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SENYAWA & STEPHEN O’MALLEY
Bima Sakti LP
Ideal Recordings 198 / SWE / 2020
Ancient Indonesian tradition meets doom rock in profoundly Ur ways on Stephen O’Malley and Senyawa’s collaborative commission for choreographer Gisèle Vienne. The six tracks of ’Bimi Sakti’ document groundbreaking ventures between Senyawa and O’Malley, yielding an incredibly powerful mix of electric guitar and bass guitar amp worship blended with the remarkable range of tonalities from Senyawa’s custom-built bambuwukir, plus traditional pipes and possessed vocals. Practically without precedent in the modern musical sphere, the 44’ release speaks to a resounding mutuality and common musical philosophy between two musicians who are usually geographically separated by a hemisphere. Slow to start, but culminating in a wholly dilated musical vision, the performance effectively collapses eons of musical practice and thought into a singular yet timeless expression of beauty and anguish that transcends the sum of its parts.