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Ligro - Dictionary 3 CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 14 ratings

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4 stars Review originally published at

Great experimental jazz rock from Indonesia!

Once again this Mexican listener and reviewer gets inside Indonesian musical realm, a world that was practically unknown to me until Leonardo Pavkovic from MoonJune Records introduced me to artists such as Dewa Budjana or Tohpati, and recently this talented trio named Ligro, whose career together began back in 2004, releasing their debut album in 2008, the first of the (letīs say series) entitled Dictionaries. This 2015 a new album saw the light, "Dictionary 3" in which we can enjoy 5 long songs that make a total time of 62 minutes.

Dictionary 3 opens with Bliker, a long track here with almost 15 minutes of great music. What we have here is a powerful and vibrant fusion jam, in which the trio is greatly complemented by Ade Irawan on piano, who helps creating a diversity of atmospheres and even emotions, than in moments might contrast with Agam Hamzah's guitars but anyways they manage to make the perfect match and sound truly interesting. After seven minutes the music becomes more intense, crazier, the guitars give more energy and one can easily shake head and enjoy the music. It is great to listen that every of the members do the best in his own channel, I mean, drummer Hendy never stops, he marks the rhythm and makes a lot of figures; bass player Darmawan sounds clean and accurate, also vibrant and emotional, his lines might be repetitive but hypnotic; and while this bass-drums base create the background, guitars and piano become the main character, mostly the guitar with some extraordinary solos that I repeat, are perfectly complemented by piano. This is the only track that has piano, by the way.

The longest track is "Pentagonal Krisis"; also 15 minutes of a journey through Ligro's world. Now we listen to the trio, without guest musicians and only with their conventional instruments: guitar, bass, and drums. This time the beginning is much slower and it is more difficult to get into it, because the first three minutes have only some soft guitar sounds that honestly did not made me feel attracted. That feeling changed when bass and percussion appear, because they together star creating a dark, somber atmosphere that in moments becomes scary with the guitar's intensity. This time Ligro's music becomes more experimental, and though yes, the word fusion might be a nice one to catalogue them, I think in moments they bring notes closer to experimental noise rock than to jazz fusion. The last minutes of this song become much heavier and I like it, but I think jazz fusion purists might not love it.

"Tragic Hero" starts slow again, this time is bass with repetitive notes that mark the rhythm, while some drums and guitars are perceived here and there. I think all songs are solid composition with great arrangements, but in moments one might think there were improvisations because the band wonderfully manages to generate expectations when the music is slow, and then all together are connected to make the rhythm grow faster and the sound noisier. So the music is constantly progressing, evolving, which is great. After three minutes there is a significant change, the sound has more energy and the guitar produces a nervous and heavier sound. So put your seatbelt on because you are about to enter to a heavy rock and experimental journey that in moments remind me of those King Crimson Thrakattak tunes.

Something different comes with "The 20th Century Collaseu" because despite it has another soft beginning, the feeling is different, guitars create a different atmosphere while drums bring a fast and nervous playing. This was a two-minute intro that fades out for a couple of minutes in order to open the gates to the rock and noise and yeah, the label noise rock is exemplified here in two minutes more than any other passage of the album. And I repeat, once again the term fusion here is valid, but closer to rock than to jazz. So far, I think I've adopted this as my favorite track of the album, the craziest one.

Dictionary 3 finishes with "Lonely Planet" the shortest song here, the only one that does not reach the 10- minute mark and I think the smoothest of them all. Here the craziness and experimentation does not appear at least for the first minutes, instead, we can try a relaxing and delicious song with a soft bass and delicate drums. However, the explosion comes at minute six when that (Let's say) Crimsonian sound appears again.

This is an excellent album by Ligro, I am happy I was introduced to it, and though honestly I was not love at first sight, the more I listen to it, the more I am enchanted. A great addition from the MoonJune catalogue.

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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