Tesla Manaf, Self Titled, 2015
Another Moonjune Records discovery out of Indonesia. Actually this is a re-release of two albums that were previously only available in that country with so many gifted musicians. Tracks 1-8 appeared on 2014 album A Man’s Relationship With His Fragile Area, and the songs 9-14 on the 2011 album It’s All Yours.
If the setting of Moonjune, Indonesia and guitarist is a bit familiar, then you will know what to expect. Right, instrumental music that is progressive of nature and fusion like in execution. Opener A Man’s Relationship With His Fragile Area goes to prove the point. A lady is telling something (in presumably Indonesian) and Manaf mimics the “melody” of the talking with his guitar. Quite funny. Some of the songs have traditional instruments like gangsa, kantil or jublag. Other instruments include (besides drums, bass, guitar and keyboards) clarinet, wooden flute, soprano sax, etc.
And what about the music? Well, it is for the most part very melancholic and melodic actually. Okay, some parts go a bit crazy, as in this type of music extended soling is to be expected. But on a whole I found it easy to enjoy and of a high calibre. So a good choice for people wanting to delve into the genre or who like expressive music with chops to match.