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Pekak! Indonesian Noise 1995-2015: 20 Years of Experimental Music from Indonesia, End of the Alphabet Records (New Zealand)


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The Wire: “Pekak! attempts the . . . task of sampling the long simmering noise and experimental scenes of Indonesia’s scattered islands. Curated by the Java based promoter/musician Indra Menus, 18 tracks details a wildly unpredictable scene where smatterings of Euro-American noise cassette culture fuse with shapes and textures from local gamelan and vocal traditions. Javan duo Senyawa provide a self-titled contradiction of harsh yells over tribal percussion and the gentle plucking of Wukir Suryadi’s zither like homemade instrument, the bambuwukir, while noisemaker Grindtabachan whips up a hyperactive three minute collage of brutalised field recordings and samples. Other acts opt to blend industrial and traditional timbre, often with mind boggling results. Melcyd for example sculpt the spacious outline of a gamelan ensemble piece before launching into serrated rock band free forms. But the stars of the tape are outright sonic terrorists like Borneo’s solo artists Theo Nugraha and Sumatran noise duo Apocalyptcore. Each provides tracks of harsh tones and brutalised samples that treat the ear like a Brillo pad.” 

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