Against Ethno-Kitsch: Trance Music in a Broken System / Hyperallergic

Arrington de Dionyso, Nehemiah St-Danger & Jake Jones of Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa (all images courtesy of the artist)

Arrington de Dionyso, Nehemiah St-Danger & Jake Jones of Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa (all images courtesy of the artist)

CHICAGO — “I’m pretty opinionated about music,” says artist/musician Arrington de Dionysio, whose creative work has taken him to Indonesia and back. “I’m not interested in sampling ‘a little bit of this, a little bit of that’ for its own sake alone, the results are usually boring and insincere, a kind of pandering the lowest common denominator of ethno-kitsch.”

The Olympia, Washington-based artist/musician’s creative repertoire of performance art, music, visual art and mysticism has taken him to Indonesia and back, and now he’s prepping for a second return. His project Malaikat Dan Singa, a trance punk ensemble, is a transformational spiritual experience for all who participate, combining dancehall rhythms with gamelan scales and mystically inspired incantations in Indonesian through a throatsigning technique combined with a modified bass clarinet. During his first trip in 2011, he began collaborating with musicians he met there, immersing himself in creative culture there.

“Wukir Suryadi is an instrument inventor and experimentalist of the highest calibre, regardless of specific cultural background, he is a master musician and a dear friend,” Arrington tells Hyperallergic. “We play very well with each other — we can barely maintain a basic conversation and yet he is one of the most intuitive musical partners I have ever performed with.”

Read the full article on hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/84329/against-ethno-kitsch-trance-music-in-a-broken-system/