Out of Bali into the world-wide expanse: six-string meister makes international statement.
Famous in his native Indonesia, it’s about time that Dewa Budjana’s immense talents get a global recognition, an aim that this, his fifth solo endeavor targets in style. Initially such a heady mix of influences can be confusing, but towards the end traversing between Devil’s chord and rural Sufi laments via dewy cafe-chantant makes perfect sense, as the guitarist shifts elegantly from Fripp to Django and from Jakarta to California. As a result, pure fusion of opener “Lalu Lintas”, impressive as it is, feels like a feeble indication of the delights that follow in its progressively intensifying wake, a contrast to the smooth, if deep, waters of “Kunang Kunang” with its bamboo flutes, yet the blood boils once the vocals strike into the Eastern heart of “Gangga”, while “Masa Kecil” reaches for the Oriental riches – in the most breathtaking folk-flight way.
Howard Levy’s harmonica sends “Rerad Rerod”, its exotic quotient intact, to the banks of the Seine, while less pronounced, but highly accentuated, “Malacca Bay” draws Ade Irawan’s piano and Peter Erskine’s drums into its epic vista tempting one to drown in its hazy beauty. The wonder of it all becomes almost painful in the cinematic “Caka 1922”, wrapped in the string quartet nostalgie, but the lyrical jazz rock of “On The Way Home” links back to “Back Home” with bold, riffing strokes, before the web-light “Devananda” draws the curtain to induce sweet drowsiness. Paradise, indeed.