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One Album Launched by 44 Labels. Is This the New World Jukebox?

“There might solely be 500 people who find themselves within the file I’m placing out, however I’m looking for all 500,” mentioned Phil Freeman, whose Burning Ambulance is considered one of two tiny American imprints working with Senyawa. “Wherever they’re on the earth, nice.”

Shabara gushed when he mentioned this scheme’s future feasibility, detailing organizational refinements he imagines. And Rabih Beaini, the proprietor of the German label dealing with manufacturing, advised that bands massive and small might improve their viewers by recruiting a plethora of cooperative companions. “You might have 100 labels that attain obscure markets in nations the place you won’t usually promote your music,” Beaini mentioned from Berlin. “It’s fairly utopian.”

However Stephen O’Malley — the co-founder of steel duo Sunn O))) and a label proprietor — warned in opposition to decreasing Senyawa’s thought right into a novel technique for gross sales. A number of years in the past, O’Malley invited Senyawa to carry out with him at Europalia, a biennial arts competition, every occasion dedicated to a unique nation’s tradition. He reveled of their openness and enthusiasm.

“Senyawa are approaching this file as a strategy to join with lots of people, a strategy to collaborate,” O’Malley mentioned from his house in Paris. “So why does it need to be sustainable as a enterprise? After all music is sustainable. It’s been round for the reason that starting of the species and transmitted the entire time.”

However the added connectivity is already altering the way in which Senyawa capabilities. This weekend, the group is presenting Pasar Alkisah, a two-day digital competition of performances, D.J. units, cooking courses and interviews, an enormous act of coordination between the band and their dozens of companions.

In September, when Senyawa recorded “Alkisah,” it reconvened close to Borobudur, the enduring Buddhist temple constructed on Java a millennium in the past. Shabara and Suryadi remoted themselves in a pal’s sprawling house there, surrounded by a patch of jungle and a panorama of converging rivers and twin volcanoes. It was a postcard model of Indonesia — and a superbly ironic place to seize a much less stereotypical perspective on the world’s fourth most populous nation.

“We’re regular musicians like anybody else on the earth who experiments. We simply occur to be Indonesian,” Shabara mentioned, his phrases arriving in a torrent. “If we wish Indonesian musicians to flourish and be as extremely revered as musicians from the West, we have now to suppose we’re a part of the world, not the ‘Third World.’”

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