Machicha Mochtar: From Pop to Dangdut

Jumping from pop music to dangdut is not only singer Machicha Mochtar’s choice. There are several Indonesian singers who sing pop as well as dangdut, even diversived from ethnic keroncong to dangdut. To mention examples:

1. Hetty Koes Endang on album entitled “Astaga” (lagu-lagu melayu dangdut volume 2) produced by Musica, 1974.

2. Album entitled “Pop Melayu Pilihan” by various artists such as Grace Simon, Eddy Silitonga, and A Riyanto, produced by Remaco, no date.

3. Even ethnic keroncong singer Waljinah sang dangdut in album Merem Melek by Waljinah and Mamik Slamet (pop Jawa jaipong dan dangdut bahasa Jawa), produced by Dian record, no date.

So when Makassar singer Machicha Mochtar who released a pop album entitled Oke Punya Nich (MSC record, Bali Connection, December 1993), then release dangdut album ILALANG (?) and became hit, it is not something bizarre. This dangdut album by Machicha should be recognized better than Oke Punya Nich, especially it’s melodies. But actually album Oke Punya Nich is still better then ILALANG in arrangement. There is some thing new and fresh in it’s arrangement actually, because it was blended various genres techno, rap, rock, melayu, and pop.

This such experimental approach is because there are several creative artists behind this album, such as  Yongky Suwarno (musician from progressive pop genre), Ayu Weda (rock singer from Denpasar who then devoted herself for sufism), and even kiai Hamim Jazuli (a.k.a. Gus Mik, a spiritualist like Hazrat Inayat Khan). But unfortunately, this album is not succes commercially. *

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