From: "Tom Malik" <>
Subject: Report on Indonesia Progressive Festival 2001
After a slight delay of (...only...) 2 hours, the first Indonesia Progressive Festival went underway at 6:00 pm at the Bale Ayer - Taman Ria Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia attended by approximately 700 prog lovers.
The Indonesia ProgFest was a labor of love (more correctly, a labor of loss) of the Indonesian Progressive Society to resurrect Prog music in Indonesia.
Below is a brief report on the bands performing that night:
1. VANTASMA The band played their own composition very heavily influenced by Dream Theater (which they acknowledged). Given the opportunity and exposure the young members of Vantasma can develop their own style in the Prog Metal genre.
2. THE MIRACLE Everybody has to start somewhere...this band played Dream Theater covers badly at first but recovered after a few songs. Good vocalist.
3. IN MEMORIAM Surprise band of the night!!! This band came to one of the organizing committee meeting and submitted their demo cassette, we immediately agreed to put their name down solely based on the tape despite some reservation from those present. The band immediately changed their name from Dimensi (which is already used) to IN MEMORIAM on the spot! Their performance that night was a surprise to everybody...good musicianship, everybody was in costume (the guitar player in drag...very cute!) and original sound (a mix of Gothic, Jazz, Rap) reminds me of Mr. Bungle and Split Endz. THIS BAND HAS POTENTIAL!!!
4. EXTRA Another DT cover band...good skills.
After the 4 intro bands, we had the declaration of the Indonesian Progressive Society followed by our headliners:
5. PENDULUM Pendulum played their own instrumental compositions perfectly. A 4-piece band (2 guitars + bass & drums) that reminded me of Uzeb, Liquid Tension Experiment. They played songs from their demo album LEGENDA which was on limited sale that night...sold out minutes after they started playing (luckily, I bought mine earlier). These guys should quit their day job and concentrate on making music!
6. SMESTA A six-piece Neo Prog (2 guitarists) band that had 3 guests that night (female vocal, male poet and acoustic guitar). Although I'm too heavy into Neo Prog, the band improved a lot since I heard their demo cassette about a year ago (they had their latest demo CD on sale). Their songs are religious in nature (Religious Prog?) with theatrical performance. I liked their female singer (very Soul/R&B); one of the song reminded me of Pink Floyd - Great Gig in the Sky (although lower vocal range).
7. DISCUS When Discus came on stage it was already 12:00 midnight however about half of the audience stayed (~300 people). Discus set list: 1. Lamentation & Fantasia Gamelantronique 2. Breathe 3. Do(s)a 4. VERSO: Kartini (door duisternist tot licht) 5. Music for 5 Players 6. Anne Encore: Contrasts
Except for the first and encore, most of the songs will be in their second album which Discus will start recording soon; Anne was performed at ProgDay 2000 and Baja Prog 2001. My personal favorite is breath with "growl" like vocal by Anto Praboe, their sax player...image a Jazzy, Proggy growly song...if you can. Music for 5 Player is in the vein of Condisonance (from Discus 1st). It was almost 2:00 am when Discus finished their regular set and the crowd still demanded an encore to they surprise of the band who were very tired of waiting (they've been there since the afternoon sound check!). But Discus came back with Contrasts as encore. Personally, I think that it was Discus' best performance in Indonesia so far (they've only had a few...less than 10) because, as headliners, they were able to play all they wanted for as long as they wanted (they normally play at jazz venues as supporting act), they were playing to the right crowd (Prog lovers!) and they had good sound and lights (just a few glitches). Can't wait for their second album!
Overall impression: - Good bands and good range of genres (Prog Met, Neo Prog, Jazz Fusion) which was a great surprise because we weren't sure that there were Indonesian Prog groups at all. - Despite the early delay, the Sound System dan Lighting worked well all night. - Good friendly atmosphere...appreciative audience...CD trade and sales...and meeting new friends (we even had a Dutch E-Prog member attending! Thanks, Andre!)
The night proved that PROG IS ALIVE AND WELL IN INDONESIA!!!!!!!
Regards, Tom Malik