LIGRO. Read the word backwards and you’ll find “orgil”, a shortened for “Orang Gila” or in English means “Crazy People”. What kind of band named themselves with this kind of name? Actually the name fits totally to describe three men behind the group. Crazy here doesn’t mean that they are having some kind of mental derangement, but more to their freedom of creating something unusual and might never been or seldomly explored by others yet. They are powerful, chaotic, in some parts can be derange, provocative and even able to deliver some terror within their music, yet they create lovely harmony when they all fuse into one single unit. Agam Hamzah on electric/acoustic guitar, Adi Darmawan on electric bass and Gusti Hendy on drums, these are the guys who succesfully create this musical concept wonder since 2004. They started this project by producing some composition until their first album “Dictionary 1” was out in 2008. With each personnel’s varied cultural backgrounds; Adi Darmawan from Madura, Gusti Hendy from South Kalimantan, and Agam Hamzah is mixed between Aceh and Sunda; the unlimited creativity, the bold braveness of making up something ‘unthinkable’ and of course backed with their high skills, their music appears to be somewhat unique.
Due to this fact, some people describe their styles differently. Some say they are a fusion or jazz-rock band, some categorize them in free jazz, hardcore jazz, avant-garde or even experimental. Other than jazz and rock, they can have some bluesy part, reggae or even classical here and there. So it makes sense that people could have mentioned their music style differently, and Agam Hamzah never minds it. All those elements can appear in their music. It’s Ligro Trio, or in short LIGRO’s type of music. It may sound complex, but it never fails to create curiousity among the listeners, especially to the new ones. “What kind of music is this? Never heard anything like this before.. but it’s very, very interesting. They are insane!” said one of the audience who watched their performance in North Sumatra Jazz Festival in July 2011 to us. We told Agam and Adi about it shortly after and they just laughed. That’s the LIGRO’s music. It’s edgy, it’s provocative, it’s different, and yes, above all, it’s cool.
[flickr id=”6766127529″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”center”]
[flickr id=”6766132573″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”left”] After more than 3 years, finally we received an invitation to the official 2nd album launching. Located in Rolling Stone Cafe, Jakarta, their new album “Dictionary 2” has been launched. This album will be released internationally by MoonJune Records, following other Indonesian groups such as simakDialog, Tohpati Bertiga, Tohpati Ethnomission and I Know You Well Miss Clara. While the first album was sold independently in small circle, this time LIGRO made a big leap. Now they could realize their dream to be acknowledged by the whole world.
[flickr id=”6766130559″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”right”] Fellow musicians (Dwiki Dharmawan was there too), composers, medias and their fans gathered in this special occasion to share the happiness with LIGRO. “Speaking of energy, this album is much more crazy. That’s the core of the progress of this second album. Ligro has found stronger chemistry in this one.” said Hendy who also plays in GIGI. “This album flows more smoothly than our first one. As musicians we feel that our music is original, smooth flowing and progressive.” he continued. Then Agam added: “more spontaneity and more flowing.”
[flickr id=”6766127125″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”center”]
[flickr id=”6766132397″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”right”] Just like in any of the previous concerts of LIGRO we’ve covered, some unusual objects were seen on stage for a first bite of the album. Such as woodblock, nail, iron plates, hammer and spatula. At the Rolling Stone Cafe’s stage, those items were all over the stage from the start. No, they were not going to build anything. All those items were going to be used as the part of ‘instruments’ by Adi for the song “Bliker 3”. We have heard this ‘gutwrenching’ song in their live act several times, but now at last we can listen to it on CD. Adi didn’t look like a musician when he played with those things. He looks more like a carpenter, construction worker or such, he nailed the woodenblock, smacked the iron plate with spatula and hammer, and drop the nails onto the iron plate. He said he used those items to make more natural sound, and as he did it. That act made an absurd sound but really it made their music felt [flickr id=”6766129525″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”left”] even more alive and unique. Not just that, in the drum section we could see a spiral shaped cymbal, and also a gondang as a replacement of tomtom being played by Hendy. Hendy also removed the smallest cymbal and placed it in top of his snare, and so it added another great tune and completed their craziness. On the other hand, Agam played his guitar with chaotical rhythm. This trio indeed have a creative way to express their originality. They use varied items to create a new sound backed with their amazing individual skill. They harmonize perfectly with their music. As the show went by, the energy that bursted out from their play were nicely absorbed by the people. Even when they played a song with slow beat, the energy could still be felt strongly in the atmosphere.
[flickr id=”6766129823″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”center”]
Combination of Jazz, Rock, Ethnic, and Classic were collected inside their music, combined perfectly to create something new, something unusual unlike what we used to hear before. Everyone who has watched their performance would surely be stunned listening to LIGRO. No matter how many times you’ve heard them before, you’ll still amazed with their music. Again they successfully flipped their audience from one side to another, visiting the edgy, deepest corners of jazz or in bigger scene, music. We do need this kind of band to represent something different yet spectacular. There are many sides of music still uncovered, and we need brave musicians with big guts and creativity to dig them up. LIGRO stands in this field, and they are not over yet. Let’s support them, and wish the best for their international journey with the second album, Dictionary 2. We have listened to the album, and yes, they have risen up the level into another new height. Such a challenging album to listen, hopefully the album will appear at our Online Store for you to grab. Congratulations LIGRO for your second album! It’s time to show the world what you’re capable of. Salute!
See more pictures:
[flickrset id=”72157629041199935″ thumbnail=”square” photos=”” overlay=”false” size=”small”]