Idjah Hadidjah – Tonggeret

This is the title-track from a record featuring Idjah Hadidjah and Gugum Gumbira’s Jugala Orchestra. The music is mostly Sundanese in origin — it incorporates elements of Balinese Gamelan, as far as instrumentation and some techniques, but it’s much slinkier and, in general, a bit slower. This music is designed to go directly alongside a dance known as Jaipong, which was largely Gugum Gumbira’s baby, and the result of a ban on Western music in 1961 by the asshole Indonesian president, Soekarno. Ironically, despite an attempt to follow the government’s wishes regarding the preservation of traditional indigenous musics of Indonesia, this Jaipong dance — along with its Sundanese music — was deemed far too sexy for the Indonesian government when it debuted in 1974. Needless to say, by the time the Eighties rolled around, it was all the rage. It was popular specifically in Bandung, where Gumbira had his recording studio and his orchestra. Bandung, in my limited experience, is the “other” Mecca for music in Indonesia. I learned all of this information from some friends that work at a radio station while I was visiting Jakarta and Bandung. I can’t quite corroborate all of it, but it seems to match up with whatever can be found online.

The song itself makes every Western asshole with ProTools and the Auto-Tune plug-in completely irrelevant, since it was released in 1987. Idjah Hadidjah’s voice is the most original thing I’ve heard in a long time. These days, the things she can do with that voice are only possible with Ableton Live and a great deal of patience. Top it off with the classic P-Diddy style homey in the background, singing along and giving Sundanese shoutouts, and you have a classic club banger.

— Post by Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv

Audio – Idjah Hadidjah – Tonggeret