Saturday 4th October
Loudnatic, Black Studio, south Jakarta.
Saturday, a family day so that Our Lad could join me in revisiting IKYWMC – he’s got the T-shirt. I was still suffering from the after effects of having frozen the night before, so we opted to go by taxi to south Jakarta before it got dark because I figured that I didn’t know the back streets. And yes, we did get lost However, when arrived at the mansion which houses the Black Studio I realised that we were in the area where I’d started my working life in Jakarta nigh on 27 years ago.
So, we were early, and this was the sight that greeted us …
IKYWMC were to spend the next half hour or so rehearsing, sound checking and giving us a private show – thanks lads.
Afterwards, chatting with Reza, the lead composer and guitarist, I commented that the previous night it seemed to me that Adi at the keyboards was more dominant, although it may have been the sound balance. Reza said that maybe he’d been a bit nervous. Well, maybe, but we had yet to hear their now rehearsed set.
Tesla Manaf was the first on stage and what was played by his group was much as I’d heard at the Rolling Stone Café four weeks previously. But that is Tesla’s way, and his soon-to-be-released album A Man’s Relationship With His Fragile Area having now become familiar it was a comfort to hear it played live again.
However, what made it even more comfortable was the audience. All sat on the parqued floor apart from Our Lad and I who were at the back on seats. The predominantly black T-shirt clad audience listened attentively, were entranced and the applause after each number was both enthusiastic and respectful. This was a family outing and to be savoured, so few, if any, checked their phones for texts, although photos were taken.
IKYWMC were up next and the atmosphere changed just a bit: their music is more charged. As far as I could remmber, the set was unchanged, but this time Anggie Harahap on sax was comfortable, soaring with power when given the space. Reza too played more to the fore, both in the passages where he played in sync with Anggie and in his soloing. As before, Enriko provided the back bone.
However, as powerful as this band can be, the set contains one number, Dancing Girl, which could be likened to a track off an as yet unrecorded ECM album with a melody possibly from a hitherto lost Hatfield and the North session. Featuring sax and Adi’s keyboards, it provided room for a mental float, a calm musing before we were carried along once more.
Later, after we ‘MoonJunistas’ had gathered for a group photograph, Chico Hindarto, the promoter, and I had a chat about the evening so far. Last year’s Loudnatic had been held at the Rolling Stone Café, a venue to meet and greet where the music can be so much background noise.
This year’s venue was much better for a community of fine music lovers, and not just because we were largely cooled by the breezes fed to us by ceiling fans.
Our Lad and I went home thoroughly warmed by the evening.