Bandung, Paris of Java
We arrived quite late in Bandung so we went straight to our hotel. The morning after we took a taxi to Taman Hutan Raya in the north of Bandung to see some nature and also kill some time before we could meetup with Munir. It was a beautiful hike through the forest jungle.
After some heavy rain we went down the hill to the centre of Bandung to meetup with Munir and Benhard at Hidayat Gallery. Hidayat is a Jazz label and art supply store. The owner is a collector and also has some mastertapes stored at the gallery. We went in for a little chat to find out what they had and also because they had released some stuff from Gito Rollies.
They had some artwork laying around and we also got the cassette inlay card to the album. They didn't have the cassette itself for sale there but later on in my trip I would find it myself in Medan.
We then moved on to see my first recordstore of the trip. It was a short visit and I didn't buy anything there yet, because Merel and me were still gonna be on a long trip so bringing records for a month would be a little inconvenient. But then Yordan came along and brought MIDNIGHT RUNNERS first release the Overdrive EP on darker than wax. I didn't know the record at the time and first played it when I was back in The Netherlands. I was blown away to say the least. That something this good was made by somebody who I now call a close friend. This made me even more determined to get the music from Indonesia out there, old ánd new. You can buy it digitally over on Darker Than Wax's bandcamp.
After that we went for some food at Toko You. The MIDNIGHT RUNNERS creative local hangout for some soul food. We talked about the music scene in general, and how they compare in Indonesia opposed to Europe and The Netherlands. A lot of similarities but there are a lot less support or a solid foundation when you compare it to Europe. You don't have a lot of venues to showcase your art and that's unfortunately the case for most of Indonesia. It's on the rise but the clubscene is not really on a level where you could play what you want and there would be enough support. I hope we can make a difference in that quality music will be appreciated on a higher degree around Indonesia.
We went to the hotel after because we had a very early and long train ride to Yogyakarta. One of the most beautiful train rides I've ever been on. The beginning of the rest of our trip together. A trip of discovery on a cultural level, and also a time to relax. I wasn't ready with Bandung, so I went back by myself about a month and a half after which you will read about later on.