Le Groupe Angklung

Indonesie: Slamet A. Sjukur's Angklung Group

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Originally released in 1976, from the Dijon Festival of 1975, this album is a collection of works for an angklung orchestra. By its very nature, the angklung is meant to be played in large groups, with each performer capable of one note (much like handbell orchestras). Added to the angklungs are voices and the gambang xylophone. The songs on this album range from "Tatabeuhan Sungut," which sounds suspiciously like Balinese kechak singing, to "Hallo-Hallo Bandung," a march from the 1945 revolution, to "Sepur Mendem," which translates to "the train which has drunk." In the former song, the voices and instruments mimic the sound of a train for a time, after which "the voices and the instruments are mingled for all purposes and to no purpose"; full Art Ensemble of Chicago type sounds emerge. The songs on the album are noteworthy for showing the variety possible for an orchestra that has only one major instrument, though it can become tiresome with the incessant chanting and clattering of the angklungs. Some people may enjoy it easily, though others will tire of it quickly.

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