MoonJune Records continues its streak of astonishing musical discoveries from Indonesia with Dictionary 2
, the first international release by Jakarta's celebrated jazz-rock trio Ligro. Founded in 2004 by authoritative guitarist Agam Hamzah
and rounded out by agile bassist Adi Darmawan
and exhilarating drummer Gusti Hendy
. Ligro when read backwards, means crazy people" in the Bahasa (Indonesian national) language – but crazy in the very best sense of the word, signifying fearlessness, playful abandon, and a healthy disregard for shopworn musical conventions.
On Dictionary 2
, the trio blazes through eight volcanic studio performances of highly creative collective compositions. A prime example of the threesome's collaborative approach is the track Stravinsky," built on Hamzah's inventive arrangement of Igor Stravinsky
's An Easy Piece Using Five Notes" and transformed into something entirely Ligro's own through the imaginative contributions of Darmawan and Hendy. Propelling Dictionary 2
are the volcanic guitar excursions of Hamzah, a force of nature who breathes fire with his bruising, aggressive tone on tracks like the space-rock epic Don Juan," the hyperkinetic barnburner Bliker 3," and the maniacal (again in the best way) Etude Indienne." With him every step of the way are Hendy and Darmawan, who make the trio pulse and breathe like a single organism.
Ligro manage to be both impressively tight and appealingly loose in their execution, combining the energy and enthusiasm of a basement jam session with the assured technique of players thoroughly grounded in the best of contemporary instrumental music, with echoes of Jimi Hendrix
, Lifetime Visions Orchestra
, Robert Fripp
, vintage Terje Rypdal
, and the more adventurous precincts of progressive rock and jazz – including Miles Davis
, who gets a sly nod in Miles Away." The result is an arresting combination of the raunchy and the sophisticated that delivers an electrifying jolt to the field of global fusion.