Albums that I dig
2: Abbhama - Alam Raya
I'm a huge fan of non-Western prog, psych, and heavy rock from the 70s. Take Indonesia for example. Seriously the 1970s Jakarta scene produced some amazing acts and Abbhama is no exception. Their lone album "Alam Raya" which came out in 1978 to me is a masterful work. "Alam Raya" avoids all of the theatrical pitfalls typical of a lot of prog and goes straight for the heart. It's magnificent without being bombastic; earnest without unnecessary melodrama. The instrumentation is well thought out and demonstrates their compositional and technical prowess, again without the sonic boastfulness of bands like Genesis and Yes. They utilize synthesizers, flutes, piano and violins as often as guitars. Me like, me like a lot. The vocals come in like a lush lullaby that soothes you into the frequent proggy time signature changes. You're not jostled into these time changes; you are rocked into them. And to top it off, this album still manages to have catchy hooks! Great job band.
"Alam Raya" is often described at symphonic prog (quite so) but I also hear a lot of sweet pop and folk elements on this record. I think Abbhama invented a new genre that I'd like to call "precious prog" because it really is a touching recording. If you're feeling contemplative and looking for a dreamy soundscape to chill out to, thrown on your headphones and give "Alam Raya" a listen.
Buy it here.