Friday, 3 October 2008

review: Asia beat Project: Urban Beyond

review: urban beyond
Asiabeat Project

tag: review, in English

(sailing with you. download it here. i've put it in
Sailing With You - Asiabeat Project

Having the will to write review of many things (which keep being added up more and more: 6 Coelho’s books I have read eaten in about 1 month :D, a seafood restaurant I wasn’t satisfied with, indian movie Swades (which for a moment put aside my want to review my favourite Kal Ho Naa Ho :p), I feel I just got to write this review right away: it is Urban Beyond.

It was yesterday in my cousin’s car as we drove through the sparkling night of Surabaya, he played a striking (striking? :p) tune. It perfectly flew with the atmosphere of the night which started being busy with traffic.

Close - Asiabeat Project


“Yup, but none of Tompi’s album.”

“So what’s it?”

“Urban Beyond.”

Urban Beyond? (which later always took me couple of seconds before I named it right – I either would say Urban Crew or Urban Legend :p :p --which actually was the name of the album. The group's name was Asiabeat Project.). It must be another kind of experimental projects which group some musicians –those who are skillful yet not into the so-called ‘popular’ recording track. Experimental project like, let’s say, Bali Lounge.

My bro n I looked at each other. This is a distinctive one! Next track came along. “Like Andezz’s”, said my bro, mentioning one Indonesian DJ with great clubbing track. I agree. But actually my eyebrow rose a bit when I noticed the vocal part in the beginning was typical indian (which now start becoming familiar to me :p).

When the next track was played, this time with a female vocal, my bro and I agreed without any word: we’ve got to have this album. The song was 'One Day I’ll Fly Away', one old tune, sang in Moulin Rouge, but this time it was sung by someone whose voice I would say ‘thin’, a bit innocent, yet anyway ‘so warm and cozy’ :). And when I noticed tabla played, not again I rose my eyebrow, but I grinned :D, as I was sure that this must be a kind of Bali Lounge project, but instead of Balinese instruments, this project must featured indian instruments :).

(One Day I’ll Fly Away, download it here. i've put it in
One Day Ill Fly Away - Asiabeat Project

Man,, couldn’t tell how I loved to hear the Sailing With You: with my much much much loved indian bamboo flute (bansuri? Correct me if I’m wrong :p). I’ve been so into this wood-wind instrument long before. This time, it’s featured along with that distinctively innocent female voice I’ve mentioned before in a beat which was right in the middle of easy-listening beat and a bit complicated fusion, that’d shake us in rhythm :).

When we spent almost 20 minutes to queue for parking, I browsed the cover (with a poor car cabin’s lamp illumination :P) and found Gita Wirjawan on it, the man behind Bali Lounge. And yes, of course, some familiar names (I mean, indian names :p) were there.

After listening the whole album (yes, because we went to 2 places that night, so a whole album could be played :)), my bro n I agreed in some things: the rhythmpercussion parts were played by very skillful player: the part was complicated and neatly played. 2nd, if we should mention another project which resembles this one, we might say Bali Lounge or Simak Dialog.

In our 2nd destination that night (Surabaya Town Square), we took a glance at DiscTarra, and guess what! I found the CD at once at the 1st glance! Whereas my cousin said it took him twice to find the album, and it wasn’t easy though. So, I think the CD and I were attracted to each other :D :D. Ha-ha…

Overall, if u like ethnic-fusion (but not as complicated as Krakatau), u would love this. Synth sounds are great. And u wouldn’t stay still listening to the rhythm; at least ur fingers will move n snap :D. I give this 4 out of 5.

Guru Ji - Asiabeat Project

Track listing: (CD 1 of 2 CDs)

01. Beat Club

02. Peacock

03. Sailing with you

04. Guru Ji

05. Mi Corazon

06. Sand dunes

07. Soft Melody

08. Close

09. Urban Swami

10. One day i'll fly away

11. Derata

Well,, listening to this awakens the musician side of me which has been hibernating for a while. Listening to synthesizer sound in some tracks reminds me of the old times spending a day from morning till afternoon mixing sounds and rhythms (and at some times, lost it because I accidentally deleted the files I’d just created :(). It reminds me of some experimental projects I’d made with some friends, which are now a bit forgotten and left behind. Finally, it re-awakens an old dream which seems out-of-mainstream at the moment (but hey now I take it more seriously… for now the way I’m thinking is getting out of mainstream too :D): I might end up being an experimental musician joining a project like this :D (who knows I really resign from my 'mainstream' profession as lecturer :p). Something I’ve never even thought before.

People say 'what once a dream is now a reality' ;).

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