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TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Indonesia


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Tohpati Ethnomission biography
Tohpati Ethnomission is a band formed in 2009. The kingpin of this band is a guitar player who is called Tohpati. Tohpati is known as a member of the band that is called Simak Dialog from Indonesia.

Tohpati participated in Simak Dialog in 1993. And, the activity of Solo has been started since 1998.

This band reflects the music character followed from Simak Dialog in own band and is developing it. The music character that adds the tradition musical instruments of Indonesia to the music character that makes Jazz Rock a base is a music character that should be called gamelan Fusion and ethno Jazz.

- Members -

Tohpati - electric guitar midi synth guitar
Indro Hradjodikoro - bass guitar
Diki Suwajiki - suling
Endang Ramdan - kendang,gong,kenong
Demas Narawangsa - rebana,kempluk

Kazuhiro

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TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION discography


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TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 20 ratings
Save The Planet
2010
3.99 | 19 ratings
Mata Hati
2017
5.00 | 1 ratings
Dewa Budjana & Tohpati: Janapati
2019

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TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dewa Budjana & Tohpati: Janapati by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2019
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Dewa Budjana & Tohpati: Janapati
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars I have been reviewing albums from Leonardo Pavkovic's wonderful Moonjune label for well over twenty years now, and it never ceases to amaze me just how he manages to keep surprising me after all this time. Here we have two of Indonesia's most well-known guitarists, Dewa Budjana and Tohpati Ario Hutomo (simakDIALOG, Tohpati Ethnomission), coming together in a new group (BudJANA and TohPATI), along with drummer Demas Narawangsa (Tohpati Ethnomission) and bassist Adhitya Pratama (simakDIALOG), Okay, so far so good you might say, four musicians who have all worked together in the past in the jazz fusion progressive rock Indonesian style. The twist this time is not in these four musicians, but the other two elements of the group, who are also namechecked on the front of the album, namely the Czech Symphony Orchestra and the Budapest Scoring Orchestra! They are not here just to provide support either, here we have a blending of styles as different cultures and musical styles combine so that it is impossible to see where one ends and the other begins.

Over the years there have been many attempts to combine rock bands with orchestras with varying degrees of success, while jazz is of course renowned for the big band sound (which rarely includes strings, and of course some styles of progressive rock lend themselves to the sound as they have often been attempting to sound like orchestras so it is an easy step. This time we have something which is an unmitigated success, but still does not come across as I expected given the names of those involved. Both musicians have made their names expanding traditional musical styles from their home country into Western music and creating something very different indeed. Here that style has been mostly been allowed to go dormant and instead they are creating music which is more correctly classified as modern classical music as opposed to anything else. The two guitarists bounce ideas off each other, often on classical acoustic guitars as opposed to electric, but developing ideas with the orchestra so in many ways it is more structured and restrained than what I expect from the two of them. However, there is real beauty here throughout, with the delicate duo 'Samudera Pasai' being simply delightful as the two just sit quietly and bounce ideas between themselves.

Others, such as 'D Romance' uses a bombastic orchestra to its full, still playing on acoustic guitars, but then they smile and bounce along with 'Duology' which sees the quartet in full rock mode. It is fun, rock fusion with plenty of bounce. The song is also repeated at the end, but this time it is just back to the acoustic guitars and nothing else, and it is hard to pick between the two for a favourite. Budjana and Tohpati have long been two of my favourite Indonesian musicians, and between them they have released something like fifty albums so there is no excuse for not discovering them. However, if you want something more Western to the ear, instantly accessible yet still intriguing and exciting, then look no further.

 Mata Hati by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.99 | 19 ratings

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Mata Hati
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Tohpati Ethnomission is one of the solo projects of Indonesian guitarist Tohpati, otherwise known as the guitarist in Indonesian band Simak Dialog as well as having a solo career that dates back to the late 1990's. This particular project first appeared back in 2010. "Mata Hati" is the second album from this band, and was released through US label Moonjune Records in 2016.

Those with a taste for instrumental jazzrock of a spirited and energetic nature will find a lot to enjoy on this second album by Tohpati Ethnomission, and then in particular those who enjoy world music elements to be included in such landscapes. If you tend to enjoy music that by and large is uplifting as well, and tends to shy away from being overly expressive and difficult, this is a CD that warrants an inspection.

 Mata Hati by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.99 | 19 ratings

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Mata Hati
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

Oh, what a wonderful album!

Tohpati is one of those Indonesian guitar-Gods I've recently discovered thanks to Leonardo Pavkovic from Moonjune Records, and I will always be grateful for it, because the quality and sensibility of this guitar player is amazing, his music has made me fell completely satisfied and happy to be alive. This is the second band of his band in which he is the leader, but whose other members are the perfect complement that one man need. Tohpati Ethnomissión's Matah Hati is a wonderful jazz-fusion journey that any fan from this genre and some other genres such as progressive rock or folk could love.

It starts with "Janger" and since the first notes we can notice a delicious sound made by percussion and an evident Indonesian flavour. Let me tell you that this is an instrumental album, so please, be prepared to start a wonderful journey. The song is superb, with some slow passages and some explosive moments. The guitar is amazing but I love what the other musicians do, especially the man on percussion and those flute moments. Sweet! "Tanah Emas" shows the evident talent of the bass player, either with solos or as background. This tune is pretty jazzy with some western feelings, this time.

"Pelog Rock" is an amazing, vertiginous, powerful rock/jazz/fusion/prog track, it is an big proof of how those genres can live together without being forced. The song flow perfectly in spite of its different time changes, all the instruments have their shot, but of course, as one can imagine, Tohpati's powerful solos shine. A truly amazing track! With "Mata Hati" we can take a deep breath after that previous bomb-track. Here the sound is much more relaxed and even introspective, so if you wish, let the music talk and take you to calm places.

Another contrast. After that calm track, the faster sounds, the rock and jazz-fusion that make us move our heads and body return in "Berburu", a solid and delicious composition that also bring (as most of the album) some cultural references from that rich Indonesian realm. Worth mentioning the musicianship is impressive! "Rancak" has a joyful feeling that will surely put a smile on you. The 6 minutes are full of folkish tunes made by flute and acoustic guitar, which at the same time create a jazzy scheme. "Reog" is, for some strange reason, the song I less feel connected with. Maybe it is the most experimental track of the song, and it is a great one, believe me, though I could not fall in love with it. There is a very cool drums solo, though.

"Pangkur" has a one-minute soft introduction and then the song changes and becomes more aggressive. Again, a feast of fusion can be found here, amazing strings, drums and wonderful winds gathered together in order to give us a cool musical experience. The album finishes with "Amarah" which is an amazing track that has a percussion introduction that leads to an explosion of heavy guitar riffs wonderfully accompanied by a soft flute. The band chose a pretty cool heavy tune to finish the album and let us mesmerized by this fast and addictive sound.

Friends, go and listen to his record, you will not regret. Enjoy it!

 Mata Hati by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.99 | 19 ratings

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Mata Hati
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Tohpati Ario Hutomo (a.k.a. Bontot) is probably best known for his twenty-year tenure in the incredible simakDialog, but he launched his project Ethnomission back in 2010 with 'Save The Planet', and at long last he has brought the band back for a second venture. He of course provides all the guitars, and is joined by Demas Narawangsa (drums), Indro Hardjodikoro (bass), Endang Ramdan /(kendang ? a type of two-headed drum used particularly in Gamelan ensembles) and Diki Suwarjiki (suling ? a bamboo ring flute, also used in Gamelan ensembles). If that wasn't enough, they are all joined on the opening track by the Czech Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michaela Ruzickova, which certainly adds a different feel to the overall piece.

With the instrumentation being used, it would be easy to imagine that this is a hard to listen to (to Western ears) romp through traditional Indonesian music, but that is a long way from reality. Tohpati is a guitarist with an incredibly clear sound, and while he is often at the core of what is taking place, he knows just when it is time to step to one side and let others take over. Indro is a revelation, with some stunning bass lines, and one can imagine Tohpati there with a huge smile on his face as he lets his bandmate take centre stage. There is a lot of Indonesian musical references and styles, of course, but this is fusion at its very truest, fusing not only jazz and melody but also Asia and the West in a way that is seamless, marvellous, and entrancing. There is only one thing to be done with an album as good as this. When you shake yourself back into the real world after the fifty-two minutes have flown by, have a good stretch, settle back, and put it on again.

 Mata Hati by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.99 | 19 ratings

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Mata Hati
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Here's some ethno-coloured instrumental fusion from Indonesia. The composer and guitarist Tohpati has formerly played in a prog fusion group SimakDialog -- not that I'd known them either in advance. The opening track 'Janger' features Czech Symphony Orchestra, which gorgeously finishes its pomposity. As a whole the album keeps rushing ahead with excellent electric guitar playing and complex rhythmic structures. The tight, superbly produced sound is enrichened by suling flute and tarompet (= Indonesian clarinet). The ethnic elements are, most of all, an ingredient without becoming very central in the compositions per se. For example PIIRPAUKE from Finland made much more world music oriented ethno-fusion in the 70's. Basically this quintet continues the Western tradition of virtuotic, guitar dominated jazz rock in the vein of FRANK ZAPPA and MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. And they really rock! A bit too much for my taste, actually.

One can only imagine the powerful impression this group would make on stage, when already listening to the album is such an energetic experience. Indeed there are no weak tracks on this 51-minute album, but perhaps a couple of slower and more peaceful compositions amidst all the panache would have done good for the dynamics. Now those calmer moments have been narrowed into tiny doses such as in the beginning of 'Pangkur'. So, my firm recommendation goes especially for the friends of fiery fusion with a taste for ethnic elements too.

 Save The Planet by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 20 ratings

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Save The Planet
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by justaguy

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 inspiring. And it does bring every time such exciting results! If there exists such a bond at all nowadays, it is between Tohpati and his guitar. Listening him playing, I realize, that the art for art sake music, performed a while earlier by such great musicians as John McLaughlin and Robert Fripp, is not dead. And what does it matter, if the man is also aware of the environment? As long as he saves the planet with his guitar playing, I don't mind.

Tohpati is not a new figure on the Indonesian fusion scene. He played together with SimacDialog, another Indonesian fusion band. Listening to SimacDialog's last record "Demi Masa", issued on MoonJune in 2009, I already made a mind note to keep track of this wonderful guitarist. He was actually the best thing on the record. It was a really pleasant surprise for me, to see his own project Tohpati Ethnomission to produce this year such a masterpiece, "Save the Planet". Save us, Tohpati, from the MTV's mediocre R&B and rap, please!

The music is very guitar oriented, yes, but the rest of the band gets their time to showcase their talents. The sundanese flute is very evident on all the songs and gives the compositions, together with the frenetic Indonesian percussions that exotic Asian flavour that makes it so distinguishing. Midi synth guitar, played by Tohpati, smoothen the arrangements up into a really exciting happening. The stile ranges from Fripp-like avant-garde to something, that John McLaughlin, George Benson and John Scofield could produce.

From the first note, the record catches your attention and keeps it in it's hold, to the very last sound. It is all there, beautiful tunes, perfect techniques, imaginative improvisations and fine arrangements.

 Save The Planet by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 20 ratings

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Save The Planet
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

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. www.moonjune.com

 Save The Planet by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 20 ratings

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Save The Planet
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

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.

 Save The Planet by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 20 ratings

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Save The Planet
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

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.

 Save The Planet by TOHPATI ETHNOMISSION album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.77 | 20 ratings

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Save The Planet
Tohpati Ethnomission Jazz Rock/Fusion

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.

Thanks to snobb for the artist addition. and to kazuhiro for the last updates

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