Review by Paul D Houston
Coming across truly unique music is becoming rarer and rarer these days. I'm talking about sounds so different, with rhythms and beats so odd, that it catches your attention automatically. You have to know what I mean. With the proliferation and possibly over saturation of music available to us, at times it seems brand new sounds don't stay unique for long, if they ever happen at all anymore. So, when I heard this debut album from Indonesian based band, Radakbanu, I knew I was hearing something really new and unique. There's an ethnic world beat to the 8 songs on this album, but seemingly filtered through raw punk ethos. The recordings aren't perfect and the vocals and instrumentation at times are scarily abrasive, but there's this enormity of sound within each of these tracks, that can't be denied.
Each song is captivating in its own right and equally unique. One song might be more tribal drumming based, with whispering flute and tribal like vocals. While another song the vocals are screeches and howls with loud guitar work. And still another song might be dark and mysterious, with a slumbering melody, almost ambient! The only real comparison I can think of is, The Secret Chiefs by way of the Boredoms. There's a clash of styles going on with this band and that's what makes this great.
I love the "ethnic" sense of this album, but the way RadakBanu have translated that kind of thing through a filter of punk noise and ingenuity really makes this something I wasn't expecting.
Check out this song for a taste...
Then try this one on. With its almost retro psychedelic sounding guitars and otherworldly vocals and then those world beat sort of instruments, popping in and out...
Do yourself a favor and check this album out. If you like strange, new and awesome albums, this is for you.
Here's the album at Bandcamp
Here's the album at Spotify