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

2019-01-11
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

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Blocco Mentale - POA – Here's an Italian band from 1973 that, instead of taking their cue from the keyboard driven sound of ELP, have more in common with the sound of Jethro Tull, early PFM, maybe Blodwyn Pig, and perhaps...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues