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"Navicula - Grunge Gods (4 star review)"

Navicula - Grunge Gods
Prost Beer House, Kemang, Jakarta 13 April 2009

Four Hippies from Bali performed maximal, as if the end of the world was tomorrow
By Ricky Siahaan

The Island of the Gods sent their rock 'Gods' to the mother city. They are called Navicula, and they play the so-called grunge sound which according to some has dropped in popularity. However that night at Prost Kemang was proof that this is not so. After seeing Navicula, a band from Bali, perform at this Grunge community event in Kemang, i feel it is not important to define their music as grunge, because their performance that night showed that what they are doing has surpassed the definition of the grunge genre. Their depth of music material and the soulful submission of Robi, Navicula's vocalist, if seen as an analogy in the film industry, would be material worthy of an Oscar. From when they played their first song "Menghitung Mundur", until the audience was hit with "Supremasi Rasa", "Zat Hijau Daun," and more. All the music was tight and groovy, wrapped with lyrics relavant to current affairs. Their first song speaks about the 2012 armageddon theires, "Televishit" is about degradation of television media and their other topics are just as sharp and to the point.
Robi's energy is strong, with his long hair and Gibson Les Paul custom guitar. HIs eyes seem to redden when he screams, and minutes later he is warmly smiling and chatting to the audience in between songs, and is focused intensely during each song he is singing. That night everything felt perfect, the sound system was furiously rumbling, the lights were flashing, and blues rock echoed through the room, the mood became even more dramatic when Robi read Chairil Anwar poetry during Navicula's set:
"Luka dan bisa kubawa berlari. Berlari. Hingga hilang pedih perih... Aku mau hidup seribu tahun lagi..."
[Wounds and poison i carry while running. Running. Until the pain ends... I want to live for a thousand years more...]

Based on their performance that night, Navicula doesn't need to live a thousand years more to become something important for the music industry in this country.

(Originally published in Indoneisan, English translation provided by Lakota Moira)

View online version in Indonesian: http://www.rollingstone.co.id/reviews_detail/3/110/Navicula - Rolling Stone Indonesia


Discography

Salto – 2009
Zygote Records / demajors

Beautiful Rebel – 2007
Electrohell Records

Alkemis – 2005
Sony BMG Indonesia

Navicore Neo Rock Club
2003 – Navicula Music

K.U.T.A. (Keep Unity Through Art)
2002 – The Beat Magazine

Self Protrait – 1999
Mendung Troops (Bali)

Compilation Albums:
GRANAT 2009
Produced by: Granat, Unud – 2009

Green Monster
Produced by: Walhi, Friends of the Earth, & Lucretia studios – 2009

“Science in Music” – Album Kompilasi Siaga Bencana
Produced by: LIPI & Electrified Records – 2008

Moshpit Mavericks
Produced by: A-Rock Society & the Blado – 2007

Raw and Rare
Produced by: Rolling Stones Magazine – 2007

Noise vs Noise
Produced by: Blackmouse Records – 2007

Skipped Tracks
Produced by: Trendsetter Magazine – 2006

Not for You: Kompilasi Grunge Jakarta
Produced by: Rebel Records – 2006

Total Feedback Grunge Compilation
Produced by: Total Feedback – 2002

Underdog Society
Produced by: Underdog Bali – 1998

Photos

Bio

Navicula was formed in 1996 in Denpasar, Bali by two musician activists: Robi and Dankie. After changing personnels numerous times, the current formation is: Rob (vocals, guitar), Dankie (guitar), Made (bass), and Gembull (drums). The name Navicula was inspired by a type of single celled golden algae, which is shaped like a small ship (in Latin Navicula means small ship).Their music has a grunge rock undertone, but is combined with many other genres of sound, such as ethnic, psychedelic, alternative, progressive, and straight forward rock. The band's lyrics are heavy with activism messages of Peace, Love and Freedom.

Though the band has always been active in the indie music scene, in 2004 they signed a contract with Sony-BMG, a major label. Navicula released their 4th album, Alkemis, with sony-BMG. But, in 2007 they released their 5th album, Beautiful Rebel, independently and returned to following their ideals through the indie music scene. Navicula is based in Bali, but as an independent band, they continue to keep up a national profile.