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by World Music Network January 09, 2012


Forthcoming WMN Release: Sambasunda Quintet

The World Music Network team are seriously excited about the forthcoming addition to our Riverboat Records label at the end of the month. On 30 January, the Sambasunda Quintetwill be bringing a set of ethereally beautiful music centered on the kacapi, a traditional boat-shaped zither, on their new album 'Java'. Spacious and stripped down, deeply rooted in tradition, yet highly inventive – the sounds of 'Java' will transport listeners to the Indonesian archipelago and beyond.

The Sambasunda collective are internationally renowned for their fresh approach to the traditional music of West Java. The group’s album, 'Rahwana’s Cry', was recently featured in the article ‘The Life of Songlines in 75 Albums’, reinforcing their standing as some of the most dynamic and original innovators on the contemporary world music scene. Following on from this success, 'Java' features a quintet of musicians from the larger collective, a new and creative offshoot. Whilst retaining the influence of their previous work, the smaller ensemble allows for a lighter, more spacious sound that illuminates a new and imaginative artistic direction.

Joining the haunting sound of the kacapi, female vocals, violin, suling (bamboo flute), and khendang and kulenter drums are also heard. Although the instrumentation is traditional the music is performed with a distinctly urban rhythmic accent, reflecting influences of local and international pop music prevalent in West Java’s thriving capital city, Bandung. 

To get you as excited as we are, check out the video below of the quintet performing 'Bulan Sapasi' ('Crescent Moon'), a poetic song telling of a lover’s tryst as witnessed by the moon, filmed in their native Bandung, West Java.

UK Tour Dates: 

09 Feb Colston Hall, Bristol 
10 Feb mac, Birmingham 
11 Feb Lighthouse, Poole 
12 Feb Union Chapel, London 
15 Feb The Stables, Milton Keynes 
16 Feb The Junction, Cambridge 
17 Feb Pontardawe Arts Centre 
18 Feb South Street, Reading 
19 Feb NCEM, York 
23 Feb The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead 
24 Feb Band on the Wall, Manchester 
25 Feb North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford 

Click here for further tour information