5 stars. Masterpiece. A truly original work of art. One of the best jazz albums in 2016. - DownBeat Magazine, USA
"Dwiki Dharmawan is a true master musician, composer and conceptualist. (...) Few albums in the last couple of decades have matched the breadth and scope of Pasar Klewer, its often inspirational musicianship and the brilliance of its overfall conception (...) an exemplary example of how glocal influences are feeding into jazz to create something that is both part of the universal language of jazz and an individual expression of local, social and cultural identity" - Stuart Nicholson, JazzWise Magazine, UK
"This is world fusion on an epic scale, bringing jazz together with progressive tendencies, and then wrapping it up on a musical form that is quite different to western ears as he mixes it all up with styles from his home. There is a freedom and space within the music, that makes it feel live a living breathing entity, and very quickly the listener is immersed in a brand-new world. It is full of energy, full of life, an amazing musical experience." - Kev Rowland, Jazz Music Archive
Indonesian keyboard star Dwiki Dharmawan returns following his 2015 MoonJune Records debut, the more fusion-heavy So Far, So Close, with the even more ambitious Pasar Klewer. Recorded at London, England's EastCote Studio in June 2015, this vibrant, acoustic piano-driven two-CD set features the cream of Britain's younger expat crop, blending with Indonesian musicians to create a passionate, seamless cultural cross-pollination.
Bassist Yaron Stavi and drummer/percussionist Asaf Sirkis comprise Dharmawan's core trio. These two increasingly renowned musicians have spent considerable time together in Sirkis' trio with guitarist Tassos Spiliotopolos, as well as in projects with guitarist Mark Wingfield and critically acclaimed reed multi-instrumentalist Gilad Atzmon, two other artists making significant contributions to Pasar Klewer. All four musicians share a collective résumé that, in addition to their own projects also includes work with Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier (another important voice on Pasar Klewer), saxophonist Tim Garland, singer/songwriter Robert Wyatt, ex-Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. UK-based Gamelan musical virtuoso, Aris Daryono, also make significant contributions to several tracks, while Italian singer Boris Savoldelli guests on two tunes (including a reinvention of Wyatt's "Forest"), and the Jess Jegog Gamelan Orchestra and singer Peni Candrarini bring cultural verisimilitude to Dharmawan's radical rearrangement of the traditional "Lir Ilir."
Pavkovic describes keyboardist Dwiki Dharmawan as "one of Indonesia's most prominent musicians: a cultural icon in his homeland and accomplished pianist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, performer and peace activist. A true cultural activist and ambassador of his beloved country, Dwiki has forged a very successful thirty-plus year career, performing in over sixty countries with solo and collective projects."
So Far, So Close (2015) was Dharmawan's pan-cultural, fusion powerhouse MoonJune debut, but for his second MoonJune effort, Dharmawan wanted to try something different. "Indonesia is the place of 'ultimate diversity,'" the pianist says. "Here, the urban cultures accelerate the 'acculturation' process, which generates changes in cultural patterns and creates new forms of musical expression. Pasar Klewer is the answer to my search for 'the difference,' and also a valuable answer to our modern crises and urban uprooting. The album's distinctive sound originates from an ancient Gamelan tonal system called Salendro, known in the Karawitan traditional music of the Sundanese, Javanese and Balinese. Based on the Gamelan tonal system, I also adapted, as my inspiration, other musical elements from all over the Indonesian archipelago, as well as the western diatonic system."
Pasar Klewar's exhilarating opening title track, indeed, possesses a microtonal-informed melody drawn unmistakably from Dharmawan's cultural roots; but its modal nature also affords the pianist and his band mates the freedom to explore everything from Metheny-esque landscapes (though Wingfield's heavily overdriven electric guitar provides a completely non-Metheny vibe during his light-speed solo) to a mid-song shift in mood, where Stavi and Sirkis drive Dharmawan's post-Coltrane, Tyner-via-Beirach-through-Corea exploration of spiritual freedom with similar passion and fire.
Daryono takes an impressive vocal/rebab (three-stringed violin) solo before some empathic three-way interplay amongst the core trio leads to a thoroughly musical drum solo reaching deep into the heart of the song before Stavi and Dharmawan re-enter, bringing this twelve-minute epic to a finish with another brilliant piano solo of grand proportions. Cross-pollinated with Wingfield's additional fiery interaction, the music builds to such a climactic peak that, when it suddenly comes to a stop, the band members shouting "Yeah!!" is left to conclude the track, reflecting the energy clearly felt in the studio.
Its overall freedom may come as a surprise to fans of the more easily digestible So Far, So Close...though that's not to suggest Pasar Klewar is lacking in beauty, flat-out lyricism or eminent appeal. "Interaction with each other is very important, as each musician contributes an energy that then coalesces into an explosion of energy together," enthuses Dharmawan. "It is not always easy for me to achieve my musical journey's goal, but I always enjoy the process of the search. So Far, So Close represented my musical passion as a young, growing musician; now I feel more mature in exploring my musical inspirations...and I think that this is will be never-ending journey."
If So Far, So Close and even more ambitious Pasar Klewar are any indication, then this is very good news for those fortunate enough to be hearing this remarkable Indonesian artist and a group that may have come together for the very first time in the studio to play Dharmawan's music, but came ready-made with the intrinsic chemistry so important to music this intuitive/interpretive. If there's any justice in the world, the name Dwiki Dharmawan will soon be on the lips of jazz fans around the world and Pasar Klewar the album that turned this Indonesian star into an internationally renowned jazz figure.
released October 21, 2018
DWIKI DHARMAWAN - acoustic piano
YARON STAVI - upright bass
ASAF SIRKIS - drums, udu clay percussion & konakol singing (
MARK WINGFIELD - guitar (tunes 1, 4, 9, 11)
NICOLAS MEIER - glissentar (tunes 2, 5, 6), acoustic guitar (tunes 8, 10)
GILAD ATZMON - clarinet (tunes 2, 7), soprano sax (tunes 3, 8)
BORIS SAVOLDELLI - vocals (tunes 4, 5)
ARIS DARYONO - vocals, gamalan percussion, kendang percussion, rebab 3-strings violin (tunes 1, 2, 3, 6)
PENI CANDRA RINI - vocals (tune 6)
GAMELAN JESS JEGOG led by I NYOMAN WYDOD - gamelan orchestra (tune 3)
BALINESE FROGS - (tune 8)
Recorded in London, June 9 & 10, 2015, at EastCote Studio by Phil Bagenal.
Boris Savoldelli's vocal parts recorded at BSS home studio in Pisogne, Italy, August 30, 2015.
Female vocals and gamelan orchestra pre-recorded in Jakarta in May 2015.
Balinese frogs recorded live in Ubud, Bali, in August 2015.
Mixed and mastered by Mark Wingfield at Heron Island Studio, Cambridgeshire, England in October 2015 and April 2016.
Produced by Leonardo Pavkovic and Dwiki Dharmawan.
Executive producers Dwiki Dharmawan for Farabi Music and Leonardo Pavkovic for MoonJune Music.
Dwiki Dharmawan is one of Indonesia’s most gifted and celebrated music personalities: a multi-genre keyboardist, composer, producer, peace activist and cultural icon. With a career spanning over 30 years and performances in more than 70 countries, Dwiki remains one of his country’s most popular and respected industry stalwarts.
On his debut for MoonJune, listeners were treated to an exotic musical mélange of the highest order -- featuring fusion, jazz and progressive rock luminaries, Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip, as well the legendary violinist, Jerry Goodman, joined by iconic Indonesian guitarists, Dewa Budjana and Tohpati. “So Far, So Close” features adventurous compositions, arrangements and performances. Lovers of fusion’s “golden era” (from the mid-’70’s through the mid-’80’s) found plenty to keep them enthralled throughout this sizzling session, with Dwiki and company never letting off the gas, while scaling high-altitude sonic terrain in effortless fashion.
His follow-up release, “Pasar Klewer,” cruised at even higher altitudes -- earning Dwiki a coveted 5-star review in the iconic Downbeat magazine, the widely read and highly respected All About Jazz, as well as equally exalted praise from respected music critics across the globe. The double album boasted a stellar cast of progressive music’s rising stars, including some otherworldly guitar work from UK transplants Mark Wingfield and Nicolas Meier, and some incredible woodwind work by renowned international artist, Gilad Atzmon (also a member of Dwiki’s World Peace Trio).
Despite a long, storied musical career which has been marked by large-scale successes and critical acclaim worldwide, Dwiki remains constantly in search of new musical ground. His Band, Krakatau, has a 30-plus-year pedigree of excellence (gaining them a global legion of staunch supporters) and his one of his pet musical projects, the World Peace Orchestra, aims to bring social harmony and raise consciousness around the world.
Growing up in Bandung, West Java, Dwiki’s home was situated behind the Bandung Conservatory of Music. Regularly, he’d drop in to see students dancing to gamelan music and Angklung.
This experience as a youth carved a path that began a long, itinerate journey. Dwiki studied classical music for two years before beginning to pursue jazz at the age of 13, a transition that exposed him to jazz greats ranging from John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, to Weather Report and Return To Forever.
Dwiki ethic roots stem from the ancient gamelan tonal system, which is the basis for the traditional music of Sunda, Bali, and Java. The music of Krakatau adapts the slendro scale to western diatonic scales by fusing its rhythms and unique melodies with jazz, rock, and funk -- making for an enticing combination of cultures, and a captivating listening experience.
In 2005, Dwiki co-directed the spectacular musical event, “Megalithicum Quantum”: a musical event which emphasized the progress of man, through our ascent into the ‘quantum age.’
A tireless ambassador of his country, Dwiki continues traveling throughout the vast, diverse territories of Indonesia – exploring, documenting and celebrating the cultural diversity of Indonesia, while crusading on behalf of its revitalization and further exposure to rest of the world. He embraces many regional area causes, bringing attention where needed and working selflessly on many peoples’ behalf.
His involvement in promoting Indonesian Cultural and Tourism around the world reflects his support for his nation. He also served as a member of the Jakarta Arts Council (2003-2009), Chairman of AMI Awards (Indonesian Music Awards) and Chairman of PAPPRI Collecting Society (LMK PAPPRI).
An ardent supporter of Indonesian’s next generation of musical prodigies, Dwiki owns and operates the Farabi Music Education Center. Serving as director, role model and mentor, he is helping to promote the continuing evolution of jazz in the 21st century and molding some of its most promising young practioners.
Dwiki’s association with NYC-based MoonJune Records – a label with a pedigree of producing progressive, adventurous-minded music of the highest caliber – continues, with several more exciting, ground-breaking albums on the horizon. Noted musical entrepreneur and sonic thrillseeker, Leonardo “MoonJune” Pavkovic thrillseeker – owner of MoonJune Records, NYC – had this to say about Dwiki’s upcoming release, “Rumah Batu“: “As great an album as Pasar Klewer unquestionably was, I think Dwiki has gone even further into the unexplored recesses of jazz with the new album (‘Rumah Batu‘). I’ve been a huge fan of jazz for the bulk of my life – having listened to literally thousands and thousands of albums … this is one of the greatest, most innovative jazz albums I’ve ever heard – by ANY artist!”
2018 will be another exciting year for jazz, and for the spellbinding, continued musical tapestries of Dwiki Dharmawan … stay tuned!
Awards / Achievements
• Indonesian Film Festival 1991, The Best Film Scoring
• AMI Awards 1999, The Best Pop-Ballads Album
• Asia Song Festival 2000, Grand Prize Winner
• PAPPRI, Nugraha Bhakti Awards 2006, Most Dedicated
• JavaJazz Awards 2010, Indonesia’s Jazz Ambassador
• AMI Awards 2016, The Best Jazz Album “So Far So Close”
• Down Beat Magazine, USA Best Albums 2016, Dwiki Dharmawan Pasar Klewer
• JazzWise Magazine, UK Albums of The Year 2017, Dwiki Dharmawan Pasar Klewer
Krakatau, 1st Album (1986) Gemilang
Krakatau, 2nd Album (1987) (Self-Titled)
Krakatau, Kau Datang (1988)
Krakatau, Kembali Satu (1989)
Krakatau Ethno, Mystical Mist (1993)
Krakatau Ethno, Magical Matxh (2000)
Krakatau Ethno, Rhythm of Reformation (2006)
Krakatau Ethno, @Worlds (2006)
Dwiki Dharmawan, Nuansa (2002; Sony Music)
Dwiki Dharmawan, World Peace Orchestra (2008; Omega Pacific)
Dwiki Dharmawan, So Far So Close [2015; Musikita (Indonesia) /MoonJune Records (worldwide)]
Dwiki Dharmawan, Pasar Klewer [2016; Musikita (Indonesia) /MoonJune Records (worldwide)]
Dwiki Dharmawan, Rumah Batu [2018; Musikita (Indonesia) /MoonJune Records (worldwide)]