SEMAKBELUKAR’s Anthologhy: Terlahir dan Terasingkan

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SEMAKBELUKAR has just started to steal the spotlight of local music scene when all of sudden they announced their break up. The attention then shifted to the question, “Who is Semakbelukar and why did they call it quit?” Those who haven’t heard of them then will seek (which we highly recommend to) and find themselves hooked in the tunes. “Semoga Kita Mati Dalam Iman”, “Mawar Mewangi”, and “Drohaka” were the three EPs they launched during the band’s five years of experiment in fusing ethnic beat with all kinds of genre. Originally based from Palembang, South Sumatera, Semakbelukar orchestration came from a set of mandolin, accordeon, gendang Melayu, mini gong, and jimbana which set Malayan music in the main frame.

As Indonesian, our comprehension of Malayan music might have changed these last few years. It has been beaten down to crapload of cheesy, not-at-all thoughtful kind of lyrics knotted to boring sets of chords, while the original Malayan music was not so popular to the youth. Semakbelukar came with a fresh twist; perhaps because David Hersya, Ariansyah Long, Ricky Zulman, Mahesa Agung, and Angger Nugroho came from different backgrounds in music it creates interesting fusion of taste. Their latest and last composition was presented in “Terlahir dan Terasingkan: Antologi SEMAK BELUKAR 2009-2013”, an anthology of the band’s work since 2009. From EPs to unreleased recordings, the album consists of two CDs which then divided into the part of “Belukaria Orkestar”, “Semakbelukar”, and “David
Hersya”. From 32 of the songs, we are going to pick five of our favorite tracks:

1. Belukaria Orkestar – Salam
“Salam untuk kalian, semoga kita semua mendapat kebaikan.”
(Greetings to you, may we all be blessed in goodness).
The song fits perfectly as an opening track; it simply welcomes you with warm greeting and the joyful beat of gendang.

2. Belukaria Orkestar – Hikmah
“Sesungguhnya setelah kesulitan datang kemudahan. Ada hikmah di balik cerita tentang seorang yang terus mencoba untuk bisa menjadi lebih baik dan berguna.”
(Verily, after hardship comes ease. There is wisdom behind the story of a man who kept trying to be better.)
One of the characteristic of art from western Indonesia is the lyrics, talking about local wisdom and often influenced by religious view, particularly Islam, as seen in “Verily, after hardship comes ease” which was a verse from the Quran. The mandolin strums and David Hersya’s vocal become a peaceful serenade.

3. Semakbelukar – Be(re)ncana
“Karena sempurna itu hanya sebuah rencana, karena sempurna itu hanya sebuah bencana.”
(Because perfection is only a plan, because perfection is only a disaster.)
The accordeon and the staccato beat created a gloomy, heavy ambiance. Like when we hold grunge we’re unable to let go.

4. David Hersya – #1
“Sesuatu di dalam sini, jauh di dalam sepi. Sesuatu pada akhirnya mati, tinggalkan mimpi.”
(Something in here, deep inside quiet. In the end things will die, leaving just dream)
It stands out from other songs because of the solo trumpet intro. For a second it’s like we skipped track to different album, until at 00:21 the rhythym filled in. Not only the trumpet, David also sings in a different, more pop-ish way.

5. Semakbelukar – Seloka Beruk
“Semenjak beruk menjadi pemimpin, halal dan haram pun dimakan. O, malangnya, digila beruk berayun.”
This track resembles the original Malayan song, both the beat and the diction used in its lyrics. Catchy and playful.

The band might have called it a quit, but good music will continue to echo.