Exposé Online banner

SimakDialog — The 6th Story
(Moonjune MJR056, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-09-04

The 6th Story Cover artThis is chapter six in the SimakDialog story, a superb follow-up to 2009’s Demi Masa, but in fact the more gentle jazz touches driving their sound here harken back to earlier albums like 1999’s Baur and 2002’s Trance / Mission. The unique melodies that power these nine cuts are served up fresh and brilliantly by keyboardist and bandleader Riza Arshad and guitarist Tohpati, many offering traditional hints amid their melodic strength. The amazing interplay between Arshad and Tohpati is a never-ending cascade of clever reciprocation, whether it be the front-line arrangements of the composed elements, or the meandering improvisations that surprise the listener at every turn. What makes this even more unique is the four-man rhythm section comprised of bassist Adhitya Pratama, Sundanese hand percussionists Endang Ramdan (left stereo channel) and Erlan Suwardana (right stereo channel), along with metal percussionist Cucu Kurnia. Unlike some previous SimakDialog releases, there are no vocals on this one. To fully appreciate the power that all these percussionists bring to the rhythm section, headphone listening is more or less essential. That’s not to say this can’t be appreciated as background listening, but the keys and guitars will tend to jump out and dominate. With the headphones, a whole new level of appreciation will be realized due to the subtle mastery of this rhythm section. While some comparisons might be found in the early work of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever or Herbie Hancock of roughly the same period, the applicable label here is keyboard driven electric jazz-rock (not fusion) with outstanding guitar and some very solid ethnic cred primarily due to the complex rhythms that underlie it all. Nothing else quite like this.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): SimakDialog, Tohpati

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ana Fort - A Long Story – The format for pianists has long been established by the likes of Bill Evans and modernized by international stars such as Lyle Mays and Rainier Bruninghaus. Enter Israeli pianist Anat Fort, who...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues