Beatfest Takes a Psychedelic Twist
Australian psychedelic rock band Tame Impala will be making its Indonesian debut as part of the Beatfest music festival, which has previously featured globally renowned acts such as MGMT, The Whitest Boy Alive, Belle and Sebastian and Sondre Lerche.
Tame Impala will headline the event alongside the inventively named American dance-punk group !!!, which is usually pronounced “chk chk chk.”
The festival is scheduled for Saturday at the Bengkel Night Park concert venue in Jakarta. The doors open at 6 p.m.
The concert will open with two local acts: the comical singer-songwriter Sir Dandy, who is riding a wave of hype from his recently released debut album, and the dreamy dance act Hightime Rebellion, which has just been signed to indie label Fast Forward Records.
Hailing from Perth in Western Australia, Tame Impala first made waves with the release of its debut album, “Innerspeaker,” in 2010. Although the band had released a couple of EPs since forming in 2007, it was not until the debut album dropped that music publications outside Australia began to take notice.
The bluesy psychedelia of “Innerspeaker” garnered rave reviews from a variety of publications, which appreciated the vintage, but not retro, blend of old and new music.
BBC Music raved that the record managed to “display an intuitive feel for psychedelia’s insurgent streak and joy in non-conformity that’s far in excess of their peers,” while music Web site Pitchfork wrote that through the record, the band “is able to tinker with and update familiar textures and moods without blurring the lines too much or just plain overdoing it.”
The band’s 25-year-old frontman, Kevin Parker, said he was aiming for a wistful feel for the record by recording it in an isolated house by the beach in Perth.
“We kind of just wanted to make it dreamy enough so you’re in the dream-pop realm, but still kind of a little bit gritty and rhythmic. Groovy and pulsing, but at the same time kind of lo-fi and rough,” Parker told Interview magazine. “But I wanted to make it pretty sounding.”
Vicky Atmadja, a 25-year-old fan who will be going to the concert with his girlfriend, says he became a “huge fan” of the band because of its ability to create “music that makes you feel intoxicated. It’s spacey but not meandering.”
The music of the hyper-energetic !!!, meanwhile, is dreamy in a funkier manner. Formed in California in 1996 by former members of the hard-core bands Black Liquorice and Popesmashers, the eight-person band shifted to dance tunes to liven up the underground crowd, who would generally stand there with their arms crossed.
Their 2001 self-titled debut album earned them notoriety as a forceful live act, though it wasn’t until the subgenre “disco punk” hit in 2003 that the band finally gained momentum.
!!! broke into the US independent scene in 2003 with the single “Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story),” a nine-minute disco-infused track with minimalist and psychedelic house music undertones. From Kraut-rock repetitions to tribal claps and chants, the song had it all.
The song was also the first single from the band’s sophomore release, “Louden Up Now,” which received generally positive reviews. The AV Club wrote, “ ‘Louden Up Now” sounds spacious even in its dank corners” and praised the songs’ lasting effect, comparing them with “suites, shifting through spells of excess and restraint that take their time to take effect.”
The band’s later releases include 2007’s “Myth Takes,” and “Strange Weather, Isn’t It?,” released last year. Both received praise, with the latter being one of the band’s most melodious works — the title comes from a scene in the Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai’s 2000 film “In the Mood for Love.”
Hesty Putri, a university student in South Jakarta, said she saw !!! perform in Chicago “a few years ago. And you know, it was one of the craziest, most adrenaline-rushed concerts I’ve ever seen,” she said, adding: “They’re gonna blow Jakarta away.”
Beatfest 2011 Bengkel Night Park
Oct. 29, from 6 p.m.
Ticket price: Rp 325,000