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Tohpati Ethnomission

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Tohpati Ethnomission Save The Planet album cover
3.77 | 20 ratings | 6 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Selamatkan Bumi (Save The Planet) 9:07
2. Bedhaya Ketawang (Sacred Dance) 8:31
3. Drama 1:47
4. Ethno Funk 8:38
5. Gegunungan (Gateway Of Life) 2:56
6. Hutan Hujan (Rain Forest) 8:42
7. Biarkan Burung Bernyanyi (Let The Birds Sing) 7:27
8. Inspirasi Baru (New Inspiration) 4:13
9. Perang Tanding (Battle Between Good & Evil) 8:16
10. Pesta Rakyat (Festive People) 5:10
11. Amarah (Anger) 2:34

Total time: 67:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Tohpati / electric guitar and midi synth guitar
- Indro Hardjodikoro / bass
- Diki Suwarjiki / suling (Sundanese flute)
- Endang Ramdan / Indonesian percussion (kendang, gong, kenong)
- Demas Narawangsa / drums and Indonesian percussion (rebana, kempluk)

Releases information

Recorded in Jakarta, Indonensia, in 2010.
Moonjune Records MJR035

Thanks to snobb for the addition
and to progshine for the last updates
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TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION Save The Planet ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION Save The Planet reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Fusion album not exclusively for Fusion fans

Yesterday received my promo copy of the instrumental album by the Indonesian ensemble TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION by courtesy of Moonjune Records. Being that I have little knowledge of Indonesian bands except for the excellent ABBHAMA, I was curious, until read the title "Save the Planet".

It's not that I'm against the efforts to save our planet, by the contrary, but normally the releases created for ecological, religious or political purpose are lame and forced, ending almost as a jingle (Just remember "Don't Kill the Whale" by YES), but after a few seconds I noticed that "Save the World" is something different and worth listening.

From the start it was obvious that "Tohpati" is an amazing guitarist that receives influence of great Jazz musicians as "John Mc'Laughlin" and even other Prog icons as "Robert Fripp", It's important to notice that with the use of a Synth Midi guitar, "Tohpati" covers brilliantly the absence of keyboards.

The triple rhythm section formed by "Indro Hardjodikoro in the bass, "Endang Rando" in charge of the Indonesian Percussion and "Demas Narawangsa" (Drums & Percussion) can only be described as frenetic, managing to leave the supporting role normally assigned to this section to take the lead whenever necessary, and Diki Suwarjiki in the suling (Sundanese flute) is the cherry on the top of the pie.

But TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION is not only a Prog Fusion band, the exotic oriental ethnic sound makes of their music an unforgettable experience for the listener, a prove of this is that I'm not a Fusion nut, but have enjoyed the album from start to end.

It's hard to chose some favourite songs, because all the tracks are powerful and interesting but I will make an effort.

The opener "Salamatkan Bumi" (Save the World) starts with a bass intro that soon morphs into a rich expression of Jazz and Ethnic Fusion with hints of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA with an exotic Indonesian sound. The radical changes force the listener to follow the music carefully because it's so dramatic that a casual listener may get lost. Even when "TOHPATI'S guitar is breathtaking, the uniqueness of this track is in the mysterious ethnic fusion and the frantic percussion.

"Bedhaya Ketawang" (Sacred Dance) is the other side of the coin, more oriented towards an Hindi ethnic sound flows gently from start to end, not without ´powerful percussion and bass sections where the strength of the band is manifested with great skill. But this time the star of the band is Diki Suwarjiki with his "suling", who creates that mystic and ethereal atmosphere.

After the 1:46 minutes frantic "Crimsonian" interlude that reminds me of "Lark's Tongues in Aspic", comes "Ethno Funk", which was a surprise, because instead of a funky song that I expected came a dissonant and complex piece, in the vein of "King Crimson" with excellent guitar and bass passages with incredibly contradictory sections that are linked with such dexterity that sound absolutely coherent...Just brilliant.

At this point I noticed that was reviewing each and every song and not only my favourites (well, it's hard to choose a few tracks from a brilliant album), so to avoid an extremely long review that could bore the readers, will have to jump to the eclectic "Perang Tanding" (Battle Between Good & Beast), a musical piece that has everything, from fluid Jazz passages to experimental sections and mystic moments, again all united with such dexterity that sound perfectly logic.

Special notice to he guitar solo around the 3:30 minutes, it's simply hallucinating. The album ends with "Amarah" (Anger), another complex track, maybe I'm crazy,but I listen some SANTANA hints and a bit of Brazilian music, but probably that's what I want to listen, because the music is so rich that different listeners may hear different things.

The rest of the tracks are in the same level, so it was hard to select just a few, but I had to be succinct being that a detailed review could had taken four or five pages and nobody would read it.

Before the rating I would like to say that if a guy like me who is not a particular fan of Prog Fusion loved the album, Jazz freaks will simply love it, an example of how vibrant and versatile a band can be.

Four solid stars for "Salamatkan Bumi" (Save the World), a Prog Ethno-Jazz album for lovers of good and elaborate music.

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Tohpati Ethnomission is the brain child of Indonesian guitar star Tohpati and 'Save the Planet' is their first release, although you can hardly tell as there is nothing amateur about this highly polished project. Fans of mid-70s aggressive fusion and fusion leaning progressive rock may find a lot to like here, but Tohpati Ethnomission offers a remarkable difference with their Indonesian sound featuring traditional percussion, suling flute and Indonesian rhythms. The similarity to 70s fusion comes in Tohpati's use of rapid fire unison melody lines that recall Shakti, Dimeola, RTF and Mahavishnu. The references to classic progressive rock come in the occasional sentimental melodies and Fripp like guitar intricacies on tunes like 'Drama'. Another influence could include the gypsy raga rock of Gabor Szabo which seems to influence tunes such as 'Inspirasi Baru'.

Probably the salient feature to this recording is the fiery brilliant guitar technique of Tohpati. Easily in a class with the greats of modern Asian fusion such as Pranna, McLaughlin, Shankar and Ranjit Barot, Tohpati's guitar lines burn with fierce intensity and display an extremely polished technique. Despite the extensive use of Indonesian percussion, the overall sound of this band is probably closer to the big sound of a rock band than a jazz band.

Highly recommended for fans of high octane Asian fusion, Tohpati and his band have the speed and skills, but they rarely settle for simple 'paid by the note' fusion, but instead keep things interesting with electronic textures, intricate percussion breakdowns and occasional pastoral melodies.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Indonesian project TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION is a side project instigated by composer and guitarist Tohpati (Simak Dialog). "Save the Planet" is the first production by this outfit, and was released in 2010 by US indie label Moonjune Records.

For those in the know, Tohpati's main band as well as the record label this production was released on will spell out one piece of information in rather capital letters, namely fusion. Simak Dialog is a well respected band exploring this type of music, and Moonjune Records have established themselves as a relatively small but highly respected label catering to the needs of connoisseurs of this genre.

And indeed, Tohpati Ethnomission will not disappoint those who approach their album with these associations. Tohpati himself documents his skills as a fine, technically gifted and rather versatile performer here. While not as familiar with this type of material as I perhaps should have been I can't really draw to many comparisons to established and legendary musicians active in this field past and present I'm afraid. Al Di Meola was a name that came up from time to time however, Carlos Santana another. And on a few occasions, certain details made me think of Joe Satriani too, and one instance even good, old Leslie West. Those with intimate knowledge of jazzrock and fusion will most likely vehemently protest at such associations, but even if perhaps not entirely accurate I hope they will relay something about diversity. Which is very much a part of this disc, but on a detailed level rather than in dominant expressions and guitar textures as such.

But the guitar doesn't make an album alone, even if important. And the 11 compositions explored on this album are very much part of an instrumental whole. The suling (aka Sundanese flute) is used extensively, and is perhaps the most important instrument as far as crafting moods and atmospheres go. This flute has a pleasant and distinct sound, and besides adding a massive exotic presence to these excursions and seeing to it that reviewers can flaunt descriptions such as ethnic, folk and world music, it is also used extensively to either harmonize or subtly contrast the guitar motifs. Fairly often we're treated to elongated flute soloing too, with the guitar having more of a subservient role underscoring these particular proceedings.

Bass and drums sets the foundation as far as rhythms and pace go, with the bass given the freedom expected by a fusion project to roam and take on the occasional solo. But the regular drums are perhaps given a slightly more passive role for this band however, due to the extensive use of additional percussion. Kendang, gong and kenong the instruments, given the common description as Indonesian percussion, and again with a strong and distinct presence that will make veteran reviewers find synonyms and alternative phrases for the aforementioned folk, ethnic and world music descriptions. And the percussional details does venture rather far off from any subservient role too. Dampened yes, but in a fireworks sort of way. Kind of watching a gigantic cascade of different fireworks from a mile off. They dominate the skyline. A more or less fitting allegory for how Endang Ramdan's instrumental escapades function on "Save the Planet".

Apart from the occasional dip into territories too smooth and too slick I can't really find anything negative to say about this CD. And while I wasn't mesmerized my breathtaking moments of instrumental beauty either, that has more to do with my own taste in music than the compositions and performance I suspect. To my ears and my impression, this production should be an enthralling experience to most jazzrock and fusion enthusiasts.

Tohpati Ethnomission have crafted a fine album with "Save the Planet", and in addition to fans of instrumental jazzrock and fusion in general I suspect quite a few fans of good, old Carlos Santana might want to explore this band too. While the similarities as such are few and in approach more than sound, the overall mood and atmosphere is one I think might just make a positive impression also among that fanbase.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Tohpati Ethnomission's a group from Indonesia, yeah, Indonesia. And probably the first thing we have in mind when we think about this country is some kind of exhotic music, well, it's not that the exhotic don't make any part of the group's music, but it's not the main focus here, the 'thing' here is gather both together, exhotic and 'secular' music, like jazz/fusion, progressive rock and rock n roll.

The mind behind the group is Tohpati (guitars), that is also part of simakDIALOG. In Save The Planet, first album of Tohpati Ethnomission he's with Indro Hardjodikoro (bass), Endang Ramdan (percussion), Demas Narawangsa (drums and percussion) that had only 16 years old on the time they recorded, Diki Suwarjiki (suling, a kind of flute) and Lestari (voice on track 2).

What we have in Save The Planet is quite good, in fact, more than good. Highlits like 'Selamatkan Bumi' and his 9 minutes long, 'Drama' (that reminds some King Crimson's Robert Fripp moments), 'Ethno Funk', 'Inspirasi Baru' (and the great bass solo), 'Perang Tanding' (moments that resembles some Frank Zappa) and 'Amarah' (and the various guitars), shows us that the band have A LOT of potential.

But unfortunatelly the group sometimes bet on calm and slow compositions, which I don't like, I don't think it fits their style.

But all in all Save The Planet worth the hearing! Specially when it comes to jazz rock/fusion lovers. The album have some irregularities but shows clearly the bright future Tohpati and his mates can have if they keep playing and writing like that. It's a waiting game, but in my opinion it'll worth.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars I have no idea how many albums I have reviewed over the years, but it is well into the thousands, but I can honestly say that I haven't ever come across an album quite like this. Although I have heard some of Tohpati's previous work with simakDialog, it hadn't prepared me for his debut work as a bandleader in his own right. He has brought together a group of traditional musicians and created a world/jazz/traditional fusion that is as deep in colours and context as it is broad. Indro Hardjodikoro (bass), Diki Suwarjiki (suling - Sundanese flute), Endang Ramdan (Indonesian percussion - kendang, gong, kenong) and Demas Narawangsa (drums, Indonesian percussion - rebana, kempluk) have combined with Tohpati to create something that is breathtaking in its' complexity yet combine it with simplicity and traditional sounds to truly fuse together different worlds, not just of music and culture.

Tohpati can be as fluid as Holdsworth when he wishes, combining with Diki to provide a double hit of melody that as incredibly tight as they take flight, or can be in straight jazz areas with a band that is incredibly highly structured and rehearsed or then again can throw all of the rule books out of the window with an amalgam of styles and textures that is all their own. This is progressive fusion in its' truest sense, played by masters of their craft.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A perfect marriage of a man and a guitar... I am talking about that kind of marriage here, when you know each other already for many years. You know every curve and every possible response on a touch at any place. But still, you want to keep exploring, you find the act of exploration itself insp ... (read more)

Report this review (#1506248) | Posted by justaguy | Sunday, January 3, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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