Reissue Album Kelompok Kampungan “Mencari Tuhan”

Posted: Juni 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

Setelah hampir dua tahun, akhirnya Jason Connoy dari Strawberry Rain,sebuah label kecil di Toronto Kanada akan merilis reissue album Mencari Tuhan milik Kelompok Kampungan yang berasal dari Yogyakarta minggu depan.

Saya mengenal Jason Connoy melalui dunia maya.Awalnya dia kontak saya melalui inbox Facebook, menawarkan ketertarikan untuk merilis beberapa album album klasik Indonesia.Tapi saya saat itu entah kenapa tidak pernah merespon maksud Connoy yang punya obsesi ingin membuat katalog musik Indonesia terutama era 70an.Akhirnya saya mendengar Connoy ikut terlibat merancang kompilasi Those Shocking Shaking Day bersama Egon Now Again Record yang mendapat tanggapan positif dari pencinta musik mancanegara.Syahdan,Connoy lewat labelnya sendiri Strawberry Rain kemudian merilis album kompilasi AKA Hard Beat disusul 3 album solo Benny Soebardja.Kesemuanya dibikin dalam format CD dan vinyl.

Melihat saya tak bergeming, Jason tak kehilangan akal, dia lalu meminta bantuan Agus Susanto pemilik Warung Musik di Blok M Square untuk menghubungi saya.Tahun 2011 Jason Connoy meminta bantuan saya untuk menghubungi Kelompok Kampungan yang sudah lama tercerai berai sekaligus meminta saya menuliskan liner notes untuk album Mencari Tuhan yang akan dirilis ulang.

Saya menyanggupi tawaran jason Connoy.nah,yang jadi persoalan adalah bagaimana menemui dedengkot Kelompok Kampungan yaitu Bram Makahekum.Menurut kabar mas Bram ini masih hidup dalam aura kesenimanan yang kuat.Dia bahkan tak tersentuh teknologi.Bayangkan alamat email dan rekening bank saja dia tak punya.Saya cari informasi kiri kanan tentang keberadaan Bram Makahekum.Saya teringat,setelah Reformasi 1998,Bram Makahekum sempat merilis ulang album Mencari Tuhan terutama lagu Bung Karno atas permintaan sebuah Partai Politik.Saat peluncuran album itu sebetulnya saya diundang oleh almarhum Innisisri drummer Kelompok Kampungan.Namun sayangnya,saat itu saya tak sempat untuk menghadirinya.

Lalu saya menghubungi mas Otig Pakis,seniman yang berasal dari komunitas Bengkel Teater yang kerap nongkrong pula di kediaman Yockie Surjoprajogo.dari mas Otig Pakis inilah akhirnya saya mendapatkan nomor handphone Bram Makahekum. Beberapakali saya menelpon mas Bram Makahekum tapi tak pernah diangkat.Menurut Otig, Bram itu masih tetap berkelana walaupun sebetulnya dia masih menetap di Yogyakarta.Hingga suatu hari Bram Makahekum lalu menghubungi saya.Selanjutnya saya utarakan pesan dari Jason Connoy yang ingin merilis ulang album Mencari Tuhan.Bram terperanjat.”Hah…..album kayak gitu kok ada yang mau rilis.Bule lagi ?” sergah Bram dengan logat Jawa yang medok,padahal Bram ini asli Flores.Mulailah saya menyampaikan tawaran nominal yang diajukan Jason ke Bram Makahekum.Setelah beberapa lama akhirnya muncul deal.Pucuk dicinta ulam tiba,Bram dengan perantara saya menyetujui tawaran reissue album dari Connoy.

Saya kemudian menuliskan liner note untuk album reissue Kelompok Kampungan “Mencari Tuhan” yang dirilis bulan Juni ini.

Emerging from Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia, Kelompok Kampungan(“Village People”) emerged as one of the ethnical folk rock fusion groups from the mid 70’s through the early 80’s. The eclectic group who made bewitching music was formed by Bram Makahekum, an alumnus of WS Rendra’s Bengkel Theatre, which was a famous Indonesian theatrical group from the mid of 70’s. They offered the richness and important characteristics of Indonesa ethnical music, which developed in the Indonesian archipelago, and was enriched by a number of genres from folk, jazz, classical and even rock. Kelompok Kampungan played original music with acoustic instruments. At the time this was seen as an expression of creativity, a new direction for folk fused with Indonesian ethnic sounds. It was an attempt to attract large audiences which had been enjoyed by famous rock musicians.
The original members of Kelompok Kampungan were;

Bram Makahekum (lead vocalist,acoustic guitar,songwriter),
Edi Haryono (Java percussions ,Arabian percussions)
Agus Murtono (violin,Bali percussions,cabassa)
Rudra Setiabudi (Flute,oboe,guitars,Java percussion )
Agus Salim (cello,Java Gamelans)
Kelik (acoustic guitar,Java Percussions)
Joko Surendro (violins,guitar,Java Gamelan)
Areng Widodo (bass electric,Java Gamelan)
Doddy Precil (Back up vocals,percussions)
Sawung Jabo (vocalist,acoustic guitar,percussions)
Innisisri (Bali drums,Drums Kit,percussions)
Bujel (flute,gong)

Bram Makahekum was leader of the band, while Agus Murtono was the bands music director. With only Bram Makahekum remaining in place throughout the band’s life pan.
Bram Makahekum, Sawung Jabo and Edi Haryono all had experience playing music for the Bengkel Theater, a theatrical group with Java Gamelan orchestration called ‘Nyai Pilis’, led by artist WS Rendra. Innisisri had experience with various rock groups like The Lheps, Spider, Amudas and many others. Areng Widodo was bass player from a rock band called Golden Wings, and the others came from the Akademi Musik Indonesia (Indonesia Music Academy) alumnus.

The foundation of Kelompok Kampungan started out in the mid of 70s through the Bengkel Theater’s performance. Bram Makahekum was positioned in the center of the stage and recited a blend of singing and poetry. His voice was expressive and distinctive.
In 1977 Bram Makahekum officially formed Kelompok Kampungan with his friends. In the same year Kelompok Kampungan played Bram Makahekum’s song titled “Mencari Tuhan” (In Search Of God) at Taman Ismail Marzuki Jakarta for the first time. The audiences were drawn to their musical concept. Kelompok Kampungan were unsurpassed in their originality, with influences from folk, blues, jazz, classical and Indonesian ethnic sounds. To the bands surprise people took to their simple songs with political, protest based lyrics.

Unfortunately the Soeharto regime administration banned several KelompokKampungan concerts. As a result, they couldn’t do anything with their music. The government also banned their first recording ‘Mencari Tuhan’ (Akurama Records,1980) after release. Their one and only album featured 9 tracks like ‘Bung Karno’ (with the excerpts of Soekarno’s monumental speech in 1964 ) ,”Ratna”,”Mereka Mencari Tuhan’,’Catatan Perjalanan’, ‘Hidup Ini Seperti Drama’, ‘Berkata Indonesia Dari Yogyakarta’, ‘Wanita’, ‘Terlepas Dari Frustrasi’ and ‘Aku Mendengar Suara’. All songs were composed and written by Bram Makahekum with the assistance of Sawung Jabo, Edi Haryono and Areng Widodo.

Today, Bram Makahekum (now 60 year old) is still involved in music creativity. Sawung Jabo continues to demonstrate his passion for music through several bands like Sirkus Barock, Kantata Barock and Genggong. Rudra Setiabudi has a career as sound engineer in Aqurius Recording studio. Areng Widodo is still writing music, especially for television scoring. Agus Murtono had joined some famous orchestras in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Innisisri but sadly passed away in September 30,2009. Before he died, the brilliant drummer was in a several idealism bands like Kantata Takwa, Swami, Dalbo and Kahanan.

”Mencari Tuhan” was a masterpiece by Kelompok Kampungan, a kind of East meets West fusion with organic influences. An album from the early years of Indonesia’s music scene, it’s time to sit back and enjoy!

Denny Sakrie

Kelompok Kampungan

Kelompok Kampungan

Cover Album Kelompok Kampungan Mencari Tuhan Reissue by Strawberry Rain

Cover Album Kelompok Kampungan Mencari Tuhan Reissue by Strawberry Rain

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