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SIMAK DIALOG

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Indonesia


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Simak Dialog biography
SIMAK DIALOG is another pleasant surprise from Indonesia. This Jakarta-based combo was formed in 1993 by Riza Arshad (keyboards) and Tohpati (guitars).

The band plays an unique blend of musical styles: with jazz-rock/fusion in its core, heavily influenced with Gamelan music, as well as another Indonesian musical forms, to electronica, psychedelia and various aspects of rock.

This bizarre yet highly enjoyable, elaborated and smart music fusioning is mostly written by Arshad, who's the brainchild behind the band. The band members, aside already mentioned guitarist Tohpati, are: Adhithya Pratama (bass), Endang Ramdan and Erlan Suwardana (both managing the percussion and vocal duties, percussion being mostly Sundanese kendang).

The band released six albums so far (last two being international releases), and they had been awarded several times.

Simak Dialog official website

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SIMAK DIALOG discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SIMAK DIALOG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.91 | 2 ratings
Lukisan
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Baur
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Trance/Mission
2002
3.84 | 13 ratings
Demi Masa
2009
3.91 | 9 ratings
The 6th Story
2013

SIMAK DIALOG Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 6 ratings
Patahan
2005

SIMAK DIALOG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SIMAK DIALOG Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SIMAK DIALOG Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SIMAK DIALOG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The 6th Story by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 9 ratings

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The 6th Story
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Indonesian band SIMAKDIALOG has to be described as a veteran band at this point I guess, with a history stretching back 21 years at the time of writing. They have been releasing albums steadily from 1995 and onwards, and their most recent production is "The 6th Story". As the title indicates, this is their sixth album; it was issued through Moonjune Records in 2013.

Harmonic melodies in smooth, soft and elegant arrangements planned and executed by an instrumental jazz rock band should summarize SimakDialog's fifth studio album and sixth release "The 6th Story" quite nicely. A production that should appeal to those who enjoy instrumental jazz rock of the elegant kind, without many rough edges, but with extensive and fairly elaborate percussion as a key ingredient.

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 The 6th Story by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 9 ratings

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The 6th Story
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars SimakDialog, have been displaying their wares for twenty years, having been formed in Jakarta in 1993 by keyboard player and composer Riza Arshad. Since then the band have been bringing together many musical influences in a style that can truly be described as fusion, with classic jazz, psychedelia, world music and Indonesian influences all coming together in a musical form that is uniquely their own. At Riza's right hand is guitarist Tohpati, a band leader in his own right, and the two of them take the main melodic leads, sometimes sharing and at others just happily giving way to the others. But, while they are at the forefront of the sound, there is a great deal happening underneath the lead melody that makes the band what they are. Huge kudos must be given to bassist Adhithya Pratama as he provides warm support to what is happening, either by playing just the odd single not or complementing the melody with some complex runs of his own. But his main role is that of the bridge between the melody and the percussion, which gives simakDialog such a unique sound.

The band has not one or two percusionnist, but three, Endang Ramdan, Erlan Suwardana, and newest member, Cucu Kurnia, who combine together to provide complex rhythms and sounds that lift the melodies and structures of Riza and Tohpati to new heights. The more one plays this album, the more one realises just how important they are to the overall structure and arrangement, and while Riza's Fender Rhodes electric piano does sound strangely dated, it also fits in perfectly with what these guys are creating. This is music that somehow is incredibly immediate and welcoming, while at the same time being complex and heavily layered. I would love to see these guys play live as there is a real feeling of togetherness and ideas being bounced from each other, while at the same time there is a rigidity as they move along the piece, freedom within framework.

There are some great bands coming out of Indonesia, and simakDialog are one of the best of these. Yet again this is a wonderfully solid and enjoyable album, and one that can be recommended wholeheartedly. www.moonjune.com

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 Demi Masa by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.84 | 13 ratings

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Demi Masa
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars To be honest, I'm not as au fait with Indonesian music as maybe I should be based on the evidence of this. It is worth listing the musicians and their instruments as it may just give an idea of what they are doing. The band was formed in Jakarta in 1993 by Riza Arshad (electric piano, acoustic grand piano, synths), and he is joined by Tohpati (electric and acoustic guitar), Adhithya Pratama (bass), Endang Ramdan (lead Sundanese kendang percussion, tambourine, claps, toys, vocals) and Erlan Suwardana (Sundanese kendang percussion, claps, toys, vocals) with a few guests. I have been listening much more to jazz in recent years and the breadth and passion of this album is just breathtaking. At times it is very melodic, with either the keys or guitar being the lead, yet at others it is much more 'free'.

This could never be considered background music as it demands close attention to what is going on. Of course a major part of this music is the percussion which provides a very different flavour to that from many jazz albums. Tohpati provides some stunning guitar, but it is the way that he combines with Riza that is the highlight. Take "Tak Jauh Pertama" for example where Riza provides most of the melodic lead with fairly simple chords, but what makes the song work is the note density and sheer bravado playing of Tohpati. At times his guitarwork reminds me of John McLaughlin, and if I was to pick just one act to compare Simak Dialog with it would be when McLaughlin and Carols Santana combined together for a few albums but it would be justifiable to mention Pat Metheny or Return To Forever, yet none of these tags do this justice.

If you enjoy jazz and fusion then this is an essential purchase. www.moonjune.com

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 Patahan by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Live, 2005
3.68 | 6 ratings

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Patahan
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars About 2 months ago I reviewed "Demi Masa" by this excellent Indonesian band SIMAK DIALOG, and rated it with 4 stars due to the surprising combination of sounds, flavours and styles, so when I placed "Patahan" in the CD player, they surprised me again but for different reasons.

If "Demi Masa" was an ode to the unexpected, "Patahan" is more what I would expect from a Fusion band (at least during the first two tracks), with excellent piano performance, splendid guitar by virtuoso musician "Tohpati Ario Hutomo" and a solid rhythm section, in this case with the peculiarity of not using drums but Indonesian Kendang percussion.

The general mood is calm, relaxing and fluid with an audience so respectful that there's almost no "Live feeling", but this doesn't stop the band from improvising and giving the best of them.

As I said before, the album is very relaxing, mainly during the first two tracks "One Has to Be" and "Spur of the Moment" in which "Riza Arshad" carries the weight of the band with an amazing piano performance in the vein of "Chick Corea".

But after that everything starts to change "Kemarau" is a vibrant experimental track with radical changes from martial to peaceful and some haunting chorals, but the really complex material comes with "Worthseein", almost frenetic jam session where all the musicians allow themselves to shine and demonstrate how skilful they are.

The closer "Kain Sigli" begins with a simultaneous narration in two languages, "Emi Tata" in Bahasa language and "Marla Stukenberg" in German, after which an incredibly beautiful acoustic guitar solo captured my attention.

The rest of the track is more experimentation and jamming with "Nyak Ina Raseuki - Ubiet" singing and scatting with a background of guitar percussion and synths....Frenetic and delightful.

Even when Jazz is not my passion, it's obvious for me that the performance and composition is amazing and that would be extremely unfair to rate "Patahan" with less than 4 stars.

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 Patahan by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Live, 2005
3.68 | 6 ratings

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Patahan
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars A very interesting jazz album from Indonesia.

This is a live album from the interesting ethno-jazz combo Simak Dialog. The audience is polite listening to the music so the live feeling is not particular great. Then again, this type of music is not attracting rowdy audiences.

Ethno-jazz........... The music here is very similar to what Chick Corea is doing with long piano medium fast to fast passages based on a beat, done by the ethno drums. Kendang I think they are called. No drums sticks. Just the "drummer" hitting the drum skin with his/her flat hand. It gives the music the ethno flavour. The bass is also both a part of the melodies and is also keeping the beat. There are also some guitar solos on this album and some German poetry reading + some female vocals in the native language.

Talking about the latter one, I do get a lot of zeuhl vibes from this album in addition to the trad jazz and fusion vibes. This, and the ethno feel makes this album a very special album. But my main gripe is the lack of some great melodies or tunes here. Yes, the band is brilliant. But melodies and great ideas is the missing ingredient here. But this is still a very good album who deserve a wider recognition.

3.5 stars

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 Demi Masa by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.84 | 13 ratings

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Demi Masa
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars ProgArchives has some really strange albums & bands in it's database. Albums that cannot be labeled in any way. This album is on this exclusive list.

Eclectic is probably the right word. Fusion too is suitable, although fusion = a mix of two styles. Demi Masa is not. Demi Masa is a mix of a lot of styles. From eclectic music to world music to avant-garde to jazz to fusion to raga prog. This album has everything.

Most of all, this album has been made by a group of musicians from Indonesia who has fused their heritage with western type jazz. The type of jazz from New York and New Orleans. Add the local Indonesian flavour and the result is Demi Masa.

The result is a multi faced album with local type percussions and Chick Corea like improvisations on piano. The album also sometimes feels like Mahavishnu Orchestra meets Indonesia. In short; this album is both jazz with local flavour and fusion with local flavour.

The quality is good to great throughout, although not everything is captivating great. Simak Dialog is undoubted great musicians with a great vision and very much needed in the scene. Their take on jazz and fusion is very refreshing and renewing in this scene. Not everything here is great, but it is still an album well worth checking out. Under considerable doubts, it is a four star album for me and one album I will spend some decades on.

4 stars

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 Demi Masa by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.84 | 13 ratings

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Demi Masa
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars As most people here know, I'm no a particular fan of Jazz/Fusion, but about a couple months ago I listened "Tohpati Ethnomission" and was really impressed with the sound of this Indonesian band and the way they combine the experimental jazz essence and the ethnic influences of their country, so when I received a package from "Moonjune Records" containing two releases by "SIMAK DIALOG" from Indonesia with "Tohpati" in the guitars, decided to play this albums before anything else, and wasn't disappointed at all, so here I am trying to review "Demi Masa"

Normally people identify the word fusion with Jazz, as if this terms were the two sides of the same coin, but that's not accurate, Fusion really means the blend of different styles and genres into a new and original final product, and if there is a band that really fuses genres, sounds, styles and even musical flavours it's SIMAK DIALOG.

As in the case of TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION is clear that the band gives great importance to their ethnic inheritance, this becomes obvious when you notice they don't use traditional drums, replacing them with "Sundanese Kendang Percussion", but SIMAK DIALOG also privilege the classical Progressive Jazz approach with clear MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA influence,mainly in Tohpati's guitar and Riza Arshad's wonderful performance in the electric piano.

I won't even try to make a song by song review, not only because the richness of the blend, but also because not being a Jazz expert, would hardly make justice to what is happening here, so I feel more comfortable talking about my favourite tracks.

The first song that really caught my attention is "Salilana Kedua" (Forever Part II), in which the band places the emphasis in the ethnic/folk aspect of their music, the use of Indonesian percussion ad the dramatic choirs at the beginning of the song, blended with the exquisite guitar of "Tohapati" plus the mysterious beauty and the oriental sound gave me goosebumps. But that's not all, around the fifth minute and after a hand clapping section, the music morphs into some form of sophisticate jazz with splendid keyboards....Just impressive.

The melancholic "Tak Jauh Pertana" (Not so Far Part I) is also a high point of the album, the more traditional intro in the vein of "MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA" announces a different approach, but when we are talking about SIMAK DIALOG, it's hard to guess what is coming next, because they seem to improvise blending the different sounds and influences in their repertoire, again an amazing track.

The "Trah Lor" (Northern People ) trilogy [Laras (Voices), Rupah (Faces) and Tapak (Prints) ] is simply outstanding, but my favourite of the three is the first one "Trah Lor - Laras" where "Riza Arshad" plays an outstanding piano mixture of Jazz and Classical music with soft percussion enhancing the sound, simply delightful.

Last but not least, I must mention the 13:16 minutes epic "Disapih"(Being Away), a solid demonstration of what Progressive Jazz means, being that very few bands can make so many radical changes without being jamming, and if we add the are extremely complex keyboards - guitar interplay plus the solid rhythm section with the bassist Adhithya Pratama" in the lead, we have a breathtaking masterpiece that flows with energy and coherence from start to end.

It's hard for a member of the Symphonic Prog Team in Prog Archives like me, to rate a Jazz- Fusion album, being that it's a completely different style of music to what I listen in daily bases, but I would need to be deaf not to notice the brilliant performance and the touch of the genius in the composition, so with extreme confidence I will rate "Demi Masa" with four solid stars, being evident that we are before an extremely good album that any lover of great music should have.

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 Lukisan by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.91 | 2 ratings

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Lukisan
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by iiqjazz

5 stars the first album of indonesian jazz rock music prodigy

full mixture between Pat Metheny Group, Miles Davis Bitches Brew Era and weather report

my best track is kerinduan that means "the longing for my beloved hometown" in the local language manggarai

Simak Dialog band founded in 1993, which until now has been changing personnels numerous times. Consider the dialogue in the year 1995 released those who first album titled "PAINTINGS" (see the dialogue until currently sdh released four albums). There are nine compositions on the album Lukisan.Pada Side A: Times have changed, Way Home, For REMEMBER, Not Absolute. On Side B: Conscience, Never Ended, Longing, Dark, Far. The process of this album release through a process long enough time span in which the recording is in mid December September 1994 and early 1995 until the end of this album released by Suryanada Indah Prima / Legend Records. Last time I Find dialog's appearance is at the Plaza Semanggi year forgotten and the Goethe Institut (Menteng) in May 2005 with the formation of minus Indro and Arie Ayunir.

Formation on their first album were: Riza Arshad (Piano Acoustic, synth, bass synth), cultivation (Acoustic & Electric Guitar) Indro Hardjodikoro (Electric Bass) and Arie Ayunir (Drums, cymbals)

Changing the composition of Ages Past (Riza Arshad creation) appears with a stomping beat, bunyi2 Synthesizer on the composition of these reminds me of the Indonesian fusion bands who perform in an era 80s in the event Light Music Contest / Band Explosion, see the dialogue embrace the kind of music adult contemporary progressive jazz. Composition Times have changed, Way Home (first album), (Getting Closer, The Same Old Car, One Has To be) (album-2) is komposisi2 prog jazz most of my favorite lagu2 mereka.Terakhir view has changed its composition played Age ie the event Jazz Goes To Campus in 1999, after it had lg gk see Mark playing TSB composition. The composition of the Way Home, Riza Arshad intense play on piano keys and his Kurzweil. Composition MUST REMEMBER (creation cultivation), Composition Not Absolute (Riza Arshad's creation). composition of Conscience, is trying to communicate between the keys of a piano, guitar and drums her Ayunir Arie, fast and flat turns. Composition Never Ended (ciptaaan Riza Arshad), composition with lyrics Longing speak with vocal Flores Fika, Gideon Hallatu and Ivan Nestorman (NERA), the composition of lingual flores This reminds me of the band has also been used Unread PD flores their albums like: Prototype (band from bandung who jg never follow the event formerly Light Music Contest but failed). Longing longing tells about a person will land birth & home environment. On Longing composition TSB Riza Bass synth uses. Composition Dark Indro creation, with Bass nomination. Far composition Riza Arshad creation with a piano solo.

Here is a brief profile Find Dialog personnel: Riza Arshad is Alumni ITB Design, studying classical piano at the age of Six years. Had studied at Bambang Nugroho (Bhaskara) dll.Riza Arshad using YAMAHA G2 Grand Piano and synth Kurzweil. Tohpati learn the guitar since childhood, studied at the YAMAHA (PMMC) and some of his achievements include: Best Guitarist DKI Band Festival was in 1985, Best Festival Band Guitarist Java 1989, Best Guitarist Pre Yamaha Light Music Contest as Jakarta, and Best Guitarist Yamaha Band Explosion 1989 National Level. Tohpati Splash has also joined the band around the year 1987/1988. Indro Hardjodikoro. Taught himself and had studied with few jazz musicians to join the land of Halmahera air.Pernah etc. Arie Ayunir, playing drums and cymbals, In the year 1994 with Squirrel his band won first place in the Yamaha Light Music Contest (LMC) 1984. On this album Arie uses Gretsch drums.

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 Demi Masa by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.84 | 13 ratings

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Demi Masa
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by iiqjazz

5 stars simakDialog's Demi Masa, one of the best releases of 2009, rejuvenates fusion music and takes it to an entirely new level. The soloists are extraordinarily good on this combination of guitars, electric bass guitar, and keyboards with Indonesian kedang percussion, assisted by percussionist/vocalist Emy Tata, singer Mian Tiara and soundscapist Dave Lumenta?but more on this later.

The remarkable thing about the group's percussion team is how tight and well-integrated it is within simakDialog's sound. It sets up an underpinning closer to a drum kit than standard percussion. The kedang?along with toys and other items?cushion and push the other instruments rather than punctuating the sound, which is more often the case.

Although there are certain similarities to mid-'70s jazz-fusion, simakDialog's unorthodox rhythm section subverts the analogy, and the group shows a greater affinity to some of the more tasteful manifestations of jazz-rock, including Weather Report and Return to Forever. But keyboardist Riza Arshad and guitarist Tohpati Aryo Hutomo (aka Tohpati) have a more interesting pedigree, whether or not the band realizes it. There are marked similarities to bands like British Canterbury bands Hatfield and the North and National Health, especially in simakDialog's use of guitar lines that rely more on invention than flash. The keyboards, in all their analog glory, demonstrate a unique warmth and harmonic integrity. While by no means identical to the work of Hatfield/National Health's Phil Miller and Dave Stewart, there's a similar stress on development of individual voices.

Equally, the group is unafraid to incorporate dissonance. Tohpati, in particular, knows when to throw in bloodcurdling electric clusters as needed to enhance the mood, and Arshad sets up some wonderfully sensitive electric piano accompaniment, as well as being a fine soloist. Bassist Adhitya Pratama knows how to lay a foundation, but sets the band up for solos that have an orientation more aligned with progressive rock than jazz-rock. The compositions are really compositions, and not simply riff generators.

simakDialog has real energy and chops and should go very far. Demi Masa is a distinct improvement over Patahan (MoonJune, 2007), an album that nevertheless proved simakDialog to already be an exceptional group.

Track listing: Salilana Pertama (Forever, Part 1); Salilana Kedua (Forever, Part 2); Tak Jauh Pertama (Not So Far, Part 1); Tak Jauh Kedua (Not So Far, Part 2); Trah Lor - Laras (Northern People - Voices); Trah Lor -Rupa (Northern People - Faces); Trah Lor - Tapak (Northern People - Prints); Karuhun (To Elders); Disapih (Separate Away).

Personnel: Riza Arshad: Fender Rhodes electric piano, Yamaha acoustic grand piano, Oberheim OBX analog synth; Tohpati: electric and acoustic guitar; Adhithya Pratama: bass guitar; Endang Ramdan: lead Sundanese kendang percussion, tambourine, claps, toys, vocals; Erlan Suwardana: Sundanese kendang percussion, claps, toys, vocals; Emy Tata: Sundanese kendang percussion, claps and vocals (2); Mian Tiara: vocals (7); Dave Lumenta: soundscapes (8).

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 Demi Masa by SIMAK DIALOG album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.84 | 13 ratings

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Demi Masa
Simak Dialog Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Feel like you've heard it all, nothing new on the horizon, then it's time to check out Indonesian jazz fusion from Jakarta via a brilliant five piece group called Simak Dialog. Analog keyboards, guitar, bass and duo Sundanese kendang drummers make up this ensemble that sounds like jazz fusion from a small village, not a downtown bar, but is still modern and sophisticated nonetheless. Listening to this CD conjures up a plethora of possible influences including Chick Corea, Alan Holdsworth, Gabor Szabo, Soft Machine, Herbie Mann, Sun Ra, Santana, Sun City Girls and early Weather Report; these are just some of the artists that come to mind as this band effortlessly combines multiple styles into every song.

Probably the most striking element to this band, especially for being a fairly high energy fusion band at times, is the total lack of a jazz or rock trap set. Instead, you get the two percussionists playing the kendang which is constructed somewhat similar to a conga drum and has a similar sound. The lack of drum set gives this band an earthy traditional sound that really sets them apart. I also enjoy the total lack of digital instrumentation and fake physical modeling whatever. Keyboardist Riza Arshad plays a real Fender Rhodes, as well as an acoustic piano and occasional very tasteful and subtle analog synthesizer. Likewise, guitarist Tohpati keeps it real with simple electric and acoustic guitars with a minimum of sound processing.

The duo kendang drummers constantly define Simak Dialog's sound, but on top of that the others take the band into fairly aggressive 70s styled fusion, as well as tight rhythmic Indonesian minimalism, quiet spacy moments and groovy acoustic gypsy jazz. Very little post production goes into these songs, but the band keeps the sound textures interesting, especially Arshad with his Oberheim synth that adds a distinctly Asian metallic buzzing drone in economical doses. Great effort from a band that is taking jazz fusion to new and exciting places.

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Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition.

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