▼WV 050 / 051: SENYAWA - ALKISAH (CN Special Edition)
WV Sorcerer is honored to present you the new album of Indonesian avant-garde duo SENYAWA: “ALKISAH”.
The word "SENYAWA" in Indonesian has many layers. It can mean chemical compound and can also mean "becoming one soul".
“ALKISAH” describes a story of a collapsing civilization, the people realized the end is near and intended to create a better world for the future to survive the apocalypse. Nevertheless, the destruction is inevitable and doomsday is upon them.
Deep and powerful drone/industrial/tribal sound delivered directly from Yogyakarta of Java Island, with fire and ashes. This is a perfect album for WV Sorcerer’s aural and visual esthetic.
For this special edition, we have gathered several artists from Mainland China and Hong Kong, to interpret their own remix and recreation.
From psychedelic guitar feedback, dark pop, electric cello drone, tribal techno to harsh noise, every musician presents their own imagination about each chapter of "ALKISAH".
盛潔 gogoj a.k.a Sheng Jie / Zaliva-D / 卓奇 Chucki / 33EMYBW / Nerve / 若潭 Ruò Tán / 王子衡 Wang Ziheng / Torturing Nurse / Beau Mahadev / 李劍鴻 Li Jianhong
LP comes in a heavy gatefold cover, with obi, exclusive remix CD, recording session photo postcards and a large A2 poster.
Tape version will be released by 無害 Mouhoi and 琪琪音像 Qiii Snacks Records.
“Indonesian duo Senyawa is one of the most intense live bands in the world.”
- Red Bull Music Academy
“Senyawa can be counted among the most thrilling, edgy and original live performance units anywhere in the world.”
- The Wire
“Senyawa forged a sound that brings with it another dimension of weight, one that can’t be measured.”
- The Quietus
“Senyawa`s music rises from the belly of the beast and crawls out of its gaping maw.”
“Generally speaking, Senyawa operate on a force-of-nature level.”
- Resident Advisor
‘Alkisah’ is an apocalyptic album for apocalyptic times – but it’s not a doom-and-gloom record. As Rully points out, “it’s not about saying ‘oh, the world is ending and there’s nothing we can do about it’.” Instead, ‘Alkisah’ is about preparing for life in the aftermath, and rebuilding after a collapse (and not necessarily a physical one, either). It’s about coming up with new strategies, ideas, and methods for practice in a post-apocalyptic world. The big question for the band itself, Rully says, is “how do we, as musicians, cope with times like the present?”
- Azzief Khaliq, NME
It’s difficult to characterise Senyawa without leaning on inaccurate tropes or multihyphenates. From Indonesian gamelan to apocalyptic folk, post-punk, no wave, stoner metal and dark-doom-psychedelic-ritualcore, the Javanese duo’s output encapsulates such wide swathes of influences so as to be nearly impossible to summarise.
Their unprecedented style derives in large part from their unconventional instrumentation. Over the course of ten years and about as many releases Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi have honed a semi-improvisational sound forged from the percussive clattering and ceremonial mood of their homemade bambuwukir. The device, the size and shape of a tube zither, is sheathed in rows of metal and bamboo strings that emit a remarkable range of otherworldly tonalities and textures. On their newest album Alkisah it’s joined by another of Suryadi’s homemade creations built from a spatula and an electric guitar. Their combined effect is more industrially angular than the band’s past work, eliciting a symphony of pulverising riffs and guttural roars that sounds as if they’ve hatched straight from the fires and slimes of Middle Earth.
Alkisah’s feral march is the backdrop to a tale of impending destruction. The album, whose title loosely translates to Once Upon A Time, tells the dystopic fable of a formerly rich and powerful country approaching its dissolution. The story starts as the government crumbles. In “Menuju Muara”, or “Towards the Estuary”, the society disbands to create a new civilisation from the ground up. Pitch-shifting harmonics and gauzy, reverb-drenched background vocals sweep and stutter, punctuated by repeating power chords and a cacophony of metallic recordings. The loose rhythmic jam is reminiscent of early Einstürzende Neubauten before it evolves into a sludge metal dirge.
By “Kabau” an echoing chorus of screams and wails merge into a singular vocal line. The new world order, which has collapsed into yet another bloody insurrection, looks to the traditional wisdom of these chanted Minang proverbs that bring the album to a haunting close. It seems, for all their novelty, as though Senyawa speak to something more ancient in these images – the timeworn threat of empire building and supremacy’s inevitable fall.
- Chloé Lula, The Wire
「他們的音樂結合了人聲吟唱和自制樂器，有著濃濃的爪哇部落感。其中自制樂器的 Wukir Suryadi 更是一位有名的樂器制造家，他最著名的創作是由一根長長竹子做成，在上方綁著鋼弦，功能與樣貌類似電吉他的概念。經過不同的效果器，改變並放大樂器本身的音色。這樣的聲音可以制造出巨大音場，Wukir 的演奏有著傳統爪哇音樂的空間感，配合 Rully 現場吟唱，讓聽者仿佛進入巫毒世界的異次元。Senyawa 的音樂融合了實驗與噪音，並將傳統的爪哇特色融合其中，他們的音樂致力於將傳統帶入當代，並用全新方式詮釋，創造出超越想像的當代印尼風格。」
- 這是無解音樂網對WV Sorcerer巫唱片的一段描述，但是用來形容Senyawa的音樂特別合適，這份出品，完全契合了巫唱片的一貫審美風格。
Jogjakarta’s Senyawa uniquely manage to embody the sonic influences of Javanese music through the framework of experimental music practice—pushing and pulling the boundaries of both traditions. Their music strikes a perfect balance between their avant-garde influences and cultural heritage to create truly contemporary Indonesian music.
Their sound is comprised of Rully Shabara’s deft extended vocal techniques punctuating the frenetic neo-tribalism of instrument builder, Wukir Suryadi’s modern-primitive instrumentation. Inventions like his handcrafted ‘Bamboo Spear’; a thick stem of bamboo strung up with percussive strips of the plant’s skin along side steel strings. Amplified it fuses elements of traditional Indonesian instrumentation with garage guitar distortion. Sonically dynamic, the instrument can be rhythmically percussive on one side whilst being melodically bowed and plucked on the other.
They have collaborated and performed with many notable musicians such as Stephen O'Malley, Yoshida Tatsuya, Lucas Abela, KK Null, Keiji Haino, Jon Sass, Damo Suzuki, Jerome Cooper, David Shea and Kazu Ushihashi. In 2012 they completed a film in collaboration with French filmmaker Vincent Moon.
released February 21, 2021
Wukir Suryadi: custom instruments
Rully Shabara: lyrics, vocals
Recorded & mixed by Iwan Karak at Eloprogo, September 2020
Soundscape of Eloprogo recorded by Tesaran
Digital version mastered by Marlon Wolterink at White Noise Studio
LP mastered by Cordey Lopez
Remix tracks mastered by Cyril Meysson
Minang proverbs on “Kabau”
compiled by Taufik Adam
Drawings by Sopeng
Design & layout by Ruò Tán 若潭
Recording session photography by Reza Darwin
WV Sorcerer Productions 巫唱片 2021
LP: WV 050 / Remix CD: WV 051
DECENTRALIZATION SHOULD BE THE FUTURE