Boomkat Product Review:
Proper rhythmic psychedelic animism from Jakarta, Indonesia’s Uwalmassa, venturing their most significant batch of possessed percussion and hallucinacoustics on Matthew Kent & Andrea Zarza’s Mana - massive RIYL Photek, Raime, Source Direct, Don’t DJ, Ausschuss
Continuing Mana’s trip around the outernational dancefloor, Uwalmassa delivers a mesmerising batch of serpentine rhythms five years after they first impressed with their debut on Jakarta’s DIVISI62. Fancied by everyone from Don’t DJ to Jon K, that early release, and others by the collective’s Marsesura and Wahono, opened nonnative ears to a deep tradition of Indonesian heritage becoming fused with a global consciousness, resulting in some of the most fascinating, club adjunct music of recent years. On ‘Malar’ the Uwalmassa collective really gets inside that prism, conjuring incredibly deft ghost dances that uncannily resonate with aspects of Photek’s far eastern inspirations and Raime’s mutant footwork while firmly rooted in the band’s Indonesian identity.
Displaying a masterful grasp of tuned percussion and rhythmelodic cadence, the results are staged in a remarkable sort of electro-acoustic shadowplay where one is never quite sure of what’s real or not. The nine parts feel like we’re privy to secretive rituals held in the near pitch darkness, guided by both atavistic and futuristic intuition for a sound that leaves us wickedly nervy. From the tentative step out of ‘Gurum’, which could easily be mistaken for a Photek or SD intro, we’re diffracted thru mazy quick/slow permutations that never quite settle into a recognisable Western pattern, but only very subtly hint at them, preferring to keep it unmistakably, enigmatically native between the likes of their plucky stepper ‘Majuh’ and the almost D&B-like rolling of ‘Rantas’, thru more delicate tip-toe drums in ‘Putung’, and the reverberating metallic shudder and parry of ‘Karnal’.
don't sleep on this one, we tell you.