Tohpati - Tribal Dance

Tohpati Tribal Dance cover
Tribal Dance
MoonJune Records
Tohpati’s previous work as a trio, “Riot” (read the review here), left me some very good impressions, so I had been looking forward to this talented & acclaimed guitarist’s new release.
To my amazement, the first thing I noticed is that Tohpati is accompanied by the renowned drummer Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Andy Summers, Ed Mann, Dweezil Zappa, Allan Holdsworth, Steven Wilson etc.) now and the also famed bassist Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Blackjack, Allan Holdsworth, Tommy Bolin Band etc.). The second thought was: “this can’t be just good”! Hell yeah, I was so damn right!
To comment on the music prosperity & quality of the aforementioned musicians would be an pointless thing to do, hence – in a few words – if you haven’t heard any of the abovementioned musicians before, better stop reading now and get back to your popy-shiny-gay world, where silly little “music” rules.
All tracks were recorded live at EchoBar Studios, North Hollywood by Bob Horn, apart from “Supernatural” which was recorded at Tohpati Home Studio, Jakarta, Indonesia. The album was mixed and mastered by Eko Sulistiyo at Aluna Studio, Jakarta, Indonesia. The production is first-class & crystal clear. You may wonder how it is possible to record such demanding and complex music parts “live” but in truth to be told for such eminent musicians that’s piece of a cake! Even though this is a totally instrumental album, some Indonesian vocals on “Rahwana” have been done by Pak Kompyang and Iwan Wiradz.
“Tribal Dance” can be described as a progressive, prog rock, jazz-rock, rock, jazz/fusion, ethic, funk, avant-garde, atmospheric & experimental “music orgy”. Tohpati is an imaginative & technical composer while the power duo on the rhythm section is truly overwhelming. Somewhere between the technical skills and the improvisation there’s room for melodies and atmospheric passages. That’s what I like the most on “Tribal Dance”. Other musicians of this genre tend to expend 99% of their time on improvisation and technique… this is where this album wins through in comparison to others. For instance “Spirit of Java” will amaze you with its moody, idiosyncratic & esoteric atmosphere. Brilliant track indeed! The same goes for the “ethic” “Red Mask” & the funk-o-rock “Run”… and more or less for every track here. Who said that technical, progressive, rock, jazz/fusion music can’t be enchanting & efficient at the same time?! “Tribal Dance” is not only recommended for the musicians but for all the open-minded music devotees…