eMusic Review 0
Ziporyn is one of the central Downtown figures, the de facto leader of the best-known band on the scene, the Bang on a Can All-Stars. But he is also a fine composer, and has been especially adept at blending Western composition and instrumentation with the sounds of Indonesian gamelan music. Gamelan Galak Tika has all the metal instruments of a court gamelan, but takes a more global approach by including saxes, electric guitar and other Western sounds. This album presents two large-scale pieces: "Tire Fire" is for electric guitars and gamelan — a combination that should not work, and Ziporyn knows it. The different tunings and cultural baggage associated with each group produces a sense of conflict, until finally a kind of harmony — or actually, an ecstatic fusion — is reached when bass sews together the rhythms of Bali with a rock groove. "Amok" is for gamelan and digital sampler, an instrument that can be tuned and adapted to fit with the Indonesian instruments in myriad ways.