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home


Tohpati Ethnomission: Save The Planet

Review by Gary Hill

This is a project created by Tohpati, best known as the guitarist for Simak Dialog. The music created here moves deftly between world and fusion sounds with plenty of rock thrown in. All but one track is instrumental. At times I hear King Crimson. At points space music is called to mind. One cut reminds me a lot of Steve Howe. This is all entertaining and intriguing. It’s a great disc with a lot of variety and character.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Selamatkan Bumi (Save The Planet)

This rises up gradually and tentatively and becomes a rather psychedelic jam. Then it fires out after a time into fusion meets progressive rock that’s quite tasty. They take us through several variations and different excursions. At times the bass really brings in some serious funk. At other points they drop the piece to some extremely sedate territory. Later in the piece they take out into a jam that could probably best be described as “organic space music.” It gets a little chaotic as that carries through. It gets pretty intense as they build it up. Then they take it back to the earlier musical motifs from there. We get an almost jam band meets jazz approach later.

Bedhaya Ketawang (Sacred Dance)
World music meets progressive rock and jazz as this cut enters and gradually builds. As it gets more powerful later, female world music vocals join and they take it into a seriously hard rocking motif later, but still maintain plenty of the world music element within.
This is a short, but suitably dramatic piece of fusion.
Ethno Funk

Feeling a bit like a continuation of the previous piece, this is another fiery chunk of killer fusion. There is some funk built into this, but not as much as the title might make you think. Of course, there is even less ethnic music here than there is funk – although there is still some. This works its way through this variation and that, taking the listener on a real thrill ride.

Gegunungan (Gateway Of Life)
This short instrumental reminds me of some King Crimson mellower weirdness. It’s got a lot of energy despite staying fairly sedate. There’s a percussion solo segment, too.
Hutan Hujan (Rain Forest)
Here’s a more traditional bit of fusion, but this does have harder rocking movements and sections that make me think a bit of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. There’s a killer bass driven mellower motif that brings in some Crimsonian space rock. This cut continues to evolve and change and we’re moved into some more straightforward rock sounds at times through the guitar soloing.
Biarkan Burung Bernyanyi (Let The Birds Sing)
This comes in mellow and organic. There is a bit of Celtic air to it. In many ways this feels somewhere between new age music and the sounds of Jethro Tull. Comparisons to Clannad wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of reality. They take it out later to something that makes me think of a blend of Pat Metheny and world music. It gets into some intriguing alterations as they continue. It never seems to veer quickly, but covers a lot of musical territory.
Inspirasi Baru (New Inspiration)
World music is blended with fusion nicely on this organic and tasty piece. There’s a Yesish transition later and some seriously funky bass plays as that section continues over the top of it. They drop it back down to something close to the musical zone that came before, but there is a new intensity and fire in the piece after that other movement.
Perang Tanding (Battle Between Good & Beast)
Mixing Asian sounds with fusion, this has a lot of energy and charm. It’s another great instrumental that manages to soar. They take it out into another movement later that makes me think of Yes a bit. From there they launch out into a different fusion motif and then continue to change this piece up. It wanders into noisy space for a time. There’s an extended percussion solo on this later. It comes out from there in a frantic, swirling sort of fusion jam. Then they take that through a few alterations as they continue.
Pesta Rakyat (Festive People)
This comes in with a world music theme, but shifts out to something very much like Steve Howe’s solo repertoire. It’s a bit country at times, but more rocking at others. The thing is, it would take no stretch of the imagination to think of this as having come from a Steve Howe solo release through much of its length. There’s a sedate section later and then a rubbery groove serves as the backdrop while world music elements dance across the top. We get more melodic jamming for a time and then it goes back to the sounds from the first half of the track.
Amarah (Anger)
This rocks out harder than anything else, and is more pure fusion. It’s a short cut at less than three minutes in length.
Return to the
Tohpati Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./