The Indonesian Force is strong in this photo. Yusya, pictured here, though from rural Illinois, USA, Jakarta, Indonesia, and now Tokyo, Japan, and despite being a lover of Jazz, Rock, Pop, Ska, Reggae, Psych (see previous Tokyo Records Style post in which Yusya is showing off a monster record by Patto), and apparently an expert on Ween (my brother in Boognish), went full roots Indonesian for this photo, scoring not one, but TWO classic “Dangdut” albums, one by Elvy Sukaesih and another by Hetty Koes Endang, two legends of the Dangdut genre, I’m told. 

Yusya explained to me that Dangdut is an original music genre of Indonesia that combines folk, funk, city pop, disco, rock, reggae and others. “A close analogy would be like Enka in Japan or Country music the US.” Well, I listened to both records today and while different and similar, I was hearing a strange crossroads of so many sounds, maybe rhythms that I had heard in San Francisco while drinking horchatas and eating Mission burritos across from a vibrant Chicano-influenced mural, but also was reminded of tones from that lo-fi radio blasting bus that took me from Kathmandu to Varanasi while sitting next to a goat for a chunk of the journey. 

Ok, that seems to track a bit because, after a quick Google search, I read that the term Dangdut is an onomatopoeia for the sound of the Tabla drum, the one that goes… well… “dangdut”, haha. It’s also known as the Gendang drum, which is written “dang” and “ndut”. Yusya also explained that Dangdut is loved in Indonesia because of its upbeat groove and sometimes risqué performances, often considered vulgar by conservative Muslim circles, to the extent that it’s been banned on numerous occasions. The two Dangnut artists whose records Yusya scored are special because they were super popular in the 80s and 90s, and successfully toured throughout Asia, collaborating with Japanese artists such as Tokyo Ska Paradise! WHOA! 

Well, Yusya, welcome back to Tokyo Record Style this time and ANYTIME! You expanded our musical horizons with these scores and I just want to say, “Terima kasih”!

More Tokyo Record Style on the way!

Elvy Sukaesih – The Best Of Elvy Sukaesih
Label: Overheat Records – C25Y0127
Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Country: Japan
Released: 1985
Genre: Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Dangdut

Hetty Koes Endang – Berdiri Bulu Romaku
Label: Life – HM 1793
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Malaysia
Released: 1987
Genre: Pop

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