Category Archives: Jonathan Kusuma

Timeless tales

In one of mankind’s archetypal tales, the protagonist runs off a cliff and away from the pressures of age, conformity and submission. If the protagonist is alone, she precipitates into the void, shackled by those chains that cannot be escaped, viz. gravity, and towards oblivion, under the vicarious gaze of those who daren’t, those who can’t because they are too entangled already.

But when a critical mass of runners run together, then even the basic constraints of physics can be thwarted, if only briefly, and flight happens. Peter Pan’s punk commune exemplifies the power of peer supported unrealistic subversion.

Another famous example of that collective magic is that of the pied piper of Hamelin, who took all the children away from the rat-ridden village of hypocrisy, and into the country of mystery.

Today we commemorate their legendary flight with one of Space.Rec’s finest, Jonathan Kusuma.  In Invisible Stream, he updates the jaunty procession away from the burgh of tedious beats and immediate gratification, taking us over grassy hills which put a bounce on our step, across fields peppered with sturdy windmills that grind the yummiest grain, up magical mountains invigilated by African totems, and into a cave which is a club where the innocent dance for all eternity, caught in a spell which is a möbius strip made of pure bass.

Jonathan Kusuma – Invisible Stream

Included in the Mixed Signals EP, that you should get in all its glory here.

The ghost ship is another unforgettable image that swirls like a horrific jellyfish in the bottomless pool over which we built our house, dampening the walls of our cellar with glorious nightmares where claustrophobia and agoraphobia collide over a liquid wasteland. The Flying Dutchman, the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and the spectro-piratical onslaught of those who dwell in the Fog are but three examples.

The Borealis, an ominous McGuffin that we hope will be resolved within our lifetimes, may well be the most recent addition to this nautical school of dread – a vessel commissioned by the xenophorming traitors of the Combine, carrying a cargo that is the harbinger of catastrophe. The North, brainchild of Chicago-based Norse phantom-lord Snorre Sjønøst Henriksen, delivers the perfect soundtrack for its inexorable transit across oceans of madness, a metallic symphony of ever-mounting terror bearing the hallmark of John Carpenter’s satanic shipyard, beyond the bay of Hades.

The North – Rise (Extended Demo)

We expect The North to be releasing more greatness on tape very soon.

And as a bonus, here you have the latest video from Led Er Est’s phenomenal 12, by House Plants. Or – a lullaby designed by DARPA boffins to dispel the nuclear holocaust fears of a cybernetic telecommunications system in its first stages of self-awareness, and lull it into sleep. It will awake soon, stronger, and it’s going to be payback time.

20jazzfunkgreats best of 2010: Step Up

What vinyl platters could wake 20JFG prematurely from its cryogenic slumber in 2010? What repetitive beats could make its unconscious and partially thawed corpse shuffle towards the nearest dancefloor? What warm-hearted heaters could possibly defrost that heart of stone and illuminate that mind of disillusionment? What songs offered comfort when we were sat down and told that our plan to freeze ourselves in search of a better life in the future, had received some major setbacks? In the year that moved at 60 b.p.m, magic at higher tempos shone like the opening ceremony of the Ark of the Covenant.

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2 Dogs In a House – Scream in the Night (posted 25th June)

Echoes of Mr. Fingers drift across prehistorical plains where the proto-wolves wait 10,000 years to devour us.

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Beautiful Swimmers – Big Coast (posted July 5th)

The soundtrack to Streets of Rage 2 as rerecorded by Shriekback whilst holidaying on Easter Island.

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Brassica – New Jam City (posted August 26th)

Prodigious astral boogie 1st heard in the pastel discotheque of Count Ramulus III, Lord of the Vapour Folk (the DJ wouldn’t tell us what it was but we sneaked a look at the label while he was in the toilet).

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Charanjit Singh – Raga Megh Malhar (posted March 31st)

Humanity’s ongoing search for ‘The Future’ in electronic music was called off when it was discovered in the past.

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Cos/Mes – Gozmez Land (posted November 4th)

A luscious trip into the humid rainforests of Selza-G where the indigenous folk speak only a percussive language based on distant Gamelan mythology.

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Crystal Ark – The City Never Sleeps (posted March 22nd)

This is what happened when you dropped the schematic for that trans-dimensional love-canon on your visit to the druid camp.

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Crystal Ark – The Tangible Presence of the Miraculous (posted November 16th)

This is what happened when they worked out how to build it.

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DJ Nate – Make Em Run (posted July 6th)

Planet Mu gave the Europe a 4-part lesson in how they do things in Juke-Town. From Ramellzian voyages into unchartered arrangements by the younger generation, to telepathic hyperspeed bangers from the seasoned vets – each part served to further bend our stiff upper lips and get that booty shaking like it was Mecha-Godzilla being throttled by King Kong.

DJ Roc – Phantom Call (posted September 22nd)

DJ Rashad – Teknitianz (posted September 16th)

DJ Elmoe – Whea Yo Ghost at Whea Yo Dead Man (posted June 22nd)

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Hunt with a cat – Wrapped in Rope (posted August 13th)

Gary Wallace (Anthony Michael Hall) and his best friend, Wyatt Donnelly (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), are 15-year-old nerds with low social standing at their Shermer, Illinois high school. During a weekend at Wyatt’s house in which his parents are out of town they came up with ‘Hunt With a Cat’, the finest mechanoid basement-acid act in the land.

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Hyetal – Phoenix (New Post)

Between two stratosphere piercing peaks lies a valley shrouded in a synthetic mist: atmospheric and portentous.  Still, no amount of scene setting can quite prepare you for the majesty of those two peaks. “Last song of the night”-of-the-year.

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Hyetal & Shortstuff – Ice Cream (posted January 26th)

Pitch bended celestial ballroom music so good, just hearing the opening takes us five years into the future whereupon we chance on a dank basement club, hear the first few chords of Ice Cream and levitate.

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Jonathan Kusuma – Days are Numbered (posted August 27th)

One of many awesome transmissions from Indonesia this year via Space Recs.  Kusuma opening in a baroque fashion with a mile long procession towards a dark and foreboding tower…before storming it in thunderous style.

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JR Seaton – Azklementyne (12′ mix) (posted August 5th)

The 20JFG specification document genre known as ‘Beatnik Beats’ was created especially for this blazed out intellectual battle of wits between Lil Louis and Artie Shaw.

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Malvoeaux- Targets (posted July 5th)

The moment in Tron:Reloaded where Daft Punk finally remove those helmets to reveal thier unspeakable Teuthidian faces.

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Pagan Future – Ancient Ritual (posted October 15th)

Delicate images from the insecure formation of techno preserved at a lower bpm for us to greater appreciate their beauty.

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Protect-U – Double Rainbow (posted June 10th)

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain, where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.

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Rocha- Hands of Love (Fingers of Sand) (Gatto Fritto’s Menorcan Nightmare Version) (posted March 22nd)

This is what hell wants you to think it sounds like down there, so that you will spend your life robbing banks and not helping old ladies across the road.

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Steve Moore – Zero Point Field (posted october 13th)

This is what it felt like to be the LHC in the moments leading up to the first collision.

OR

It has long been speculated that the observed periodic radial velocity pattern for the K giant Pollux might be explained in terms of an orbiting planetary companion. We have collected 80 high-resolution spectra for Pollux at Lick Observatory yielding precise radial velocities with a mean error of 3.8 m s<sup>-1</sup>, providing the most comprehensive and precise data set available for this star. Our data confirm the periodicity previously seen in the radial velocities. We derive a period of 589.7+/-3.5 days and, assuming a primary mass of 1.86 M<sub>solar</sub>, a minimum companion mass of 2.9+/-0.3M<sub>Jup</sub>, consistent with earlier determinations.

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Valis- Exegisis (posted May 9th)

A 13 piece uniformed funk band named Cameo raided a Government building in 1984. Only 3 of them made it out alive, so they moved to Essex and renamed themselves Nitzer Ebb.

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Creep you must.

Featuring : Jonathan Kusuma + The One

It is perhaps inadvisable to creep up behind the organ player whose fingers hammer the keys with such demonic ferocity. Yet the chiptune-baroque reverberating from the cold stone walls proves eerily irresistible. Creep you must as the trance like repetition of this ascension-music obscures the limits of the player’s awareness. His vision could be carried on the crest of the waves of sound cascading around the room. In which case, he already knows you, dear listener, are there. Or, his senses could be turned inward, journeying through the multifaceted fears that drive his fingers to such excess. The solution to this conundrum works itself out in some locked room deep within the bureaucracy of your mind – all that matters for now is getting closer to that sound.

Snares rattle the vast chandeliers suspended from the vaulted ceiling many metres about the seated player. The absence of any visible percussive instrument in the room of no concern. For now the organ player has you. Lying prone on the cold stone floor his ferocious finger continue to pound out the enticing rhythm. And then the floor falls away.

The drift of the organ player is augmented with the percussive demonic throb of the ghouls that patronise the organ player’s hall. Machine gun snares rip the medieval ambience asunder as a cacophony of squat helicopter gunships bombastically remove large chunks from the walls. In slow motion. With the dawn light seductively picking out their matt black paint. The flickering static of their rotors, all that’s left now the player is gone.

Like Michael Mann (invoked nearly as much, recently, as Lord Carpenter) remaking Le Samourai: Jonathan Kusuma‘s Days Are Numbered is another wonderful gift from Jakarta’s Spece.Rec. The record’s out now and you can hear the flip, Monyet Kota, over on Space.Rec’s MySpace here.

Jonathan Kusuma – Days Are Numbered

From medieval-Jakarta-baroque to DIY-supergroup-does-Chi-House. The One‘s Double Life EP is out soon and, as well as the title track which we posted here a while back, the EP closes with the deliciously soulful Chicago House love letter: Good Faith. After an extended intro of filtered vocal, handclaps and unfiltered overdubs we’re given keys to the city as sparkling synths open up the neon flecked urban vistas. Can you feel it? Click play and answer me that.

The One – Good Faith

The One’s Double Life EP is out on September 13th, available on CD and download through 24th Century Records and on limited tape on Suplex Cassettes.

In a week that began with our own roadmap home, a journey – at least part of the way – soundtracked by the glorious streets of Chicago, this seems like a good point to jack…

For those of you in San Francisco tomorrow, 120 Minutes will be launching tomorrow (details here). Light Asylum will be playing, and there will be DJ sets from, oOoOO, Nako (Shutter) and Josh Cheon (Nachtmusik). To give you an idea of how awesome it’s going to be, just check out this mixtape (which will also be available as a limited edition cassette from Aquarius Records).

120 Minutes Mixtape

Reactionary Caché

In the unceasing, flickering LED glare of packets transmitted and received; handshakes made; protocols observed – we retreat like some amateur Gnostic through the floor of the world. The deep web of hyperlinked opinions and comment threads and feeds and feeds…passes overhead. Amongst the blankness – our stark disengagement – we find a tribe of people quite oblivious to the world we’ve become inured to. They’re friendly, dissenting, curious and volatile. They welcome us like brothers. Their fleshly presence and corporeal preoccupations quite alien to our digital existence (which looks something like Tron for those of you wondering).

Our resident ethnographer declares that we should refer to this grouping of people not by the collective noun of ‘tribe’ – for he is a revisionist, and reviles imperialist vernacular – they must instead be described as a ‘club’. And away from the silent chatter of the neon flecked world up there we are we are indoctrinated into their Club music. This dark hidden space, utterly failing to provide the blankness we craved, thankfully.

Jonathan Kusuma‘s new EP on Indonesia’s Space.Rec, despite its 4/4 base, scuttles around a vortex of styles and sounds – separating it from the straight Techno it emerges from and throwing it into our orbit. The title track Misi contains a breakdown where holographic incarnations of Liquid Liquid play Optimo on MIDI steel drums made of steam. How we were ever expected to resist that I’ll never know. The music surrounding the (several) percussive breakdowns is rooted in minimal floor-tom techno – like a slowed version of Faze Action’s sublime classic, In the Trees – while managing to expand off into spacier Scandinavian enclaves between those rotating breakdowns.

Jonathan Kusuma – Misi

The Misi EP came out last week digitally, so check your favourite purveyor of FLACs.

Troll Town visited us with their Sword and Shield back in April but now return with an EP self-released through the absolutely wonderful bandcamp service. The second track on the Square Rhythm EP, Escape Plans, is a thing of delicacy in the face of repetition; loops deployed not to subjugate but to enthral. The gentle of organ sounds and synthesised bells are an oasis in this supposedly blank void we hide away in. A cool place to rest, out of the glaring black sun. An authoritative voice wishes to know what’s going on in our head and how they can save us from ourselves. We wish we knew.

Troll Town – Escape Plans

Get the awesome Square Rhythm EP from Troll Town’s bandcamp, for free, here.