For me being a champion of a label, something always comes in the mail from MoonJune Records. I get excited to see what lies ahead for my ears to the sounds of; Progressive, Jazz, World Music, and Avant-Garde. It’s like being a kid at a Candy Store and picking what kind you want. And hearing the music coming at you is like a breath of fresh air. The great Albert Einstein once said, “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
That and Dwiki Dharmawan’s follow-up to So Far, So Close released last year on his international debut on MoonJune Records was for me in my opinion, a powerful release, shows that Dwiki’s got more magical tricks up his sleeve with the release of Pasar Klewer. I have to give Leonardo Pavkovic a huge amount of credit for getting me into Indonesian groups/artists such as Simakdialog, I Know You Well Miss Clara, Sri Hanuraga, and Dewa Budjana.
And with Dharmawan’s music, I feel more challenges that have flown around me and it’s an amazing challenge that has landed on my lap. Amazing moments that have just come around the corner And it proves that Dwiki himself is not just a brilliant pianist and keyboardist, but with an acoustic-driven set throughout the entire 2-CD set, it’s the teamwork and support system that is exampled on here.
With the stimulating opening 12-minute title track, it gives Dwiki’s amazing piano driven techniques. Followed by the staggering and hypnotic virtuoso improvisations done by Mark Wingfield’s guitar through the voyages of time and flying through space, I love how it changes through different motions as Dharmawan, Stavi and Sirkis delve into the intense sections of the Bebop essence of jazz with John Coltrane’s spiritual journey before Yaron’s upright bass hammers down the rhythm and then going up a notch at the end.
Almost as if you are watching the trio really going into town and creating thunderous climatic roars between them. Italian vocalist Boris Savoldelli vocals comes in as he channels the styles of Robert Wyatt’s Forest which was taken from his eight studio album in 2003 entitled, Cuckooland. Savoldelli gives it a different take of the warmth beautiful ballad while Nicolas Meier’s Glissantar lends a help.
On Spirit of Peace which starts off with Atzmon’s eerie clarinet introduction that he starts alone as Daryono’s Kendang percussion creates a dancing joy before Dwiki joins in, Meier enters the page with the styles and wonders of the Flamenco. It’s a wonderful melodic structure between Nicolas and Dwiki as they go through the tempo like a mid-speeding rocket ready for take-off with some middle-eastern background groove and some intense scatting of Konnakol vocal percussion done by Sirkis himself.
Mark comes back into the picture again for another drive. This time on Sirkis’ composition, Life Itself. I love how he channels the styles of both Robert Fripp, Zappa, Steve Vai, and Roger Trigaux (Present, Univers Zero). He is not just out there, but nailing the frets as he bends and shreds through his instrument and the band are following his exact moments as the tempo goes up and up by knowing when the right moment is going to happen.
And then Nicolas brings the glissantar back for one final moment as Dwiki’s piano moves into the summit for the sun to rise down with the calming yet emotional dignity with Purnama. This is one of the most powerful acoustic driven Jazz albums I’ve listened to. And Dwiki and his band mates show a lot of potential that they brought together as a team.
I almost nearly wept the moment I put this on from start to finish of Pasar Klewer. Phenomenal, mind-blowing, and poignant, I can’t wait to see and hear what will Dwiki Dharmawan will think of next with more brainstorming ideas.