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Guruh Gipsy - Guruh Gipsy CD (album) cover


Guruh Gipsy


Eclectic Prog

4.09 | 43 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Excellent Indonesian Ethnic Music with a bit of ELP

In the last couple of years, been discovering many Indonesian bands, starting with the addictive ABBHAMA that sounded like YES made in Bollywood (with a better vocalist), then came TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION and SIMAK SIALOG with their virtuoso performance of Jazz Rock Fusion and now I find this lost gem from the late 70's called GURUH GIPSY that blends ELP influence (mostly in the first song) with Jazz plus some ethnic elements that make the music delightful. Sadly this guys only released the self titled album and then vanished....What a waste of talent.

Most new musicians are very careful and start their debuts with a nice short theme that can please the majority of listeners, this guys don't take any precaution and open "Guruh Gipsy" with Indonesia Maharddika, a 15:45 minutes epic that combines all the elements described about, even when reminds me of "Karn Evil 9", sounds pretty unique due to the peculiar voice of Keenan Nasution, the excellent choirs by "The Hatauruk Sisters" but overall the breathtaking guitar solos by Odink Nasution.

But that's not all, normally the bands have one pianist that plays all the key instruments, but in this case, the piano and organ are played by Roni Harahap (clearly an Emerson fan) while the minimoog is in charge of Abadi Soesman, who adds a different flavor to the music. Fantastic opener that kept me in the edge of the seat from the first to the last note.

The second track Chopin Larung is an interpretation of how Chopin's music would sound if he ever visited Bali and the guys succeeded in creating the atmosphere, because the classical piano combined with nostalgic Balinese music, almost made me break in tears, the only word I can use is wonderful.

Barong Gundah is the first and only instrumental of the album, with the peculiarity of being played using a pentatonic scale, creating some sort of Indonesian Jazz based mainly in percussion (gamelan), guitar and bass. Normally i'm not too fond on any form of free Jazz, but this is very interesting.

Janger 1897 Saka is easily recognized by it's intro that created the effect of a market with people advertising their products, but unexpectedly turns into a beautiful melodic tune with Chrisye's soft voice supported by female vocals and orchestra, simply breathtaking.

The last two tracks Geger Gelgel and Smaradhana are more and more oriented towards traditional Indonesian music, that I don't feel capable to describe as carefully and with the knowledge that "Gatot" did on a preview review, I can only add that both are incredibly beautiful and elaborate.

I must say that in my opinion GURUH GIPSY is more a Folk band rather than a Symphonic one, because apart from the clear ELP references in Indonesia Maharddika, the rest of the record is a delicate blend of Indonesian music and western influences that deserves no less than 4 solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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