SAJAMA CUT Manimal (The Bronze Medal Rec/Aksara Rec/Shining Rec)

I love pop music. Y’know, “pop music” as written and recorded in the 60s/70s, when producing something artistic and distinctive with tunes, lyrics, instrumentation and arrangements was the order of the day. Power of Pop was established to highlight bands and artists – past or present – who lived/live the reality of 60s (and 70s) infused music making.

I must confess that I have never had much of an interest in the Indonesian music scene but thanks to music blogger Eric Wijanata (check out his blog, Death Rockstar), I have learned the error of my ways. Right off the bat, Eric introduced me to Jakarta band, Sajama Cut, whom Eric described as the best indie rock band in Indonesia. And he was not exaggerating in anyway!

The band viz. Marcel Thee (Vox, Guitars, Electronics) Dion Panlima Reza (Guitars, Keys, Vox) Randy Apriza Akbar Thoha (Bass, Vox) Andreas Humala Simanjuntak (Keyboards, Synth, Samplers) Banu Mahari Satrio (Drums), Hans Citra Patria (Perkusi, Sampler, Electronics) has released three albums in its close to decade-long existence and parlays an eclectic musical approach into a pleasing concoction of pop confections.

And so on new album, Manimal, the band take all the best pop elements the world has ever known (Beach Boys harmony vocals, 60s chamber pop, 70s soft rock, 80s post-punk, 90s psychedelia) and delivers an almost perfect pop amalgam Рunforgettable melodies, melancholy vibes and knowing instrumental references.

Amazing songs all – from the sunshine pop opening of Painting/Panting to the haunting synth-drenched Street Haunts, Manimal is an album to be savoured from start to finish, with enough goodies in between to keep every truly obsessed pop lover engaged for a very long time. It’s almost the end of 2010, and I am so glad that I have discovered one of the albums of the year.

Highly recommended. But you already knew that…

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