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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Dwiki Dharmawan

Pasar Klewer

Review by Gary Hill

I have landed this under prog rock, but it's definitely more fusion oriented. That said, there are plenty of prog rock things at the heart of it. World music is also a frequent visitor. Some of this lands too much along the freeform vein of Rock In Opposition for me, but I know a lot of people love that stuff. Even so, there is plenty here for me to enjoy, too.
 
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Disk One

                   
Pasar Klewer

The title track starts the album, and piano starts the title track. The piece moves out from there in some great jazz directions. This thing has some wonderful musical moments that climb into more progressive rock oriented realms. There are some pretty cool shifts and changes. I love some of the faster paced movements here. The piano solo later is classy, too. They move to some rather tribal weirdness later. The cut works out from there into more jazz jamming with some great bass work driving it. I love the more crazed prog turned jazz movement later in the piece.

Spirit of Peace
Bouncy world music, jazz jamming and more merge on this piece. It's an intriguing ride. It has some great jamming. The scat vocal section isn't really my kind of thing, though.
Tjampuhan

This is a very freeform sort of jazz prog tune. There is some intense piano soloing at a late point in the piece. This one does wander quite a bit.

Forest
This is very much a pure prog jam. It's really a powerhouse piece of music. The guitar is a bit on the noisy side and there are weird bits of sound in the mix.
London in June
Although this prog fusion jam is a bit on the strange side, it's also quite a compelling piece of music.
Disk Two
                

Lir Ilir

World music starts the second disc with some rather Arabic sounding vocals. The cut builds gradually by focusing on those world elements. This is very much weird RIO styled chamber music. Piano takes over later, driving it in a classical meets jazz kind of direction. After a time it shifts to a full jazz treatment. The bass seriously drives it. The cut gets less freeform and dissonant and really drives in a smoking hot jazz jam. The vocals come in over the top later as guitar and piano steer the piece in some intriguing directions. Much of the instrumentation drops away later as the piano takes it again. A false ending occurs after the ten minute mark. Then the piano works forward beyond that point. The whole thing kind of drops away at the end.

Bubuyu Bulan
Piano begins this cut. It eventually works to a slow jazz groove with definite world music elements in the mix. This is a solid jazz number. It has some great soloing. I really love the piano soloing as this approaches the seven minute mark.
Frog Dance
This comes in with a rather accessible jazz meets prog kind of vibe. The jam is one of the most accessible and mainstream ones here. It's great stuff. The piano does some killer soloing as this thing works forward later.
Life It Self
Trippy space sounds are the idea here. Mind you, that's mixed with the kind of jazz we've heard on the last couple tracks. This is a bit stranger than the last couple piece. It wanders more into free-form territory. As the piano moves it in more traditional experimental jazz directions, the bass really drives it in some great ways. The piece builds toward more RIO-like stuff as the guitar screams out soloing later.
Purnama
This cut starts in a very melodic and pretty way. It has a lot of prog music built into it along with jazz. I love the piano melodies on this thing.
Forest (instrumental)
This is an instrumental version of the song we heard on disk one.
 
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