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Rather Ripped: Raja Kirik
RATHER RIPPED: Raunchy, playful, improvised and experimental sounds straight out of Switzerlands garages, barns and cellars; sometimes makes international moves. Your local dealer of #DIY Attitude, #Post- #Punk, #Industrial, #Kraut, #LOFI, #Shoegaze #Garage, #Noise, #Hardcore and all things „Alternative Rock“.
RAJA KIRIK (IND)
Raja Kirik is a music, performance and research project by Yennu Ariendra and J. Mo'ong Santoso Pribadi. It is a venture through the history and present of folk trance dances such as reog, jaranan, and jathilan, that are practiced to this day in east and central Java, Indonesia. The dances draw on magic, shamanism, and animism as well as captivating music and storytelling to explore a history that is at times dark, chaotic, violent, and unjust. Such traditions have long served the people and their efforts at cultural resistance, and are still relevant in political struggles today.
The result of extensive artistic research into the island’s history, Raja Kirik considers the violence, oppression, and resistance that has shaped Java. At the time of Dutch colonialism, trance dances served the Javanese as an expression of their ardent desire for freedom and their rejection of colonial rule. Ariendra and Pribadi show how music, dance, and ritual still provide narrative means today to assert oneself against foreign rule and violence. These explorations can be heard on their eponymous 2018 album on Yes No Wave, as well as on the follow up record Rampokan, that arrived June 2020 via Yes No Wave and Nyege Nyege Tapes, and in their latest music performance, »The Phantasmagoria of Jathilan«, that will premiere in Autumn 2023 ahead of a namesake album release.
Raja Kirik’s syncopated electronic rhythms combine with the metallic percussion of homemade instruments that is as trance-inducing as it is bellicose. Beautifully monotonous singing in a captivating repetitive melismatic style weaves through lilting melodies that gust out of makeshift wind instruments.
With frantic, seemingly endless forward propulsion, the music of Raja Kirik inhabits a wide emotional breadth, cycling from disappointment to anger to loneliness.