Stuart J Thomas
The compositions and unison playing are beautiful in their intricacy and complexity. The energetic, yet not overbearing percussion, allows the bass grooves to breath and provide a strong rhythmic pulse. The album seems to demonstrate a love of the jazz fusion of the 70's yet has a unique subtly and reserve.
The Sixth Story is the exhilarating, full-throttle follow-up to 2009's critically-acclaimed Demi Masa, from the psychedelic gamelan-jazz-fusion phenoms, simakDialog. Raising the benchmark in a genre known for its brilliant artists is no easy feat, but this album is up to the task: each composition is an exquisite master-class rendering of equal parts elegance and intrigue. This is modern progressive jazz at its most original, most far-reaching and most achieving. Referencing the discernible influence of a host of the genre's most innovative voices -- from the great Miles Davis, to Return To Forever, to The Zawinul Syndicate, John Abercrombie Quartet, Tribal Tech, early Return To Forever, and even the late, great Charles Mingus -- the band continues to push the musical envelope: leaping boldly into places progressive music has never ventured, and few would be brave – or skilled-enough to even consider attempting. The guiding work of keyboardist Riza Arshad has never been bolder or more self-assured, with the maestro laying down line after line of flowing, sensitive, unpredictable-yet-wonderfully-articulate passages.
Guitar phenom Tohpati is equal to the task, compelled to produce some of his most emotional and ambitious fretwork to date. Framing a profound comprehension and command of the cuts' many intricate complexities, shifts and nuances, his world-class guitar stylings have never been sweeter; his tones, textures and phrases are consistently perfect for the occasion. Propelling the steady undercurrent, bassist Adhithya Pratama and their three seasoned percussionists – Endang Ramdan, Erlan Suwardana, Cucu Kurnia) – provide a solid foundation beneath the dense, weaving foreground musings of Arshad and Tohpati. Despite their propensity for waltzing wildly into the unknown, the band is always on sure footing through even the most challenging sonic terrain. This is as good as modern progressive jazz gets -- an astounding work of the absolute highest order ... and one not be missed.
released June 25, 2016
RIZA ARSHAD - Fender Rhodes electric piano, acoustic piano, synth, soundscapes
TOHPATI - electric guitar
ADHITYA PRATAMA - bass guitar
ENDANG RAMDAN - Sundanese kendang percussion (left)
ERLAN SUWARDANA - Sundanese kendang percussion (right)
CUCU KURNIA - assorted metal percussion
All compsitions by Riza Arshad, except track 7 by Riza Arshad and Robert M.R.
All arrangements by Riza Arshad with Endang Ramdan, Erlan Suwardana and Cucu Kurnia.
Recorded at LikeEarthRecordings Studio, Jakarta, Indonesia in 2012.
Egineered and mixed by Riza Arshad.
Mastered by Sam John at Precise Mastering, Ltd., Earlston, Scotland, UK.
Artwork design and concept by Fabian Nusi, and adjusted for the International release by Leonardo Pavkovic.
Photos by Mia Sjahir.
If you're familiar with Asaf Sirkis, I don't need to say anything about the talent being show-cased on this record. You get three hours of incredible music to listen to, every minute an exciting experience. Excellent musicianship throughout, along with superb production. Peter Jones