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Ldgu - Sriti - Ldgu's Sonic Adventures in the Island of Jah-va, Vol. 1: Jawa Mistis


Sriti - Ldgu's Sonic Adventures in the Island of Jah-va, Vol. 1: Jawa Mistis

Tresno Records

Released: 24th November 2017 | 7 track gamelan album

Almost one year after its debut, The Sacred Drones of West Kalimantan (an extended study of the traditional musics of the Kayan and Taman tribes living on the banks of river Mendalam, West Borneo), Tresno Records comes back with a detailed two-episodes sound documentary, this time focusing on the island of Java.

Sriti: Ldgu's sonic adventures in the island of Jah-va - Volume one: Jawa mistis, is the title of the first instalment of this series.

Some of the ceremonial functions of the music of Central Java are portrayed in this first chapter: the opening diptych for example, gives you a precious occasion to listen to the otherwise seldom heard Sekaten, Surakarta's Keraton (the Sultan's palace) holy gamelan orchestra, which leaves its sacred rooms once a year; the processed field recordings of a gamelan piece played during a klenengan, a rare, chilled rehearsal where only the most talented players are allowed to play and which lasts an entire night, reaching its peak around four in the morning, when you are lulled into sleep by wooden hammers hitting bronze gongs that can be up to two/three hundred years old; a group of old women preparing themselves for Idul Fitri, the most important celebration of Islam's calendar.

Jawa mistis (mystic Java) thus tries to capture those nocturnal, eerie, transcendent atmospheres that permeate Central Java's musics, where Kejawen is the common root: the true, original belief of the Javanese, a unique amalgam of Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism.

But there's also room for experimentation.

In Sun sing suwe and Genderuwo in fact, Ldgu (Tresno's mastermind) delivers a personal reinterpretation of such sublime frequencies, playing personally recorded gamelan instruments on an old MPC, following that path he started with Dawet, his previous output included in Artetetra's Exotic Ésotérique Vol.2: a groundbreaking compilation of world music that gained the attention of Simon Reynolds, who payed homage to its wondrous sounds on the pages of The Wire #400.

Italy's contemporary music scene has some hidden pearls which are worth to be discovered: Tresno Records and its revolutionary sonic narratives are definitely some of these.

Mixed and mastered by Ldgu. Cover picture taken at a wayang kulit, Klaten, Central Java, 2015.

This album is dedicated to Mbah Prapto Suryodarmo