Category Archives: Indonesia 50-ies

Record Store Day 2015

CD album Happy Coda karya Frau.

CD album Happy Coda karya Frau.

Selamat Hari Toko Rekaman (Record Store Day/RD! Saya sebagai kolektor musik rekaman dan pemilik blog piringanhitam merasa sangat berbahagia pada pekan ketiga April ini yang bertepatan dengan Record Store Day. Ini hari untuk memperingati gerakan kembali ke musik rekaman fisik — yang dimulai dengan penerbitan album-album musik dari kelompok indie dalam bentuk fisik: CD, kaset, dan piringan hitam.

Tahun 2015 ini dilaporkan ada 300 rilisan khusus, dan 90 toko rekaman dan pernak-pernik, yang ikut merayakan RSD. Perayaan dilakukan di beberapa kota, khususnya Jakarta. Lokasi utama di Blok M, sebuah kompleks perdagangan yang sekarang ini entah kenapa menjadi pusat penjualan musik rekaman. Ini peristiwa kebudayaan yang membanggakan dan menggembirakan, bahwa apresiasi terhadap musik rekaman fisik tidak terbunuh oleh kehadiran teknologi digital.

Dalam postingan ini saya beri ilustrasi foto kemasan album Happy Coda karya Frau pada 2013. Frau salah satu yang sadar betul terhadap pentingnya kehadiran fisik sebuah album. Contohnya, ya kemasan album ini yang unik dan detail berupa kotak karton berbentuk bundar bergambar kaleng biskuit yang menumbuhkan tanaman bunga. Di dalamnya, disertakan booklet yang berisi data album dan lirik lagu yang dicetak di atas lembaran-lembaran bundar yang ditata berlapis-lapis. Kemasan ini benar-benar menghadirkan eksotisme fisik album. Ternyata kehidupan menghadirkan keseimbangan dengan caranya sendiri. *

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10 Best Lebaran Songs

Album Tahu Tempe, by Oslan Hussein, Irama.

Single Hari Lebaran, by Didi, composed by Ismail Marzuki, Irama.

Lebaran, or Idul Fitri festival is most important moment for Indonesian Moslems. It is a happy moment after fasting almost 30 days long. In this moment, people celebrate a winning moment for spiritual cultivating. And usually, music and Islamic song is part of this festival. Some musicians are aware of this such moment for composing song which express happiness and joyful. Some of the songs are memorable and almost become national anthem, since those songs always been heard in public space, such as mall, plaza and shopping centers.

I try to find out Ten Best Lebaran Songs, off course among my personal collections. And the result is:

1.Lebaran, composed by M. Jusuf, interpretated by singer Oslan Hussein, taken from album Tahu Tempe by Oslan Hussein, with a band Orkes Widjaja Kusuma under direction M. Jusuf, published by Irama, no date releasing.

2. Hari Lebaran, composed by Ismail Marzuki, interpretated by singer Didi, with a band Orkes Mus Mualim, a single LP, published by Irama, no date releasing.

3. Raihlah Kemenangan, composed by Elfa and Wieke Gur, interpretated by Elfa’s Singers, with a band Elfa Seciora, taken from album Lebaran, published by PT Aquarius Musicindo, 2004.

4. Joged Lebaran composed by Oslan Hussein, interpretated by Elfa’s Singers, with a band Elfa Seciora, taken from album Lebaran, published by PT Aquarius Musicindo, 2004.

5. Selamat Idul Fitri, composed by A. Mustofa Bisri and Neno Warisman, interpretated by Neno Warisman, music and arrangement by Dwiki Dharmawan, taken from album Tembang Lebaran under music director Dwiki Dharmawan, published by Sony Music, 1999.

6. Idul Fitri, composed by Tompi, interpretated by Tompi, taken from album Soulful Ramadhan by Tompi, published by e-Motion, 2010.

7. Fajar 1 Syawal, composed by Wandi and usep Romli, interpretated by Bimbo, Yanti Bersaudara, Lingga Binangkit, taken from album Wudhu, by Bimbo, published by Musica, 1990.

8. Lebaran, composed by Rhoma Irama. Interpretated by Rhoma Irama, taken from album Lebaran Bersama Soneta, published by Pelangi Record, no date releasing.

9. Lebaran, composed by Ibeng and AB. Utomo, interpretated by Osby, Ibeng, Aditya Gumay, AB Utomo, Sita and Nuke, arrangement: Agus Hendra Jaya, taken from album Nada & Dakwah by Garis, published Ceepee, 2000-ies.

10. Idul Fitri, composed by Tri Utami and Analta, interpretated by singer Gito Rollies, taken from album Tembang Lebaran under music director Dwiki Dharmawan, published by Sony Music, 1999. *

Best Version of Bengawan Solo

Image copied from Amazon.com

Gordon Tobing and Elfa Seciora on Bengawan Solo

Composer Gesang Martohartono who passed away on May, 20, 2010, was truly a blessed artist as I ever wrote in this blog. His works are not so many, only 44 songs — according to some media but I am still not sure –, but his songs — especially Bengawan Solo was interpretated in many versions and translated to at least 13 non-Indonesian languages.

I collected some of Bengawan Solo versions which interpretated by various artists such as Asiabeat, Anneke Gronloh, Oslan Hussein, Gordon Tobing, Elfa Seciora, Thung Boen Liong and so on. So which is the best? It’s depend on every body. I was personally impressed firstly by Bengawan Solo interpretated by Asiabeat, a world music group. This one is part of Monsoon album (1996). This version is such eclectic east-west isntruments with modern arrangement. For me, it is the best version of Bengawan Solo ever recorded.

But according Rolling Stone Indonesia magazine, Bengawan Solo which was interpretated by Oslan Hussein is the best one. This conclusion is derived from RSI statement that Bengawan Solo-Oslan Hussein is one of 150 best Indonesian songs all time. Off course, every body has his opinion. And may be some people rather like to listen to Gesang version on Bengawan Solo which was recorded on Lokananta LP version. What do you think? *

Bing’s Trick for Children Songs

Kaset Koes Plus Pop Anak Vol. 1, Bing Slamet dkk

Kaset Koes Plus Pop Anak Vol. 1, Bing Slamet dkk

When this First Koes Plus Album – Children Pop is played, my four years old son commenting that he like that song. But why the singer is orang tua, Indonesian word for adult singer? Koes Plus is Indonesian pop band who released albums in various genres including children song. His first children song album was published by Purnama record (estimated produced in 70-ies). It consists of 12 songs, most of them catchy, and song Pok Ami Ami is memorable. In the era of Koes Plus, some pop bands published children song albums. Indeed they published albums in various genres. Even Favourite’s Group under direction A Rijanto published album Dakocan, which was supposed his best album. The different between Koes Plus and Favourite’s Group in creating children album is, Koes Plus interpretated the songs with their adult voice, meanwhile Favourite’s engaged children singers to interpretate the songs.

May be children song should be interpretated by children singers. But there was such a way to create a hybrid children song. Look at what musician Bing Slamet done in this album “Bing Slamet dkk”. This album is B part of album “Nola Tilaar, Eva Nurdin, Sylvia Kusumaningrum, Band Zainal Combo” (Canary record, estimated produced in 60-ies). In this album, Bing Slamet sang a duo with him self but with distorted voice thru a machine. The result is a memorable album. An other hybrid is a song Jangan Takut Gelap by child singer Tasya and pop singer Duta of Sheila on Seven band (the Very Best of Tasya, produced by Sony BMG, 2005). The result is a succes album.

One of children song albums which was appreciated by Rolling Stone Indonesia magazine (December, 2007) as one of 150 best Indonesian albums is Balonku. This album was produced by musician Adikarso and Andi Mamon, and played by a Gema Irama band under direction Jack Lesmana. Unfortunately I don’t find yet this album. Do you? *

Two Classic Eid el-Fithr Songs

Indonesian music lovers should be proud because they have two classic songs about Lebaran which almost became national anthem. Those two songs are Hari Lebaran (The Day of Eid el-Fithr) composed by Ismail Marzuki (published by IRAMA) and Selamat Hari Lebaran (Happy Eid el-Fithr) which was popularized by singer Oslan Hussein. Malaysia who has similarity with Indonesia in culture, tradition and religion, has also songs to celebrate Eid el-Fithr season as compiled in album entitled Ragam Hari Raya (BMG record, 1992).

Those two songs Hari Lebaran and Selamat Hari Lebaran have it’s similarity and it’s differences. Ismail Marzuki version has caricatural lyric on Lebaran celebration, meanwhile Oslan Hussein version has descriptive lyric on Lebaran celebration. Both songs were closed to pop-Latin-cha-cha-cha genre, with faster tempo for Oslan Hussein version than Ismail Marzuki version. We hope that some day there will be a major label industry who republishes these two songs in such compilation album for Lebaran season. *

The Prototype of Dangdut

Thank God for bringing me these two albums Kafilah and Ya Mahmud of Kelana Ria directed by musician Adi Karso, and interpretated by legend singer Mashabi, Munif, Djuhana Sattar, and Adi Karso himself, in a single cassete. It was produced by Media and Disco record, with no date of releasing and with no appropriate image and title Keluhan Anak Tiri. Despite a bad cover and packaging of this cassete, these two albums are rare and valuable matter for Indonesian music history especially dangdut, or Melayu folk music. But for this post, let me talk an other aspect of album Kafilah.

The album Kafilah consists of 12 songs. This album actually consists of various genres, not only dangdut, even cross over. Musthafa is gambus-folk, Gelang Sipaku Gelang is chachacha-pop-with ketimpring percusions. Ja Gadzibny is gambus-Melayu-chachacha. Hati yang Luka is Melayu-Indian. Tong Sampah is pop-chachacha.

But what I want to talk is this album may be such prototype for dangdut music. Since this album consists of various genres, so the arranger and composer Adi Karso actually made any prototype for various kinds of dangdut-Melayu music. Song Termenung which interpretated by singer Ellya Agus is such a mellow-Melayu-Indian which supposed to be a prototype of mellow-dangdut for the next musicians.

Just check it to albums which released later entitled Penyakit Asmara by singer A. Rafiq (Naviri, DD record, no date). This album is about Melayu-Indian music, and song Hilang Tak Berkesan is likely prototype for Lirikan Matamu, a big hit of A. Rafiq.  Or album by Ida Laila and S. Achmadi the seventh edition (Indra, Golden Hand record, no date). This album is about a mellow-Melayu-pop-dangdut with it’s two hits Khayalan Masa Lalu, and Dip Dip. Is there critic dangdut music out there who can explain this?.  *

Teruna Ria’s Story

It is very rare to find Indonesian long play in 50-ies which included profile of the band. The exception is this album entitled Suling Bambu (Bamboo Flute) of Teruna Ria. Wrote by critic CH Hasmanan, the liner note talked about the story of Teruna Ria. Let me quote this note in it’s original version but with such modification. For non-Indonesian readers, I beg your pardon.

1. Teruna Ria berdiri kurang lebih pada 1956. Band ini sering show ke Bogor, Bandung, Tjirebon, Serang, Bumiaju, Jogja, Semarang, Madiun, Surabaja, Malang, Modjokerto, Palembang, Medan.

2. Pada mulanya, nama band ini Irama Cubana Teruna Ria, namun kemudian diubah menjadi Teruna Ria saja. “Hal mana tentulah lebih tjojok dan sesuai dengan kepribadian nasional kita”.

3. Sejak 1959, Teruna Ria secara teratur membuat rekaman di Irama. Pada mulanya ph standar 78 rpm, lama-lama menjadi ph djangka-pandjang (long play). Album Suling Bambu adalah long play ketiga.

4. Lagu-lagu mereka terdengar juga di beberapa film nasional, antara lain Teruna Djenaka, Gadis di Seberang Djalan, Detik-detik Berbahaja, dan Pesta Musik La Bana.

5. Pada 1956, Irama Cubana Teruna Ria terdiri dari: Zainal Arifin (gitar, leader), Rozaman, Rachmat, Indroto, Hans Runtukahu, Icksan, dan Sofjan. Oslan Husein dan Mus DS menjadi penyanyi tunggalnya. Oslan bisa menyanyikan lagu-lagu Minangkabau. Mus DS biasa menyanyikan ” lagu dengan irama hangat”, dan belakangan “menggali repertoar lagu-lagu Sunda”.

6. Teruna Ria secara teratur tampil pada acara malam musik di taman hiburan Wisma Nusantara setiap minggu. Formasi terakhir diperkuat Margono (pianis), dan Onny Surjono (bas dan penyanyi).

7. Musik Teruna Ria tidak menggunakan aransemen yang terlalu sulit, kata-kata lagu praktis, mudah dilafalkan dan ditiru dalam waktu singkat. Pernah mereka menemukan seorang botjah tjilik menyanyikan bait-bait Sinandi-nandi, di suatu dusun kecil di pantai Samudera Hindi jang sunji. *   

The Legend P. Ramlee

Indonesian young generation may do not know well P. Ramlee, a Malaysian composer. I know his name for the first time from album Legenda by Malaysian singer Sheila Madjid (EMI record, 1990). One of it’s song entitled Engkau Laksana Bulan (You Are Like A Moon) was composed by P. Ramlee. Interpretated by Sheila Madjid and arranged by Malaysian musician Roslan Aziz/Mac Chew, song Engkau sounded modern as well as classical.


Thank God that a year a go, I found a long play album by P. Ramlee entitled Ramlee’s Serenade (Rajuan Ramlee). One of it’s songs is Engkau Laksana Bulan which was interpretated by P. Ramlee and his orchestra. This song is absolutly the orginal and classical version. P. Ramlee actualy is Indonesian. According to Wikipedia, Ramlee was Teuku Zakaria, his birth name. Teuku is a title for descendants of noble families from Aceh of Sumatra, Indonesia. His father Teuku Nyak Puteh was a sailor from Lhokseumawe in the province of Aceh, Indonesia.

Born in Penang Malaysia, March 22, 1929, Ramlee died at May 27, 1973 in his 44 years old. As composer, he has wrote 300 songs. Ramlee was also an actor. During his career he directed and acted in sixty-six films. Among his films received awards from Asian Film Festival. *

What is the First Indonesian Pop Song?

This album Papaja Mangga Pisang Djambu by various Indonesian artists was selected as one of 150 Best Indonesian album all the time by Rolling Stone Indonesia magazine, December 2007. This album is truly valuable matter for Indonesian music history. Why?

First, it is an album by various artists who were on top lists in 50-ies, such as Teruna Ria, Kelana Ria, Adi Karso, Oslan Husein and so on.

Second, song Papaja Chachacha is cited as the first pop Indonesian song ever recorded on long play format.

Third, song Bengawan Solo was interpretated by legend singer Oslan Husein, one of important Bengawan Solo versions.

Fourth and so on, let me wait your comment on this my post. *

Track list
Album: Papaja Mangga Pisang Djambu
Artists: Various Artists
Bands: Lima Serama (directed by A. Usman), Kelana Ria (directed by Adi Karso), Teruna Ria (Zainal Arifin), Si Guntang (A. Chalik).
Publisher: Irama record

Side one:
1. Bengawan Solo (Gesang) – Oslan Husein
2. Embun Pagi (Soegito) — Emmi
3. Markonah (Adi/A. Usman) – Adi
4. Melati Berbunga (A. Usman) — Fatty
5. Papaja Chachacha (Adi Karso) — Adi
6. Bualan Alam (A. Usman) — Tuti
7. Tukang Solder (A. Usman) — Adi

Side Two:
1. Tamasja Gembira (A. Usman) — Rien/Tuti
2. Bangun Pagi (Adi Karso) — Adi
3. Bisikan Alam Maja (AA. Usman) — Titiek Puspa
4. Lenggang Kangkung (NN) — Mus. Ds.
5. Tiada Kasih (A. Usman) —- Fetty
6. Farida (Adi Karso) — Adi
7. Patung Kusangka Dia (A. Usman) — Adi
*

The Soul of Indonesia Raya

Trijaya FM, one of radio channels in Jakarta airs a programme entitled Sketsa Negeri. The first debut at 7 April 2008 is featuring speaker Hardi, painter and culture critic, with a topic about Indonesia Raya, a national anthem. Hardi said that Indonesia until now does not cultivate yet his soul, while awakening the soul is the essential message from Indonesia Raya lyric: “Bangunlah jiwanya, bangunlah raganya”.

Indonesia Raya was composed by Wage Roedolf Soepratman (1903-1938) when he was 21 years old. Born as Javanesse, WR Soepratman later study music especially violin, after getting such fund from Duetchman. Actually WR Soepratman wrote Indonesia Raya for song writing competition on 1924, as Hardi said to Trijaya quoted from Timboel magazine.

According to Wikipedia, the song Indonesia Raya was introduced by its composer at 28 October 1928 in a national youth convention in Batavia (now Jakarta). The song marked the birth of the all-archipelago nationalist movement in Indonesia. Though Indonesia Raya was chosen as the national anthem when Indonesia proclaimed its independence at 17 August 1945, but WR Soepratman was recognized by government as national hero on 1971. *