Arrington de Dionysio (former frontman for noise dance act, Old Time Relijun) is the crown prince of Olympia weirdos. When he plays live with his new band, Malaikat Dan Singha, he (throat) sings (imagine Tom Waits gargling gravel while being electricuted (that description is intended to be flattering, and I'm sure Arrington would take it that way)) exclusively in Indonesian, does this weird Witch Doctor/Praying Mantis dance thing, and is generally only wearing a pair of boxer briefs or maybe some yoga pants. He's got two excellent full length LPs available on K Records with Malaikat, who is filled out by a rotating cast of local (or touring) players. I've seen him play as a trio and as a 12 person "orchestra". Regardless of the line up, it is repetitive, rhythmic, droney and hypnotically trance-inducing. My coworkers walked in while I was playing it today and they said "ugh... what the hell is this? It's AWFUL". If you knew my coworkers, you would know that there is no higher praise for any artist who is trying to do something remotely interesting. Arrington is no Jack Johnson, that's for sure.
Malaikat also released a couple of lathe cut picnic plates through PIAPTK a while back. He liked the picnic plate thing so much, that he bought a couple of his own lathes and totally broke PIAPTK's stranglehold on the Olympia lathe cut picnic plate market. He now cuts one-off, totally unique records that he packages inside beautiful hand-painted covers and sells on tour.
Through Kickstarter, Arrington managed to raise enough money to fund a trip to Indonesia, where he had, what I can only imagine, was the time of his life. He played live shows and collaborated with local musicians all over the country.
Check out his email below and go download some of his very bizarre Bandcamp.com releases and check out some of the really fun videos from the trip.
I am back from a month and a half in Java, Bali and Lombok. I performed about ten concerts with a new version of Malaikat dan Singa featuring local musicians, which was an amazing experience, but perhaps even more incredible I was able to IMPROVISE with some TRADITIONAL musicians. I've posted two "albums" to my bandcamp site along with some notes. "Lombok Island Improvisations" features Gombloh playing the preret, a
double reed instrument used in Sasak/Hindu temple ceremonies, and also my first experience recording with a Sasak Village Gamelan. "Trance Music of East Java" features some very raw and sweaty recordings from two different concerts and a studio session with "Jaran Kepang" groups, also known as "Kuda Lumping". This is an incredibly rich and diverse tradition of TRANCE MUSIC involving wild masks, dancers, and sometimes eye-popping spectacles such as the eating of glass or live chickens, etc (I didn't actually see any of that this time but there are plenty of youtube videos showing such feats).
It goes without saying I feel incredibly honored and fortunate to have been able to perform with these groups. These recordings represent an attempt at true cross cultural collaboration, this is not "objective" ethnomusicology, nor is it exactly "free" improvisation in the usual sense of the term. Let's say it's the beginnings of what I intend to be an ongoing engagement and experimentation with re-imagining HUMAN music in the 21st Century.
All musicians were PAID for performances and recordings, thanks to my kickstarter fund. I'm pretty damn close to broke upon my return, SO- PLEASE- Listen, download, share, enjoy the music as much as you like, consider making a donation of any size to help me continue doing work like this through the bandcamp site, I'd love to hear any feedback or questions!
thank you! Arrington de Dionyso
TWO NEW ALBUMS
Also- see footage from the original concerts!