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bangkutaman


Bangkutaman is widely known as a psychedelic folk-rock with the madchester aura band. Bangkutaman, which taken from Bahasa Indonesia with the meaning “park bench,” was originally formed by J. Irwin and previous bass player of bangkutaman, Bayu Prabowo, in 1999, Yogyakarta. The band members are J. Irwin (lead guitar & backing vocal), Wahyu “Acum” Nugroho (lead vocal & bass guitar), and Dedyk Erianto (drums). Until this very day, the band has been juggling for 10 years as indie band, and has encountered few transformations in its musical influences and members. The early presence of bangkutaman in Yogyakarta was neither in the era of indie pop nor Brit pop. In fact, bangkutaman was born in the era of metal and punk. The era which was always represent the existence of Yogyakarta as a city of culture. The band struggled to make a scene as a minority. However, bangkutaman introduced Yogyakarta to a new level of music. Since the band used to covering songs by The Smiths or The Stone Roses, the local punk scenes began to comprehend the core of existence of bangkutaman. It was an advantage to say that the local punk and metal scenes in Yogyakarta were also fans of The Smiths and The Stone Roses. From that moment, bangkutaman was highly respected by the punk and metal scenes. The band even surrounded by important people from the scenes; the manager, the stage operator, and the band crew. They were all punks and metals. Bangkutaman was also the first indie pop band in Indonesia whose audiences did moshing and diving. And it continues until this very moment. The early years of bangkutaman was greatly influenced by UK bands such as: The Stone roses, The Smiths, the Charlatans U.K., Shed Seven, The Happy Mondays, The Inspiral Carpets, and, definitely, The Beatles. Their first mini-album, titled Fantasi, was an honest, raw and naive representation of the ones which influenced their musical views. With no money and experience, bangkutaman was starting out by making a significant mark to begin its journey as a band by releasing the singles Catch Me When I fall and Fantasi in the album. Soon after that, bangkutaman became the pioneer of indie pop movement in Yogyakarta, and highly respected by other famous indie pop bands and communities from other major cities in Indonesia, Jakarta and Bandung. The singer of the legendary Indonesian Brit pop band from Jakarta called Rumah Sakit, Andri “LMS” Ashari, even directed the first video clip of bangkutaman’s single, titled Kabut. Andri LMS is a close friend to the band and bangkutaman is always be the admirer of Rumah Sakit, even since bangkutaman had not been formed. Bangkutaman and Andri LMS performed together in some gigs in the past, performing The Stone Roses’ Waterfall and The Hardest Thing in the World. Initially, bangkutaman was known with the jangly and bluesy guitar playing with the 12 strings guitar modulator, accompanied by Wah, echo and overdrive sounds. Classic groove of bass playing. Plain vocal character. Groovy drumming style with punk beats. On most of stages, bangkutaman played folk-rock music with the madchester atmosphere. Their stage performance was notable with freaky dancing, Morrissey haircut, Batik shirt, and Reni’s hat. And definitely, the stage diving. Their next monumental movement was done by releasing their second long-album titled Love among the Ruins. By releasing Love among The Ruins, the band started to gain greater popularity. Few notable songs in the album that were included in this album: Kera, Sleeping Sand, Bunga Matahari, and Solomon Song. Not long after Love Among the Ruins, bangkutaman released the next mini-album titled Garage of the Soul. The newest album from bangkutaman. Garage of the Soul was said to be an album with the most definite sound of bangkutaman as a band. The album indicated that the musical influences had changed and reached a new level of musical prodigy. Bangkutaman began to sound more like The Velvet Underground, The Rain Parade, The Byrds, Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Donovan, The Monkees, The Doors, The Who, and other 60’s – 70’s bands. However, through this album, bangkutaman created more psychedelic sounds. The track Satelit represents the element in an obvious way. Another monumental track from this album would be She Burns the Disco which was notable as a perfect mixture between The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and The Stone Roses. She Burns the Disco was a hit single that made the band friendlier to the radio listeners. Until now, the song still makes the audience to sing along. While promoting the album through major gigs, unrecorded songs were also played on stage. Songs like Robby and Miracle shall Not Come So Soon were also notable for the genuine psychedelic folk rock/pop songs. After a brief promo tour of Garage of the Soul, unfortunate internal conflict occurred within the band and this made J. Irwin as Acum’s partner in writing songs left the band. Wahyu and Dedyk continued the band without their lead guitar. For two years, bangkutaman was in its down period. However, the band survived. The band members were live in two separated cities, and for this reason, the original members could not stick together as a band. J. Irwin stayed in Yogyakarta while the other two lived in Jakarta. Additional players were employed. It was a fact that some of bangkutaman gigs during that moment were done by Wahyu as the only original member of bangkutaman, and the rest were additional players. While Dedyk was busy pursuing his career in law firm, J. Irwin made his own hard-rock band called Johnny & the Pistol Heroes. Other than Johnny & the Pistol Heroes, J. Irwin also made solo albums which all have been done by himself in his home studio. When J. Irwin moved to Jakarta and made no significant progress in his solo projects, he decided to rejoin the band. Once again, bangkutaman back to its definite formation. The return of the band to its original members brought a significant popularity. The band even made its first international breakthrough by doing a gig at the Esplanade, Singapore. At the moment, the band is planning to make a new album. New songs has been created; Coffee People and Ode Buat Kota. Bangkutaman grows stronger than before. The music also becomes richer than before. The band even influences a few new indie-pop bands from Yogyakarta and Surabaya. Now, after ten years of existence, Bangkutaman is ready to share their music to the whole world.