Indonesian’s Simakdialog have returned to start the New Year off and bringing the culture of World Music and Jazz Fusion mixed in with some Canterbury touches to the mix with their 2-CD set released by the good people of Moonjune Records performed live on September 7, 2013 at Orion Sound Studios in Baltimore, Maryland. The band was on tour promoting their upcoming album, The 6th Story two years ago. And from the moment you put the CDs in to listen, you can close your eyes and imagine being at the studio being in awe and taking to a spiritual adventure of their music with tension, relax, wonder, and wonderous ideas they would take their compositions into.
Whenever I would listen to Simakdialog, I get a sense of the sounds of Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Soft Machine, and Hatfield and the North to name a few that have been mixed together in a blender into one. And the music itself is unbelievable and creative ideas and they can take it those sounds and having the percussions, Fender Rhodes, Guitars, and Bass, it’s the essence of those three ideas and the genre of Progressive Rock is an electrifying beat I’ve really get a kick out of.
Riza Arshad is bringing the Rhodes into a golden-era of the 1970s by carrying the touches of Richard Sinclair (Caravan), Mike Ratledge (Soft Machine), and Martin Kratochvil (Jazz Q). He’s helping the band to give them where the directions it would lead and between Tohpati along with special guest Beledo (The Avengers), it is very much like helping out a friend in need and it’s marvelous the way the live performances gives it that wonderful touch that you could imagine what the band would come up with next.
There are some significant highlights throughout the entire performance that just completely draws you into their sound and their hearts to give out to make the most amazing live show ever done at Orion. And not just Riza and Tohpati, but Rudy Zulkarnaen on Bass, but Endang Ramdan, Erlan Suwardana, and Cucu Kurina on the percussion instruments, it’s a journey to a wonderful world of the sights and the visions and the ideas they would bring to the table.
There are some moments in which they do almost like a Tango rhythm meets Jazz-Funk wah-wah pedals between the Rhodes and Guitar for an amazing improvisation which its evidential on a dazzling version of For Once and Never, Beledo and Tohpati helping Riza going through a wonderful melody on their guitars by taking it into a Zappa-like vibe duel as you can imagine the audience being in awe and jaw-dropping between the three of them creating some dynamic intensity on the rhythm that is very Mahavishnu Orchestra in a Canterbury touch on 5, 6.
But on This Spirit, in which they tribute to the Soft Machine’s Third-era in a Chamber vibe, it’s has an ominous introduction between the Percussions and the Fender Rhodes going into an ambient/atmospheric surrealism and the tempo goes up for a wonderful relaxation as they get into before Riza goes into some wonderful ideas to create something special cooking up to pay tribute to the two keyboardists I’ve mentioned earlier (Kratochvil and Ratledge).
Simakdialog have scored an amazing welcome into 2015 with Live at Orion and from the audience applauding and being in awe of their music, is a warm reception and the people from Moonjune have scored a knockout with this. And after listening three times of the 2-CD set, I get a kick out of what brainstorming ideas they bring to the table and the live set from the Orion Sound Studios is superb and a captivating beauty that is creative, imaginative, and tremendous.