Balinese guitarist Dewa Budjana admittedly did not ascend through the ranks of music education, but his early interest in pop segued into a fascination with jazz. And other than his continuing involvement with the popular Indonesian band Gigi, Budjana was prompted by ex-Weather Report and all-world drummer Peter Erskine to record this album. In addition, the guitarist dedicates this thoroughly appealing musical statement to the victims of the horrific Tsumani.
Budjana merges his ethno-musical influences and roots into a wondrous set of Indo, jazz-fusion. With Erskine, bassist Dave Carpenter and others lending their wares, the music is largely about attainable concepts, fused together into a harmonically rich sequence of events. Consisting of sitar-guitar like shadings, firm backbeats and a contemporary jazz outlook, many of these pieces also feature sinuous developments and multilayered textural components. And when Budjana stretches out, he incorporates lyrically-rich progressions and speedy single note lines with variances in the sound of his e-guitar, which in effect, creates a colorific scenario. Teeming with solid compositions, designed upon climactic unison choruses with keyboardists, vocalists and percussionists using indigenous instruments, he generates mood-evoking sentiment here.
On "Lost Paradise," Budjana’s acoustic guitar phrasings are spiced with harmonics and electric guitar overlays, where folkish interludes with Dian Pramana’s wordless vocals cast notions of a far-away, but inviting landscape. Then on "Dancing Tears," the band conjures up remembrances of 70s-style progressive rock via snaky time signatures and thrusting rhythms. In sum, Budjana’s stylistic artisanship serves as a welcome breath of fresh air. It’s not all about killer riffing as the guitarist’s idiosyncratic compositional style bridges a potpourri of styles and genres that transmit a deeply personalized and altogether, absorbing program.