Arrington de Dionysio’s Malaikat dan Singa is a beguiling mutation of the same outlandish yet somehow coherent take on pan-culturalism and exploratory post punk songwriting that has made his work with Old Time Relijun so iconic. Dionysio purrs, bays, growls, and throat sings his way through the evocative, primeval terrains of Suara Naga, while using the steady Dub Narcotic Studio-patented guitar grooves we all know and love as a palate for the deeply affective, extreme melodic variations that make the album such a fresh listen. And yes, he’s singing in Indonesian, which he learned specifically for this project. Has his Indonesian improved since Malaikat dan Singa’s self-titled premier? Inquiring minds want to know.
Notable for its pitting of pulsing bass guitar against bass clarinet and some unexpectedly catchy moments, “Aku di Penjara” (translation: I’m in Jail) has a structure that recalls the minimalism and sudden flourishes of hardcore rap. Put this on some good speakers, turn if up loud, and let it shake you around until you find your happy/scary place.
Suara Naga is now available from K records
Written by Luke Carrell