Educational adventure from Indonesian playground: neologisms aplenty yet complexity yields to a melody.
Numerating their releases, all of which bear the same title, is a neat way to mask the variety of this Jakartan ensemble’s music that, for its ethnic charm, speaks universal language. Such was a lasting aftertaste of 2012’s "Dictionary 2", but its successor offers a slightly different approach by politely teaching the listener a jargon of its own, while fully facing the band’s audience. It’s a playful thing, teasing one with a glimpse of Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm” in piano-led opener “Bliker” which continues the suite spun across all of the trio’s albums, and while those referenced Bach and Stravinsky, here’s “The 20th Century Collaseu” to feed on Webern and Messiaen without ever veering away from a tightly coiled, hefty, groovy line.
It might be a bottom line in terms of tone, as Adi Darmawan’s bass and Gusti Hendy’s drums rock the nether regions with their bluesy sway for Ade Irawan’s ivories to bounce off, so when Agam Hamzah’s funky axe cuts in and ups the tension, a mood is well set for wildness. Surprisingly, “Pentagonal Krisis” hushes the intensity down for a guitar to weave Oriental pentatonic patterns and percussion to spice the slithering and hit on the angles when the sound gets dirty and raggedly loud, yet the low rumble of “Tragic Hero” resolves in a sense of drama even before the ripple turns into a heavy riff. Hanging its echo and swinging it fiercely until only a sparse rhythmic carcass is left to vibrate and be fleshed out again, the band land on a a sad dance, especially when the slow “Lonely Planet” opens the door for an exotically flavored send-off.
A deafening farewell, it blows to pieces any didactic matters that lurk there, and the LIGRO language gets lodged in the listener’s brain. Cerebral, if imposing with its recursive cover, and delicious treat of a record.