Monday, 21 May 2018

Harry Roesli “Ken Arok” 1977 Indonesia Psych Prog Rock Opera


Harry Roesli “Ken Arok” 1977 Indonesia Psych Prog Rock Opera
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After 41 years now the legendary Rock Opera album Ken Arok from Harry Roesli Gang is again available. Originally released in 1977 by PT. Eterna Tunggal Indonesia in cassette form, is now re-released by La Munai Records in a limited number of records (333 copies) with better sound quality remastered by Carvery Cuts, London. Comes with booklet and two stickers…..~


Jakarta, CNN Indonesia - The work of music seems timeless. After being released 41 years ago, Harry Aesel’s Rock Opera album by Harry Roesli was re-released with a record format. 
Label that overshadowed the release of the album, La Munai Records, said the vinyl version of this album only dirlis with a limited number of 333 pieces. 
Rock Opera Ken Arok was first released in 1977 by Eterna Records with a cassette form"Now, re-released with better sound quality results remastered by Carvery Cuts, London,“ wrote La Munai Records statement in a press release received by CNNIndonesia.com. 
Harry is an Indonesian character who managed to produce contemporary music. He formed The Gang of Harry Roesli in 1970. 
In the group, Harry is accompanied by Albert Wamerin (guitar, percussion, vocals), Janto Soedjono (drums, percussion), Indra Rivai (organ, piano, percussion), Krishnadi Day aka Harry Pochang (harmonica, percussion, vocals), and Dadang Latief (acoustic guitar).
Unfortunately the group did not last long until disbanded in 1975. Currently only two left are Indra Rivai and Harry Pochang. 
In 1973, Harry Roesli formed the theater group Ken Arok Opera. Theater group broke up in 1975 because Harry got a scholarship to study at the Rotterdam Conservatorium, the Netherlands.
Previously, La Munai Records re-released the debut album of The Gang of Harry Roesli titled Philosophy Gang. The album was released with a disc format and compact disc (CD). 
"For music lovers, especially young people, to know the existence of Indonesian albums in the past, including Philosophy Gang album,” said Rendy of La Munai Records, at that time. …..~


Not many articles have written about this album, but this album is one of Harry Roesli’s masterpieces that ever existed. The works that Harry Roesli presents in each of his works such as Phylosophy Gang (1973), Point of Fire (1975) are heavily loaded with social criticism, as if his work were the outpouring of a Harry Roesli’s heart and his concern for the condition of Indonesia at that time. Ken Arok’s album released in 1977 is a “Concept Album” which has an amazing concept both in terms of musicality and the lyrics, although if we listen to the lyrics we may think of it as a mere joke, but the humorous lyrics are very condensed for criticism. Concept album is an album that has a strong theme and usually one album tells a story, Johnny Alexander is also one of the musicians who ever made a Concept Album similar to Harry Roesli but Johnny on the album it tells about “Demak Palace Dispute” and take the POP genre as media.
Things that distinguish the concept of Harry Roesli and Johnny Alexander album is the story and genre of music. Ken Arok Rock Opera album lifted the story of Ken Arok and his dynamics when establishing the kingdom of Tumapel which came to be known as Singasari up to his romance story with Ken Dedes, This album is actually a collection of songs sung in opera drama with the same title that Harry ever made Roesli in 1975, but perhaps because the opera was very successful, and Indonesia at that time was fond of rock music Rocking then immortalized the songs into a concept album duration of 40 minutes more. 
The music presented in this album is genre Rock but if we are more observant to hear this album is very experimental, there are shades of Funk Jazz, Blues, and even Progressive in the composition of his music. Very difficult to translate the parts of the song in this album, because the music is all related from beginning to end, so you could say this album only has 1 song that lasted 40 minutes. Ken Arok story told by Harry Roseli is very representative of his pride (Indorockstar Blogspot). How not the lyrics are humorous and flamboyant impression so refreshing ears and eyes for those who were watching live performances of this opera rock.
The lack of reference makes it difficult for me to write about this album but if I review from the color of the music Harry Roesli presents in this album, Harry Roesli looks very infected by American musician named Frank Zappa but still Harry Roesli has its own unique uniqueness from Frank. Especially from the lyrics, The lyrics that Harry Roesli wrote are much more critical than Frank Zappa. In this album for example he criticized the phenomenon of corruption, fraud, bribe to the affair that he projected into the legend story Ken Arok and packed with humorous nuances. This album in my opinion is “An educated rock music” that ever existed in Indonesia, the composition of music that is displayed so smart and well-educated reflects the figure of Harry Roesli as music academics, rock music that impressed and bengal into cheerful and magnificent music. I’m sure the music in this album will match the ears of all the listeners of all generations……~




Story
In music, Harry Roesli shows his proximity to rock music. However, he was never called a rocker. Rock Opera Ken Arok held at Gedung Merdeka, Bandung, April 12, 1975, brought rock music and raised his name to the sky. However, Harry himself tends to call his activities the Puppet of Contemporary People and complains that Ken Arok is overrated. The much-drawing performance was staged again on August 2, 1975 at the Convention Hall, Jakarta. 

ROMBONGAN dancer dressed in sparkling, mustaches, and bearded appeared from the left of the stage. They sat down, then moved their hands up like a kecak dancer to the hard rock music. Then from the right stage appeared a female dancer dressed in silver white. Their hair is all kinky and some are frizzy, like the hair of God Bless singer, Achmad Albar, or Gito from Rollies. That’s how Ken Arok’s Rock Opera started 

The figure who lived in the 13th century (1222-1247) it by itself represents Harry’s ignorance. Ken Arok once appeared immediately reciting the poem: I am Ken Arok, who you waiting for, you bought my ticket, a thousand not a little money, your friend cheated, try if the money, you sell it on Tamblong street, but now it is already, your money is in I. 

The poem states that the opera rock is nothing. Attacked spectators please do not be disappointed to expect anything excessive. Nevertheless, the audience money remains non-refundable. Most of the audience consisting of teenagers and some foreigners paying entrance tickets between Rp 500 and Rp 1,000 just laughed out loud. 

Harry’s gait in rock music continues. Together with God Bless, Gipsy, Voodoo Child, Giant Step, Rollies Paramour, Odalf, Freedom of Rhapsodia, and Yeah Yeah Boys, Harry Roesly and His Gang performed at the open-air music party of the 75th Drought in the Sate Building field, Bandung, August 31, 1975. 

Previously he also joined with dozens of musical groups at the music party last night, Summer 28, dated August 16, 1973 in Pasar Minggu, Jakarta. This stupid musician mamang not want to be silent, there just do it. He never took a headache where. In a cafe whose visitors only a hundred people also so. Open field watched by tens of thousands of people, moreover. 

Rock Opera Ken Arok was brought to everywhere, including to Semarang in January 1976. But, in this city Harry hit the stone. The show was stopped by the authorities, by reason of the late show script arrived at the permission table. Blocking performances are often the case during the New Order period. That is why Harry signed the May Statement with other artists rejecting obstacles to the work of art. Nine years later, April and May 1995, Harry’s performance was also canceled due to permission. Obviously, the ban is not because of rock music or other types of music that Harry mixed, but because the lyrics did not apply to the language of the ruler at the time. 

Harry did not want to bother. His work goes on. Together with Leo Kristi, he appeared on the night of Student Art Appreciation at the Kuningan Student Center on December 3, 1977, then Concrete Music Performances Harry Roesli for three days, 31 July to 1 August 1980. Motor trail, scooter, Yamaha motorcycle and Honda duck lined up front of the studio with the engine turned on, then each gassed out loud in the musical performance Brush Teeth. 

Explore and explore new musical areas, such as using the thundering sound of a waterfall from an electronic loudspeaker box followed by a sudden silence, followed by the sound of crumpled paper in front of the microphone. All that done with DKSB (Depot Creative Art Bandung) on ​​various stage. 

Following Off the Record, he then made another surprise by appearing in the pub, playing disco music with Bubi Chen’s jazz deducot. He still did much during the 1980s and early 1990s. As a result, on Sunday 1 August he was taken to hospital Borromeus, Bandung
However, Harry Roesli is not Harry Roesli if out of the hospital straightaway to a quiet place to restore his health. His friends came in, from visiting to finally become the arena of chatting. Which ends into a variety of musical activities, discussions, and so forth. Together with DKSB and high school youth Blue Enterprises, digelarnya Over Dose, 30 April-1 May 1994, at Art Building Dance Academy of Indonesia Bandung. Still in Bandung, Harry staged a “Discussion Show” by reading poetry, but he was not inflamed or shouting between percussion and massive synthesizer growls as usual. 

In 1995 Opera Toothpick, after which he made a scene in at A Mild Jak Jazz ‘95 by hitting 13 empty barrels. The following year, the Koplo Generation Music Concert at Graha Bhakti Budaya Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, April 23, 1996, with a powerful loudspeaker of tens of thousands of watts surrounded the audience. Soon it was suspected that Harry was hospitalized again, according to newspapers in Bandung, Jakarta, and other major cities in Indonesia, November 1, 1996. 

After four months of paralyzed mysterious illness and fainting in and out of the hospital, late January 1997 Harry declared himself healed and feel fit. If so, of course he was busy again, among others, following the Festival Festival Percussion July 8-9 at the arena Pekan Raya Jakarta. He also did not want to miss the present at the Percussion Festival Jakarta 1997. Followed by Invalid Jazz Music 25 Hours 4 Minutes in the Cultural Center of France, 26 July. 

Then Harry Roesli and His Gang held a reunion at Poster Café. October 31, Jakarta. Continues in Bandung, 22 November, with a double mission. In addition to entertaining and kangen-kangenan event, the concert at Bumi Sangkuriang is also a social mission to knock generous hearts set aside some money for victims of natural disasters in Papua. 

After a variety of stage, television turn to show his works. The month of Ramadan 1977 Harry got an “order-order”, making the operetta that aired for a week in a row before Eid. But, after that Music Concert Contest Jilid III planned 22 February 1998 at the French Cultural Center Building, Bandung, banned. The more blocked, it turns Harry’s creativity more and more vibrant. On April 17th DKSB performed at Teater Utan Kayu, Jakarta. 

Still not satisfied, he then published a tabloid of roar, and Harry became the editor-in-chief. Meanwhile, he is also busy taking care of the singers and educating them with the science of music. But, again, his endurance is not the power to support his creativity so passionate. On October 25, 1998 Harry was again escorted to Santo Borromeus Hospital, Bandung. 

Various musical activities that show that Harry is not a rock musician. As with any other music, rock is just one of its mediums for expression, especially for the young, this is the advantage. Another advantage is being able to make people laugh at every opportunity even though that is being discussed or played is a serious music, which in the hands of other musicians usually make the audience frowned. Frankly admits that in his work he is in the realm of two value systems. 

MENGAKU depart from popular music, it turns out Harry never forget his skin even though then he produced art and contemporary music. For 26 years, do not reduce the 25 titles he completed.

Starting from Philosophy in Rock (1971), HR Solo I (1972), HR Solo II (1973), HR Solo III (1974), Acoustic Sky Feet (1975), Fire Point (1976) to Ken Arok (1977), HR Solo IV (1977) and Focus (1977). Followed by Three Flags (1977), Plastic Girl (1978), LTO (1978), Leaf (1979), If Day Not Windy (1979) and Kharisma I (1981). Followed by Kharisma II (1982), Dark Town (1982), Epoch (1984), Rock Horse n Roll (1986), Cas Cis Cus (1989), Asmad Dream (1990), Wet Man (1991), Bad Weather 1992), DKSB Book (1992), and Beauty (1997). Some of the recordings are produced and distributed in Australia, USA, as well as some European countries. 

It can be said that Harry is more productive than the pop and rock musicians of the country’s recording industry. In almost the same time, God Bless only produced five albums, plus the album solo album Achmar Albar is also still under Harry’s number. Perhaps that can match Harry in the number of albums only Koes Plus and Hetty Koes Endang. 

The record of Rock Opera Ken Arok in 1977 even had time to be a bone of two producers, Apple Records and Eterna, until the price jumped to Rp 4 million, a very high bid that time. If calculated based on the price of cassette in 1977, Ken Arok’s recording value now ranges between Rp 100 and Rp 200 million. 

The difference, Harry’s motivation in working is when working on music for industry using market considerations, while for art music dealing with expression. But, consciously or unconsciously in the recording of Ken Arok’s Rock Opera, Harry combines the two. While in other recording, music and lyrics are also often opposed to the will of the market. Nevertheless, Ken Arok’s tape responded positively to the public, as was the recording of a sweet pop song that was exploding at the time. If it were so, no one if Ken Arok in Harry Roesli’s hands to Ken A Rock. 

Rock music in the philosophy of fat musician who is 166 cm tall, weighing 85 kg, and born in Bandung September 10, 1951 is explained since Harry Roesli and His Gang first plunged into the recording world with the album Philosophy in Rock in 1971. One song titled Malaria, the lyrics are like this: Your bed sheet, white / it’s a sign you’re sad, why do not you sleep / you just keep crying / are you a monkey, who can only be stylish / empty already alive / if you just talk, roll your pillow what you think ladies / you just bring tears and laugh that you force your bell / chamber say, why nona coward / just continue this life, as malaria mosquito. 

At that time, 34 years ago, Harry showed that he was not only good at lyrics, but also deep rock music in different ways than our musicians who feel more rocker than European rock musicians or the United States. 

Harry’s knowledge of rock music continued with the study of art music, which made him more interested after majoring in electronic music in Rotterdam Conservatorium in the Netherlands, 1977-1981. During college, gig, and attending discussions, for three years it turns out he was able to produce nine record albums. Outstanding productivity. Not including his musical works for theater and film. 

In the album Philosophy in Rock, Harry claimed to be influenced by various types of music from Brian Auger, Cannon Ball Adderly, Crusaders, War, and Hampton Hawyes. In essence, philosophy, religion, and music are the priceless staples of life, all three are always hand in hand, once Harry once said it about the title of his first album. 

All the final attendees of Djarum Super Rock Festival X, December 11, 2004 at Tambaksari Stadium Surabaya, also joined hands in a moment of silence when it was announced by the host of Ovan Tobing that Kang Harry had passed away that day…..by….THEODORE KS….~








Tracklist 
A1 Babak 1 20:31 
B1 Babak 2 20:44 





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Harry Roesli Gang “Philosophy Gang” 1973 Private Great Indonesian Psych masterpiece 

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