Exposé Online banner

SimakDialog — Live at Orion
(Moonjune MJR068, 2015, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-04-05

Live at Orion Cover art

Since I first heard this Indonesian band a number of years ago, they’ve been one of those groups that it seems I should like, but just never quite connected in the right way. I always admired their musicianship and was fascinated by the concept of using Indonesian percussion instead of a drum kit (or even latin percussion) in a jazz-rock context. But upon listening, my reaction was always, “That’s interesting,” rather than “Wow!” Well, I’m happy to report that with Live at Orion, SimakDialog has finally hit “Wow!” A significant portion of the material has appeared on their studio albums, but the performances here seem much more spirited and immediate. The guitar playing, in particular, is stellar — not that it was lacking previously, but it really jumps out of the speakers now. In addition to the regular guitarist Tohpati, the band is joined by guest Beledo on a rousing rendition of “5, 6” from their 2013 release The 6th Story. Between Riza Arshad’s nimble and inventive electric piano and Tohpati’s scorching guitar, there’s no shortage of energy here. The three percussionists keep things moving along with their variety of drums and metal things. My only small complaint is the lack of conciseness — only one of the nine tracks comes in at less than 11 minutes — but with the quality of the music here, that’s a small point indeed. Live at Orion is a fine release, and worthy of attention outside the prog world.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): SimakDialog, Tohpati, José Pedro Beledo

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

John Curtis - Short Songs about Affordable Food – An interesting concept — and a successful one too, that certainly lives up to its title. There are 43 songs here, and only a handful break the minute-and-a-half mark. Some are instrumentals, but...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues