“This album is all about my self-journey and based from what I’ve seen and experienced, the music that I’ve been into in my career, both in concept and the music style. In short, you will know who I am and the kind of music that I like by listening to it.”
That’s what Indro Hardjodikoro said to us about his new solo album entitled “Cerita Baru” (“New Story”). This album was launched last Monday (June 16, 2014) at his regular event @Jazz Spot. This album is the continuation to the first one “Feels Free”, released in 2010. This newly launched album simply plays a sequel, the next chapter of Indro’s life story, 4 years later.
No one would argue that Indro Hardjodikoro is one of the most important figures in the development of jazz in Indonesia in the last 2 decades. He has inspired many musicians either as an active player or a teacher – many upcoming young bassists started out as Indro’s pupil. As a player, he’s been active since the late 80’s by being involved in many groups and recordings. He was in the famous fusion band in the 90’s, Halmahera before he got in the first formation of Riza Arshad‘s simakDialog besides other muti-genres projects and recordings. Indro in the old days was, and still is, a high-demanded sessionist due to his versatility and distinctive playing. But he’s been concentrating in making his own works for several years for good reasons. He want to craft some of his original pieces that can be enjoyed by music listeners longer than his life, and of course he wishes to develop Indonesian music industry. “That’s what I always keep in mind whenever I do something.”
One day in 2007 while he played in a concert, he found enlightenment. During the play with an orchestra he suddenly thought, “I won’t go anywhere if I don’t make my own work, something that represent myself and lasts longer than my age.” From that point on, he worked on his first-ever solo album that finally released in 2010 which established the new day of his life as a soloist.
He was great back then, but he seemed to get much more energy after taking this important move. Soon after he established his group named Indro Harjodikoro & the Fingers. This unique group places bass in a totally different way. In this group he pushes his instrument, bass at the front, that said without diminishing the role of other players. Starting with four basses, now the band is satisfied with 2 bassists, Indro himself and his former student, Fajar Adi Nugroho.
One album entitled “Traveling” received success in the market, and they have gained popularity not only in Indonesia but stretched much further to Russia. Recently the band got a new drummer, an 18 year-old prodigy Yandi Andaputra. The second album of Indro Hardjodikoro & the Fingers is currently in mastering process, you can expect it to be released soon.
His second solo album, Cerita Baru is cored in jazz-fusion like how we expect. That’s the red line, but he offers something new in it. “It’s made with a new concept, much lighter than before, based on things that I experienced in daily life. Other than that, the album features different players and it has one vocal track, “Sampai Mati”, Indro explains. Since the album fully expresses his true-self, we can see his other side we did not see in his previous album, which rooted in pop. About this he says: “I just let everything flows freely, without planning anything for this album. Then I found out that I’m actually more into pop fusion than pure ones.” With this fact, we know that this album will be able to reach wider segment of audience without any problem. “Yes, the songs won’t be difficult, everyone can enjoy it despite of the genre they are into.” he furthermore says.
Speaking of lineup, in this album Indro brought many of his own friends including Yoseph Sitompul, Andy Gomez, Egy (keys), Wandi, Utox (guitars), Yandi Andaputra, Jeane Phialsa (drums), Ricad Hutapea, Fabion (saxophones), Andi Zoel (vocal) and Indra Dauna (trumpet).
The album ranges from ballad to upbeat, but all have its own story and messages. For example, “Tetaplah Bertahan” (“Hang On”). In this song Indro got the inspiration from the problems that he was into. “It could take time to settle, it could give you troubles, it could even hurt, but do hang on while you’re dealing with it.” he says. Then in “Menarilah Matahariku” (“Dance, My Sun”), Indro expresses his joyful feeling when he watched his children dance. “Your Love” talks about someone who’s waiting for an answer, whether his love is accepted or not. “Menunggumu” (“Waiting for You”) is based on quite similiar theme, but he emphasizes on the message that it’s worth to wait, since we’re waiting for the one we love.
One of the unique themes can be found in “Foggie Night”. As Indro lives on the hill, he often has to go through fog in order to reach home. “Our sight are usually blocked when driving through fog, so it’s kind of mysterious what lies ahead.” he explains. “Our Moon” is about long distance relationship, “Fly Me” will take you up to dance in between clouds, and a recycled song from the first album titled “My Angels” is completing the whole package. According to Indro, the album has a lot of ballads tracks this time. “I think this album is quite romantic, and friendly too.” he says.
The album actually already got its form since 2 years ago, but due to Indro’s hectic activities with his group, it had to be delayed. Slowly but surely he added more and more materials until the result satisfied him. The cover of the album was done by Rhesa Aditya (of Endah N Rhesa) and Gamal.
At the album launching gig @ Jazz Spot, Indro introduced every song contained in it by the help of fellow musicians such as Yandi Andaputra (drums), Adra Karim (keyboard), Yankjay (guitar), Ricad Hutapea (saxophone) and Gilang Samsoe (vocal). In front of many supporting friends and fans, the band gave out a tasty teaser of what the fans can get by purchasing “Cerita Baru”. As usual, the jam session was on too and quickly taken by many attending musicians. One note: there were many bass players came that night, following the second meeting they had just a couple of hours earlier for the purpose of cooking up Indro’s idea: Bass Day. This event will gather cross-genre and cross-city bassists, planned to be executed around September. Bass day. How awesome is that. We will keep you updated.
This album is bass-ically Indro. It gives a perfect reference to go into Indro’s music and provides a window to see his innerself. You can feel his romantic side, his encounter with music that encompasses a vast range of genre from pop, rock to jazz, and of course things that he lived and learnt in his life. Some songs tells stories, some others give positive message without leaving the joy. “Music should be able to entertain people and give them energy,” Indro says. “While I made each song based on what I felt and liked at one particular moment, every track aims to entertain the listeners. Because there’s no need for you to craft a piece if no one enjoys it.” So in some ways, Indro’s back to bass-ic: making something that’s purely related to himself but at the same time give good entertainment to the music listeners. In the end, he also gave an important message to everyone, especially the young players. “You can learn how to play well, you can learn the progressions, learn how to swing. You can absorb the culture. But in the end you have to be true to yourself. Transform everything you learn to shape your own style and stick to it.” Be original, that’s what he wants you to be.
The album “Cerita Baru” is now available in stores. Soon we will have it too in our online stores, http://store.jazzuality.com. As we have said before, an album can become a window to see the artist’s life journey, his soul and spirit. When it’s about a musician who has been actively working on and off stage in countless projects for more than 2 decades like Indro Hardjodikoro, it should be even more interesting because we can find out what he’s made of and shaped as, music-wise speaking, after that long spanning years of career. Even if this doesn’t interest you, you can enjoy the album despite of what your music taste is. This one is rooted in fusion, but even if you’re not into jazz, you shouldn’t have to worry because it’s made light and easy with more pop approach. Grab a copy and let him guide you into his world through music.