The journey of Voice of Baceprot (VoB) that has been chronicled by the media reads like Cinderella’s tale or any other similar dream-come-true stories that almost every human being on the face of the earth were told about during their childhood times. However, what differentiates VoB’s storyline is that it involves not one but three princesses. And they exist in real life.
Unlike these happy-ending fairy tales, though, the story of these three princesses from Garut in West Java is yet to have a definite ending. They are still pushing on and developing as a band, with their narrative set to be written in gold or in black – depending on the choices that they have made and those that they will come to in the future.
One of those crucial decisions that they determined on not long ago is to join the roster of booking agency Amity Asia Agency. The booking agency already has an exceptional reputation both locally and abroad in managing the bookings of local acts the likes of GIGI, Jamrud, Fourtwnty, and many others who have made the plunge into the Indonesian music industry before VoB.
“During our collaboration with Superman Is Dead at Jakarta Fair 2017, Abah (their teacher and mentor) introduced us to one of the leading figures behind Amity Asia Agency. She seemed cold and scary,” says VoB’s vocalist-cum-guitarist Firda Kurnia about their initial encounter with Amity. “However, despite her appearance, we instantly felt the same thing that we did with Abah: a loving feeling that extends to more than just showering someone with praise,” the Garut-born young lady continues.
In spite of the positive impression made by both parties, the meeting did not end with a handshake and a done deal. It was only a while later that Abah got in touch with Amity Asia Agency again to ask for their assistance to mediate with promoters from abroad who were looking to invite VoB to perform at their events. “They were baffled because none of them have ever travelled overseas,” mentions Nadia Yustina, the CEO and founder of Amity Asia Agency – and the lady whom was described as “cold and scary” by the members of VoB.
Looking at the potential of Firda and her two friends Widi Rahmawati (bass) and Euis Siti Aisyah (drums), Nadia agreed to lend a helping hand even before a contract was drafted. “We (Amity Asia Agency) became very interested in VoB because we look them as more than just musicians but also as human beings. These cute little girls have very strong principles, characteristics and attitude. We see them as this ray of hope for a better future. If one were to have a child, one would want him or her to be an offspring who possesses the same principles, characteristics and attitude as they do,” Nadia remarks. “We then felt that as human beings, we have a duty and responsibility to protect and take care of them so that they could develop and create to their potential, and to also minimize the many pitfalls that may befall them,” she continues.
With her mind set, Nadia went to Ciudian village (Garut) to meet up with Abah and the three little ladies that make up VoB. “When Teteh (how they call Nadia) showed up at our headquarters, it became clearer as to how she is as a person. She is very fascinating, kind, and fun too. And then we also learned more about what Amity Asia Agency actually do,” Firda describes. “Yeah, after being explained to and seeing how Teteh does her work, we believe Amity Asia Agency are very professional in what they do, provocative, transparent, courageous, and they’re willing to protect the rights of their artists. In our book, that is very cool and badass!” they agree.
And thus the 10-hour trip that Nadia had to go through from Jakarta to VoB’s hometown of Ciudian bore fruit for both sides. VoB got the help that they needed to perform abroad, and from September 2017, Amity Asia Agency were entrusted with the task of becoming VoB’s exclusive booking agent. “Our short-term target is to instil within them a strong foundation regarding the business and the music industry. We also want to support them so that they can prove naysayers wrong and show that they are not just a novelty act but a force to be reckoned with due to the quality of their creative output,” Nadia states.
“We can only hope that this partnership can become the platform that will make our dreams come true, and more importantly, to yield happiness for both parties in this life and the hereafter,” adds Firda on behalf of her friends. It may not be a very far-fetched aspiration unlike the happy endings that always conclude your run-of-the-mill fairy tales, but it is certainly one that is very relevant and significant to fight for.
Jakarta-based Indonesian indie-rock/dream-pop ensemble lightcraft recently embarked on a trip to Vladivostok, Russia to perform at one of the biggest music festivals in Russia that is V- Rox – just a week before they were due to play We The Fest 2017 in their hometown of Jakarta. Without a clue on what to expect from their very first foray on Russian soil, the three days that they spent at the major Pacific port city left a mark so deep that it will be simply impossible for the quintet to forget.
2017 marks the fifth edition of V-Rox, with the festival growing in size from one year to another. This year saw the shebang running from August 4-6, and lightcraft managed became the first-ever band from Indonesia to perform at the three-day fiesta. lightcraft were informed of their invitation a few months prior to the festival, and preparations went very smoothly, including their visa applications. Their journey to Vladivostok first took half of the band to Singapore, and then to Hong Kong where they spent the night to rest before they left for the unofficial capital of the Russian Far East.
They arrived in Vladivostok during the wee hours of the morning on August 5, where they travelled to alongside Singaporean act Vandetta and Mexican duo Deer. After just a few hours’ sleep, the band had to be ready for their activities for the day in the morning, where they participated in a 2km marathon in conjunction with V-Rox and also spoke at a panel regarding city ecology as ambassadors to the Jakarta-based non-profit organisation Bersih Nyok!. Not long after, they did their soundcheck on the main stage for their performance later during the day, which was scheduled at 3pm. After a few media interviews, they went up on to the stage to a roaring reception by the crowd. Song after song until the very end of their set, their performance was met with enthusiastic response from the city’s baying music lovers and curious onlookers. After a meet-and-greet session with their newly gained legion of fans, lightcraft pushed on with their itinerary for the day with a soundcheck at nearby bar Black Rabbit ahead of their second show that was scheduled to happen that evening. Appearing after Taiwanese indie band My Skin Against Your Skin, lightcraft again proved to be the people’s choice as the venue was packed to the brim by the time they went up onstage, the capacity crowd also comprising those who enjoyed their performance earlier during the day at the main stage.
On the second day of their Russian adventure, lightcraft got scheduled to play their last show for this year’s V-Rox at Cat & Clover Art Music Pub due to high demand from the people of Vladivostok. They were billed alongside the aforementioned Deer and the city’s very own Starcardigan, yet lightcraft managed to drew the biggest crowd of the night, with many returning supporters showing up to say their goodbyes before the band made their return to Jakarta the next day as they sung along to every single song of their set.
Although a short one, the experience that the band went through in Vladivostok was one that made an unforgettable mark on the five young men that make up lightcraft, and also a life lesson for them. “When we were invited to come to Vladivostok to play V-Rox, we basically did not know what to expect. What we did know was that it was going to be a fantastic opportunity for us to visit a new country, meet new people, and to work our asses off to win new fans, spread our music, and show what we and Indonesia are made of to the best of our capabilities. Much to our surprise, we managed to achieve even better. From the first moment we got up on to the main stage until the final seconds of our last show at Cat & Clover, the people there just lapped everything up. They were so lovely, so appreciative, and very supportive. It’s amazing how they can be so warm and friendly, and that they had so much love to give for us. The folks behind the festival were simply superb – each and every one of them became like family to us. To be given the chance to come and perform at V-Rox, and to also represent Indonesia while doing so, was an honour and a privilege, and the mind-blowing reception that we got from our new friends there made the whole episode a dream come true. We’ll be back, Vladivostok!” says guitarist Fari.
GIGI have returned with their latest religious album after a year of absence. Titled “Setia Bersama Menyayangi Dan Mencintai”, this will be the band’s ninth religious album after “Raihlah Kemenangan”, “Raihlah Kemenangan Repackage”, “Pintu Sorga”, “Kembali Padanya”, “Jalan Kebenaran”, “Amnesia”, “Aku dan Aku”, and “Mohon Ampun”.
“This album revolves around the relationships that we have horizontally and vertically; our relationships with the Almighty that is Allah SWT and with fellow human beings in different contexts,” says drummer Gusti Hendy regarding the album.
Released on May 1, 2017 at a KFC Indonesia store, the album is the product of a partnership between GIGI and record label Jagonya Musik Sport Indonesia (JMSI). It was ably assisted by Once Mekel (former Dewa vocalist and Executive Producer of JMSI) and Steve Lilywhite (CEO of JMSI).
“Setia Bersama Menyayangi Dan Mencintai” consists of eight singles that have previously been recorded by GIGI, including “Sifat 20”, “Beribadah Yok”, “Gerbang CintaMu”, “Munafik”, “Distorsi Manusia”, “Gerbang RahmatMu”, “Persahabatan dan Cinta”, and “Setia Bersama Menyayangi dan Mencintai”. All eight songs have been rearranged by the band that comprises Armand Maulana (vocals), Dewa Budjana (guitars), Thomas Ramdhan (bass), dan Gusti Hendy (drums). It also features new single “Adu Domba”, which was originally written by legendary Indonesian artist H. Rhoma Irama.
“These songs are favourites of GIGI that we have rearranged musically to make them sound fresher than ever before,” says bassist Thomas.
This album is one that is very special and different for GIGI compared to their previous outputs. It features the very first collaboration effort between GIGI and H. Rhoma Irama, who gave them permission to use his song “Adu Domba”. It also debuts the first song recorded by GIGI Reunion, which saw Armand Maulana, Dewa Budjana, Thomas Ramdhan, Gusty Hendy, Aria Baron, Ronald Fristianto, Budhy Haryono and Opet Alatas all working together on “Setia Bersama Menyayangi dan Mencintai” – a song that has been much anticipated by Gigi Kita from across the country.
As with all the albums that they have recorded in the past, Armand Maulana and his fellow GIGI bandmates hope that their latest religious album “Setia Bersama Menyayangi dan Mencintai” could be enjoyed and appreciated by not just fans of GIGI (Gigi Kita) but also the general public as well, regardless of where they reside in Indonesia.
“GIGI have been around for 23 years now, but we still have this energy and passion burning inside us to keep on making music. Add to that the offer from KFC Indonesia to work hand in hand to make an album, it would be a shame if we pass up on this opportunity,” says guitarist Dewa Budjana.
GIGI “SETIA BERSAMA MENYAYANGI DAN MENCINTAI”
Written by Danie Satrio and translated by Imam Wisaya
The first ten years that they have gone through together has been a precious beginning for Pee Wee Gaskins
Cognitively speaking, in the psychological development of a child, a ten-year-old would usually begin to display small signs of adult behaviour. For example, the little one may already be capable of achieving a competent level of concentration, and enjoy rules and things that make sense. The most significant difference is that when a child is ten years of age, he/she would usually be able to carry out problem-solving tasks proficiently.
Whether it is a coincidence or not, these symptoms have begun to appear in Pee Wee Gaskins as they celebrate their tenth anniversary on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. A number of notable differences have been exhibited by the quintet compared to their early years as a band; most outstanding being their quality of performance on the stage.
It is widely known that since they first got together, the band have had their fair share of criticism. This is due to the media circus that surrounds them contrasting sharply with their live shows – be it about their inadequate sound, a musical output that does not match their recorded material, and the peculiar behaviour of its band members that tends to border on lacking of consideration and a bait for controversy.
Nowadays, though, such idiosyncrasies have been few and far between to the point of non-existent. At a few shows within the last year or so, Sansan (vocals/guitar), Dochi (bass/vocals), Ayi (guitar/vocals), Omo (keyboards/guitar/vocals) and Aldy (drums) have justified the reason why they have been the darlings of hundreds of thousands – millions even – of Dorks across Indonesia; a band that had achieve a top-of-mind status whenever a conversation steered towards acts for the high-school teenagers segment. They have maintained their intense, energetic and gimmick-filled routine, yet without sacrificing the basics such as sound quality and musicality.
Another aspect of the fivesome that has also changed is their willingness to start getting about their affairs in order. Currently handled by a far more professional management yet one that is still based on friendship, each band member is now responsible for his own contributions that go beyond the act of playing music, including social media promos and other technical elements. Essentially, they no longer wait for one of their own to come up with an initiative before committing to something for the benefit of the band.
Although the last point may not be visible to the naked eye, it has to be chalked down as an important improvement. Looking back, PWG could be classified as one of those bands that reached the top instantly after they got together. Equipped with a knack of promoting themselves digitally – on MySpace during those days – the band were quick to be on everyone’s lips. By the time they got popular, they welcomed the adulation with open arms without any preparation for what’s to come; they had to learn on the fly. Oftentimes, there is a price to pay for such lessons in life, and in the case of PWG, they have been deceived, manipulated, lambasted, and even literally experienced a near-death situation.
“The worst was during the APWG (Anti-PWG) days. We played a lot during those years, but simultaneously we became public enemies in every city that we went to. Imagine being invited to play for a show just so we could be humiliated...” says Aldy.
“The thought of quitting the band crossed my mind during that time; better than being killed in someone else’s city!” exclaims Ayi.
“I lost the will to perform because the reasons why I play with PWG are to have fun and to get a buzz off the crowd and vice versa,” Sansan remarks.
Apart from their difficult run-ins with APWG, it has to be said that their decade-long journey – and counting – has been one that has enriched them. At the time, all they had going besides talent and a bit of luck was their drive to succeed and their friendship. It was a case of us against the world for the five young men.
“To be honest, I hadn’t a clue of what to expect about PWG when I first joined. I only became really sure when the bassist in my previous band told me that this band were going to be huge,” states Omo, who became one of the earliest members of the band after being recruited by Dochi.
Such a sentiment was also felt by Sansan, who had already made a name for himself with his previous band before he opted to sign up with PWG after being given the chance to join the line-up. However, it was not because of his confidence in PWG’s potential to become even bigger than his band at the time. “I chose to join them because I enjoyed their company, and to play with them was exciting. For me, I thought the boys were already cool without even trying to be cool and different; they were naturally cool. They didn’t try to be cutting edge and modern; it was just how they were built,” he explains.
“Personally, I believe that the band-of-brothers spirit and togetherness that we have are the glue that has kept us together all this time. It is just a matter of approaching a challenge and to try and solve it together. I think that is the reason why we have come this far,” Aldy declares.
“Yeah, PWG are like a family. Nobody among us would ever feel like he’s the best in whatever; we are all equals. That kept me going, despite being battered left, right, and centre,” adds Ayi.
Yes, keep on learning, including from past mistakes and failures. Add that to their never-rest-on-their-laurels attitude, and that is why PWG are willing to change for the better. It was Dochi who expressed in detail the improvements that the band have pulled off. Back in the day, he reckons that PWG were reckless, ignorant, spoilt, fun, and drunk. Now, he paints PWG as a band that are grateful, responsible, careful, and sober but still fun. And all this may just be the beginning of something even more enjoyable and challenging – much the same as a ten-year-old child who behaves accordingly to his/her cognitive age.
Happy birthday and long live Pee Wee Gaskins!
Pagi dan malam hari
Makan minum nyuci sendiri
Bahkan di malam hari
Kudengar lagu Kunto Aji
Orkes Moral Pengantar Minum Racun – OM PMR for short – are renowned for being the “kings of parody songs” in Indonesia – a title that is befitting of their legendary achievements. They were first discovered by Prambors radio DJ Wre Munindra when he was tasked to track down a band that could play music – especially dangdut – to accompany the radio show presented by legendary comedy trio Warkop DKI (Dono, Kasino and Indro) back in 1977. They were given the name Orkes Moral Pengantar Minum Racun by Kasino, who also gave each band member their nicknames. By 1987, they went on their own after Warkop DKI’s schedule began to be dominated by their foray into the cinematic world. With 15 albums under their belt, their career has gone from strength to strength; destructing the songs of others and crafting them into their own while also coming up with their own material. OM PMR last released their mini album “Orkeslah Kalau Bergitar” back in 2015, which featured the single “Topan (Tato Atau Panu” – a spoof of the Naif song “Posesif”.
Orkes Moral Pengantar Minum Racun – OM PMR for short – are renowned for being the “kings of parody songs” in Indonesia – a title that is befitting of their legendary achievements. They were first discovered by Prambors radio DJ Wre Munindra when he was tasked to track down a band that could play music – especially dangdut – to accompany the radio show presented by legendary comedy trio Warkop DKI (Dono, Kasino and Indro) back in 1977. They were christened Orkes Moral Pengantar Minum Racun by Kasino, who also gave each band member their nicknames. By 1987, they went on their own after Warkop DKI’s schedule began to be dominated by their foray into the cinematic world. With 15 albums under their belt, their career has gone from strength to strength; destructing the songs of others and crafting them into their own while also coming up with their own material. OM PMR last released their mini album “Orkeslah Kalau Bergitar” back in 2015, which featured the single “Topan (Tato Atau Panu)” – a spoof of the Naif song “Posesif”.
The art of parody is one that can divide and conquer. Some may not be into it, but if powerful enough, it can win over a crowd. Orkes Moral Pengantar Minum Racun have shown that they have the capabilities to cater to people from all walks of life with their music. Not only are they equipped with songs aplenty, OM PMR also inspire through their spoof lyrics. This is evident in the lyrics to their new single Too Long To Be Alone, which is a parody of singer-songwriter Kunto Aji’s hit single “Terlalu Lama Aku Sendiri” – a song that they have performed together live at last year’s Synchronize Fest 2016. OM PMR have succeeded in not just retelling Kunto Aji’s story about singledom in a rib-tickling way, but also enhancing it cleverly with hyperboles.
The original lyrics went:
"Sudah terlalu lama sendiri
Sudah terlalu lama aku asyik sendiri
Lama tak ada yang menemani rasanya..."
In the hands of OM PMR, it became:
"Sudah terlalu lama sendiri, lama lama bisa jadi mumi.
Tinggal dalam piramid sendiri, semedi..."
Although both versions touch on the trials and tribulations of single life, OM PMR lends a hyperbolic slant to their rendition – their own satirically humorous interpretation of the song. This is, after all, their signature style of parody that has brought them much success throughout their 40 years of being together as a band.
This new single signals their continued commitment to be creatively active and produce more masterpieces. It is also a gift by the “Indonesian kings of parody songs” to their countrymen and women who have been eagerly waiting to take pleasure in their latest work.
2016 proved to be a milestone of a year for indie-rock/dream-pop quartet lightcraft. The Jakarta-based band made headways in their quest to spread their music to a wider audience by performing at various shows and music festivals in countries across the globe. They became the first Indonesian act to play Liverpool Sound City 2016 in Liverpool, England. They performed at two Canadian music festivals in a single calendar year – Canadian Music Week 2016 and Indie Week Canada 2016 – where the latter saw them play three shows in Toronto for the festival, along with an additional showcase in the city of Hamilton. There were a couple of shows in the US as well as appearances at Rocking The Region in Singapore and Taichung International Cuisines Festival 2016 in Taichung, Taiwan.
After releasing their new EP “Another Life” back in November last year, the band opened 2017 by representing Indonesia at DongTaiDu Music Fest 2017 – an annual international indie music festival in Malaysia – in Malaysia in January, along with two additional shows in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. They also became the first Indonesian band to appear on Balcony TV, in this case, the Kuala Lumpur franchise of the prestigious live music web series.
In March 2017, lightcraft will be among three Indonesian acts that have been selected to perform at the one of the biggest festivals in the world that celebrates music, film, and interactive media: SXSW (South By Southwest). According to its official website, SXSW “was founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas and dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries, the event is an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together.”
This year’s edition of SXSW will see more than 600 bands and musicians descend upon the city of Austin to take part in the music festival arm of SXSW, including Indonesia’s very own lightcraft. Set to run from March 10-19, 2017, lightcraft are currently waiting for the full schedule of their shows at the festival. So far, one showcase has been confirmed:
Friday, March 17 Palm Door on Sabine
The opportunity to represent their home country and play at such a prominent and colossal festival is a dream come true for lightcraft, who, like any other bands, have harboured hopes of appearing at music festivals of the same magnitude since the day they got together. “It is such a wonderful surprise to have been selected to play SXSW 2017. We feel so very honoured to be given this chance. We knew about our successful selection during our flight home from our Canadian tour back in November 2016, and we are still trying to process it even now – a month away from the festival! For an Indonesian band like us to be amongst such illustrious names from around the world and play at a massive, internationally acclaimed festival like SXSW – it’s the stuff of dreams, really! We really can’t wait for what lies ahead. We just hope that we could make our country, our family and friends proud, show the world what we’re made of, and give it our best. It will be a truly historic moment for lightcraft, and we hope we can share it with everyone over there at SXSW and back home.” says guitarist Fari.
KOIL; band industrial asal Bandung berkolaborasi dengan KillerKomik akan merilis KOIL: Dragonian Warriors untuk pertama kalinya di event tahunan PopCon Asia yang akan digelar di Jakarta Convention Center pada bulan Agustus 2016.
Setelah merilis album BLACKLIGHT SHINES ON pada tahun 2006, kali ini KOIL menggunakan komik dalam menggabungkan elemen visual, musik dan lirik untuk menghasilkan kesan yang biasanya didapatkan dari mendengarkan lagu atau menonton pertunjukan mereka.
KOIL: Dragonian Warriors bercerita tentang dunia pasca-peperangan besar dimana seorang agen pemerintah dan seorang pengembara bertemu di sebuah kota yang diperintah oleh penguasa yang merampas kebebasan warganya. Tanpa mereka sadari, mereka memegang kunci bangkitnya kekuatan Dragonian Warriors, prajurit masa lalu yang menolak untuk menyerah pada tirani.
Kostum para personil KOIL yang berbeda dalam setiap acara musik kali ini diadaptasi menjadi karakter-karakter Dragonian Warriors. Otong (vokal), Doni (gitar), Adam (bass), dan Leon (drum) dipresentasikan melalui elemen visual dan cerita fantasi yang bisa dinikmati melalui medium komik.
Siapakah para Dragonian Warriors? Apa hubungan mereka dengan dua orang asing dalam kota yang terbelenggu penjajahan? Akankah golongan yang sekian lama tertindas sanggup menjatuhkan tirani?
Pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini yang akan terjawab komik setebal 150-an halaman Komik KOIL: Dragonian Warriors yang awalnya merupakan fanart dan kemudian digarap sejak tahun 2014 sebagai karya kolaborasi antara KOIL dengan KillerKomik yang merupakan fans mereka.
Pada halaman muka, KillerKomik menghadirkan Arif Prianto; colorist profesional yang berpengalaman menangani proyek komik dari Image Comics (Witchblade), Marvel Comics (Hulk) dan DC Comics (Deathstroke). Sebelum rilis dalam bentuk cetak, preview komik KOIL: Dragonian Warriors akan ditayangkan terlebih dahulu di situs KOSMIK.ID.