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Dewa Budjana - Hasta Karma CD (album) cover

HASTA KARMA

Dewa Budjana

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.10 | 44 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the most recent album from Indonesian guitar icon Dewa Budjana, who has been in this musical scene for long time, creating high quality music with a clear tendency to jazz fusion. Once again under the Moonjune Records label, he released his new child entitled "Hasta Karma" which features six compositions that make a total time of 55 minutes. Here, Budjana chose some top-notch musicians that are featured in the album, so it is a guarantee of bliss to listen to this man with the company of Joe Locke, Ben Williams and the amazing Mexican drummer Antonio Sánchez.

It starts with "Saniscara", and I have to admit, the first thing that caught my attention was the drumming, I am fan of Sanchez, and am happy to see him collaborating with amazing musicians such as Budjana. The music is clearly in the progressive-jazz-fusion vein, guitars are soft and friendly, the bass is delicious, and the addition of vibraphone simply outstanding. The composition is pretty clean, it perfectly flows so one have only to enjoy what is listening to. Another point I love, is that each musician has its moment, so all are equally important.

"Desember" brings a slower track. The first couple of minutes are full of peace, but then they make a pretty interesting change, the mood becomes darker and a bit heavier, and then, Budjana gives an excellent guitar solo while the other guys produce a very cool variety of sounds as background. To be honest, there are moments where the name of Pat Metheny's bands comes to my mind, however, Budjana here adds more power to his solo, which is great. Then, it slows down again, vibes take leadership for a while, and the song flows once again.

"Jayaprana" has that inherent fusion tune and mood, so since the very first seconds it is normal to move the head, enjoy the rhythm while listening to this juicy track. Though this song passes the 8-minute mark, it is so great and friendly that all of a sudden, without noticing, it has already finished. The next one might be the magnum opus of this album. "Ruang Dialisis", a 12-minute epic that as I've read, was dedicated to Budjana's father. This track has a melancholic sound, a slow tempo mood that brings a kind of sad but hopeful atmosphere, it is like remembering good old times, like being in introspection. After four minutes, the music makes a change, and a traditional Indonesian chant appears, it was pre-recorded by his grandma, so this song has a truly personal flavor, that I assume means a lot to the guitar master. The vibes as usual are great, adding that Asian spices. Another change comes after minute 7, a chaotic passage where all seem to become a bit crazy, to lose control, so the atmosphere is a bit tense. Once again I would like to mention the musicians, each and every one of them, make a wonderful job.

The next song is "Just Kidung", and here the first thing I perceived was the piano, which is a new feature in the album, played by Indra Lesmana. The rhythm is just more into jazz fusion ala Metheny, some moments could be linked with the first couple of tracks. I enjoy it, it is sweet. After three minutes the music slows down, they are preparing something new. And it is Ben Williams who delight us with a bass solo for over a minute, and then, we have the luck of listening to a piano solo, so this combo gives nothing but smiles and satisfaction. In this moment, the name of Hiromi came to my mind.

Last but not least is "Payogan Rain", which is a relaxing, chill out track that can be enjoyed for anyone who looks for a peaceful moment. Here the new element is a melodica, played again by Lesmana. The bass sound is sensual, and the soft drums create a pretty sweet sound. Though this is a good track, I must say that to my ears, it is the weakest track of the album, and not my favorite one to finish what would have been a perfect fusion offering.

Dewa Budjana strikes again, he is a majestic composer and player, so a new album from him has to be received with arms and ears wide open. Please give it a listen, buy it and of course, enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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