Idjah Hadidjah

Tonggeret

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A fascinating document of the Jaipong popular style that swept through Indonesia in the late 1970s, typified by its highly dynamic drumming. Sung in the Sundanese language, with instruments and musical idioms drawn from the Sundanese tradition, it's an unlikely form of pop. And, indeed, to Western ears it hardly sounds like pop -- pieces like the lengthy "Serat Salira" seem to have more in common with an edgy type of avant-grade than anything else. Coming from the village genre known as ketuk tilu, which mixed singing and dancing, jaipong built on the foundation to create something new, also utilizing the instrumentation and structure of popular gamelan music. The hybrid, named jaipong, was instantly successful, initially as a musical style, but since then as a form of dance. Is it easy listening? Yes and no: The tones slide sinuously and beautifully, but the harmonies and melodies are definitely challenging to anyone grounded in Western music. At the same time, there's a definite beauty to it all that warrants repeated listenings to be teased out.

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