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Malaikat dan Singa

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Album Review

Washington state-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Arrington DeDionyso has a penchant for merging the constants of rock music with the vagaries of ethnic elements. In a gibberish-sounding vocal dialect that approaches Esperanto and Spanish, but is actually Indonesian translations, and inspired by the Zohar, William Blake, and David Scherer, DeDionyso also holds a distinct tonal allegiance to David Byrne. Instrumentally, he might also enjoy Albert Ayler or Eric Dolphy, African tribal sounds, raga-type drones, and especially alternative or punk rock. Many of the tracks feature him overdubbed on a variety of drums, keyboards, and woodwinds (especially bass clarinet), but he also employs helpmate Karl Blau on bass, drums, keyboards, and guitar, in the main. The campy and upbeat "Kedalaman Air" sounds as if it's on acid, but has no small share of joy in the way DeDionyso enunciates the lyrics. In exotic and kinetic phrases, "Mahkota Kotor" might sound nonsensical, but is cohesive in the Bizarro world, while a plaintive, serene, even pleasant "TakTerbatas" more closely reflects Pan-Asian values, accented by the viola of Jordan Dykstra. A bonus instrumental track, "Tenaga Halusinasi," at over 13 minutes, carries the spatial, meditative quality to an eventual and logical conclusion in a larger grouping with Dykstra, DeDionyso's bass clarinet, Blau's bass, drummer Andrew Dorsett, and the sruti box as played by Angelo Spencer. The snarly vocal attitude and heavy tribal beat of "Mani Maliakat," the space klang and contrasting singing on "Mencerminkan Mani Malaikat," and minimal repeat phrases of the harder rock-edged, punkish "Nama Bersembunyi" offer the starkest of contrasts. Then there are the devil drones surrounding the bompity bomp beat of "Rasa Senuth," splashing drum accents tossed in the fan blades of "Ruang Dan Viartu," or the three-beat industrial percussion workout "Mencerminkan Mahkota Kotor," urging the bleating contralto clarinet of the leader. Raw, wicked, totally quirky yet worldly, Arrington DeDionyso has hit upon an interesting, certainly unique new fusion sound far removed from the Bali-based gamelan or Java folkloric music it purports to stem from. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Compelling and bizarre

I heard a cut of this album on a local college station and was mesmerized. I tried to google this artist to see what language this was, but it only refers to his "...distinctly multiphonic throatsinging." Whatever. It is weird and wonderful. You will either love it, or detest you ever heard it.

An incredibly interesting band

Saw them live and picked up this album, it's quite good. Really punchy and interesting. And for the record, the language is from Indonesia


you people sound like your mental


Born: April 1, 1975

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Founding member and driving force behind the experimental Old Time Relijun, multi-instrumentalist Arrington de Dionyso spent most of his childhood in churches due to his minister parents. While his parents were working, de Dionyso occupied himself by playing around with the church's piano and organ. His parents noticed his interest and started him on piano lessons. Unhappy with the lessons, de Dionyso quit and forgot about playing music but continued to listen to ragas, African music, and whatever...
Full Bio
Malaikat dan Singa, Arrington De Dionyso
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