Dijf Sanders ‘Java’ (W.E.R.F.) 3/5

Let’s go to Indonesia where, southwest of Malaysia and Sumatra, south of Borneo, and west of Bali, lies Java. Here, rich soil gives birth to plush, exotic plant life. From east to west runs a mountain chain, interspersed with volcanoes, like a spine through the island. Whilst here, why not try some Bubur Ayam, the delicious breakfast made with porridge and shredded chicken. If that doesn’t take your fancy, how about some music? Go and find a nice spot for a drink, soak up the sunshine and listen to a few of the 141 million people play.

Belgian musician Dijf Sanders did and made an album of the music variety, but probably also of the photo description, from his travels, taking in every rural and urban corner in search of the Javanese sound. Inspired by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, Dijf engulfed himself in the island’s culture and tradition, fervently collecting an impressive repertoire of recordings.

Back on Belgian soil, he cut and spliced, and gave his ear to, hours upon hours of field recordings. When he was satisfied he’d captured Java to it’s most bountiful, he enlisted the help of Nathan Daems, Filip Vandebril, and Simon Segers, musicians who specialise in creating Oriental sound.

Did they pull it off?

Course they did. And it’s a mighty nice listen. Although I’ve only seen images of Java on Google images, I do feel like I’ve been transported to some distant shore.

Sam Turnell