The fine folks at Shadoks have unearthed another lost psych-rock classic, this time from Indonesia. Anyone familiar with the excellent Folkways Music of Indonesia series will know that this is a country with a wide palate of indigenous music forms, and it only stands to reason that psychedelic rock hailing from Indonesia would be well worth a listen. ?Ghede Chokra?s? was the only record Shark Move ever put to tape, but its blend of late sixties psyche, early seventies prog, and traditional melodies makes it a fine gem to revisit, albeit many of us for the first time.
Here are epic tunes; the record starts with a 9-minute opus that navigates among flute, nicely distorted riff-age, and some truly earnest falsetto harmonies. ?Butterfly? takes things in a bit more of a conventional psych-balladry direction, to no less effect. The organ that anchors the song is sweet and dreamy, and sadly haunting given keyboardist Saman Loebis?s untimely death in 1970, the same year ?Ghede? was released. It?s a tragic and frustrating tale, as bandleader Benny Soebaradja points to Loebis?s passing as the reason for Shark Move?s folding.
Four songs in, Shark Move deliver what is arguably their best cut, the mind-blowing ?Evil War.? To put all questions of location and time aside, ?Evil War? showcases just how amazingly skilled all the members of this band were: the bass line that kicks things off is funky and solid; the off-kilter drumming that leads the breakdowns is inspired; the guitar solo is colorful and out-there.
To put it simply, Shark Move do what psychedlia does best. By the time the final three tracks roll around, Shark Move have begun signing in their native Indonesian. The shift adds a poetic and powerful sense of autonomy to the music, and once again highlights just how sad it is that this is all we?ll ever hear from Shark Move. Still, there?s plenty here, and it?s quite a journey every listen. 8/10 -- Jon Pitt (14 November, 2007)