The Odd Admiration Named Barasuara

It was back on 2009 when Arctic Monkeys released Web Transmission. A 20 minutes performance of their then upcoming album Humbug. There was a chilling presence as each track revealed, a weird excitement, a bizarre amusement. That moment, I was sure I’ll be wanting to hear them more.

Today, the same odd admiration came to me. The layered sound and melody, the unusual song pattern, the word choices. The same chilling presence came back when I heard (and watched) Barasuara.

I might not be following the indie music scene too much here in Indonesia and my choice can only be limited to few bands like The Adams, Mocca, Sore, Float, Efek Rumah Kaca, and few others. Which most songs I believe I heard somewhere between the original soundtrack of some Indonesian movies. But Barasuara is an exception. I will quote Teguh Wicaksono’s foreword on the description on the video:

“Originally formulated as a one-man project, Iga’s decision to grant democracy to other members of Barasuara is spot on. With that line-up, making the rest of the member as additional players will be plain foolish. Already well-known bandmates Marco Steffiano, Gerald Situmorang, Asteriska Cabrini, Puti Chitara and TJ Kusuma are not only doing what they told to do, but also contribute substantial amount of power and clarity into the songs. Listening to the session, I am continuously awed by Marco’s smart, loud but tidy drumming. Producing the right sound, in the right time with the right volume is not a skill any drummer could do, especially faced with Barasuara’s steady but shifty approaches.

Songwriting is responsibly fresh, sound treatment is top-notch. Arrangement department is a nutritious delicacy for the hungry souls: you will recognise some Tinariwen juice, Sondre Lerche appetiser served with Jack White as Entree and some DD Dumbo as dessert. While the existence of backup singers in a band usually ended with question marks, the tranquility promised by Asteriska and Puti is far from ineffective, in fact they are the secret game changer of the whole Barasuara experience. Another thing that I noticed from Barasuara is they put real effort to avoid cliches. Right when you start to identify the pattern of the songs, suddenly they mutated into a different dimension, revitalised the songs for a moment before finally entering the punishing closure.” 

My favorite ones are Bahas Bahasa and Sendu Melagu. Afterall, it was the exact weird excitement and bizarre amusement. I know instantly that I’ll be wanting to hear them more.

PS: Barasuara’s first album, Taifun, will be released on October 16, 2015. If you are an Apple user, pre-order here at iTunes.

How I Fail To Complete The #28postsfor28

It’s October, 13th! I think I’d be lying to you if I say that I do well of completing the #28postsfor28 challenge. I failed :)) I wrote 18 out of 28 posts (including this post), and I feel guilty every time I left the day with nothing to post about. Sometimes, I find a reason to not post a thing because it is half-written or it has ton of grammar mistakes. Or maybe it is just like my life. I always want to achieve things, researched deeper, planned carefully, but in a matter of fact, not really wanting it. So I find a reason to fail, a way to escape. Anyway, this self-challenge is a good exercise to force myself to start writing again. Though I expect more poetic line or deeper thoughts, I like what I wrote this past month. Cheers to the rest of the year, cheers to write more and worry less. Read all posts of #28postsfor28 here.

The other day I was debating to delete a Categories in this blog called Ramblings. There are 51 blog posts categorized in Ramblings, and the latest one is dated back on 2012. When I kept scrolling to read it, I laughed a lot. I think, I already past a certain era of angst-teenager-slash-college-graduate-who-always-has-a-certain-ideal-about-life. On one of the post, I wrote “I am a judgmental person and I judge a lot.” Oh my, I think I’m ready to write a grunge song out of that. Maybe that is why I still keeping the tagline shallow and mad. Maybe it supposed to be saying too shallow and too mad. By the way, this one title Being Cynical Series is one of my favorite :))

Yeah, I think I used to get mad at the world and the reality it holds within. As if I’m not ready to face the consequences of me throwing a bunch of idealistic picture of how I suppose to run my life. When I read all those posts, I occasionally awed that I still have all those thoughts with a much more different processing thoughts now. I still considered myself as an idealist, but I’m not on the berserk-mode anymore :))

I think what shaped me and made me seeing better is when I meet a person who has the same way of thinking. I try to find out, is the thought annoying? Is this person annoying? Do I annoy people as much this person annoy me? It’s a good exercise on how you assess yourself amongst people. It is another way around when I met people who has different way of thinking. I thought of every possible reasons to get to the same opinion, so I can understand their thought process.

So there you go, the Ramblings post category is no more. But since I find out that the ability to laugh at yourself is an important one, I will keep them tagged on Ramblings. Maybe in the future I will meet an era of mother-who-always-complains or worker-who-never-satisfy-with-their-payroll and start to write some angry lines again. Oh, am I being cynical again now? :))

Anyway, since tomorrow is public holiday and I’m just a few days away from graduated out of the 27 club, let’s post more!

Good night, the night time worshipper.

Mid-day’s Finest

Your Sunday’s playlist strikes back. An exhausted weekend deserves a light mixtapes.

Mid-Day’s Finest

1. Fall Out Boy – Young Volcanoes
2. Oasis – Songbird
3. Alex Turner – Piledriver Waltz
4. Weezer – Burndt Jamb
5. Givers – Up, Up, Up
6. Phantom Planet – Lonely Day
7. Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
8. Kaiser Chiefs – Everyday I Love You Less and Less
9. Foo Fighters – Arlandria
10. Fleetwood Mac – Second Hand News
11. Vampire Weekend – Cousins
12. Neon Trees – Everybody Talks
13. Arctic Monkeys – A Certain Romance

If you happen on Spotify, hear it here.

The Time Bender


Back in 2006, Hiro Nakamura is a cult sensation. That time, a TV series named Heroes and its tagline “Save the Cheerleader, Save The World” became widely popular. Heroes has set of interesting meta human superpowers on the show, like the cheerleader, Claire Bennet. She has the ability to regenerate herself, thus cannot be killed. Nathan Petrelli has the ability to fly. Matt Parkman can hear all the voices in the world. But Hiro Nakamura is probably the most lovable. He possess the ability to control time and space. Hiro can transfer to anytime and anywhere in the world with a blink of an eye.

It is almost ironic since nowadays people struggle with time and space. As if 24 hours would never be enough for a day. Bad economy also forces us to works 2-3 jobs and everybody seems to have a business outside their 9-5 job. But sometimes, I can’t help but wonder. We ALL have the same time frame, 24 hours. While some likes to whine about things, some people organized their 24 hours and create magic.

Becky Straw - Jody LandersSome become activists and create jobs across the globe.

Butet Manurung

Some creates education programmes for indigenous peoples of Indonesia. 

Brit Morin

Some mix technology with DIY and create an addicting website that aims to unlock woman’s creativity.

Zainab Ghadiyali & Erin Summers

Some share stories and try to break the stereotype.

Jen Gotch

Some make the most awesome brand on the universe by creating fun stuffs (which some includes pink and glitters!).


Some just kick ass, got into college at 12, got into Phd at 16, and tries to give robot a heart.


While some just happen to be PRESIDENT.

Do you realize that all of them are woman and some of them are mother?

So, how’s your 24 hours treating you?

Faceless Mob

Growing up in Jakarta at the 90s, it is a luxury to have a private car. Nowadays, people seems to have their own car and occasionally commute or using other apps based transportation to save time in traffic. I always say that commuting takes big part of my way of thinking. I like to commute. Most of the time it’s not the easier option, nor the quickest way to the destination. But this is where I get to meet some faces.

Jakarta has been a melting pot for a lot of faces and it is maybe the most redeeming thing about the city. Some say that if you can handle Jakarta just fine, you literally can handle any other places in the world.

I admit that nowadays I spend a lot of time on the internet, especially when I commute. I think I do quite well on filtering things I don’t need. I don’t follow people who will only give negative effect and try to stay away from too much drama. But sometimes, I can’t help it and I throw curses too many times.

When I get tired about all of that and look up to the entire sea of people, I realized this is the view that matters. The real faces of the city, or maybe the country. They don’t ask for permission to Repath things and doesn’t care a thing about Like button. These people get up early, most of them go out when the dark still lurk and get home when the sun already sets. These are faces that matters. They’re angry if the bus doesn’t come on time, they give help without expecting something in return. No one pretends to be someone else.

Next time you go angry at those faceless mob on the internet, remember the spell. Channel your energy for things that matter. Give the attention to people who need it the most. Let’s live more and give more.