The Exotic Sounds Of Bali

Before the legendary supergroup Guruh Gipsy released their one and only album in 1976, several foreign musicians had encountered the exotic Balinese culture and mixed it with their modern works. This allegedly triggered by three things: the arrival of the painter Walter Spies to Bali in 1927 (who will also have a role in transforming the ritual Kecak to become a cultural attraction for tourists), papers and research conducted by American ethno-musicologists Mantle Hood on traditional music of Java and Bali in the the '50s (Mantle eventually recorded an album The Exotic Sounds of Bali in 1963), and a BBC documentary-which is narrated by a leading environmentalist-naturalist Sir David Attenborough entitled The Miracle of Bali (1969). The film is divided into three sessions; general info about Bali and its culture, ritual-spiritual tradition, and the latter is about the music and dance.

Monkey Chant Jade Warrior is one of the first British bands that uses elements of Balinese music. Th…

Minor Songs in Major Keys or the Other Way Around


Rest in Peace, Kerry Hill

Legendary architect, Kerry Hill, passed away at 75. Kerry Hill built his reputation as the mastermind behind some of the finest hotels throughout his longstanding partnership with Adrian Zecha, founder of Aman resorts and GHM. Remembering Kerry Hill, here are the list of his works with Aman and GHM in chronological order:
1992 - Amanusa (with Danilo Capellini) 1993 - The Chedi Bandung (now Padma Hotel Bandung) 1993 - The Datai Langkawi 1994 - The Serai Manggis (now Alila Manggis) 1996 - The Chedi Ubud (now Alila Ubud) 2002 - Amansara (restoration) 2002 - The Lalu Sun Moon Lake 2004 - Amankora 2005 - Amangalla (restoration) 2005 - Amanwella 2008 - Aman New Delhi (now The Lodhi) 2014 - Aman Tokyo 2007 - The Chedi Chiang Mai (now Anantara Chiang Mai) 2016 - Amanemu
A glimpse of Kerry Hill's involvement in the history of Bali tropical boutique resorts can be read here.

Onnes Kurkdjian the Photographer

Oranje Hote, now Hotel Majapahit Surabaya, is one of the many objects that are well immortalised on celluloid by obscure photographer, Ohannes "Onnes" Kurkdjian. From his nam, like Kim Kardashian and Serj Tankian (the vocalist of System O A Down), we can immediately know that Onnes is Armenian.
Onnes was born in 1851 in Armenia which at that time was an area that was being annexed by the Ottoman and Russian Empires, and also France. The intense political and religious discrimination situation caused Onnes to leave Armenia in the 1880s and never returned. Onnes stopped in Singapore to work for a fellow photographer who's also of Armenian origin. After three months Onnes moved to Surabaya to establish his own photo studio, Atelier Kurkdjian.
Under his direction, the Atelier Kurkdjian studio became moderately successful, employing more than 30 photographers, including several well-known British photographers, G.P. Lewis and his Dutch student Margarethe Mathilde. Atelier Kurkd…

Lebaran dan Ketupat

Ray of Light Turns 20



Here's the playlist of electronic music's best beats that's not EDM. Enjoy!

Best of 2017

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"Heroes" Turns 40


Meetup with Mondo Gascaro

Read my interview with music mastermind Mondo Gascaro on Seasalt's blog: watch hsi performance in Rumah Sanur, Bali, below. Enjoy!

Abandoned Hotels in Bali

Bali is a tourists haven. Famous for its pristine beach, majestic mountains, lush rice paddy fields, countless hotels, and some abandoned hotels too. These are some of the most legendary abandoned hotels around Bali that we can visit and explore (at your own risk):
Bali Cliff Resort Owned by Sigit Harjojudanto, the son of Suharto, Bali Cliff Resort was opened in 1992 and running in normal operation for the next 13 years. The resort was shut down for renovation in 2005 but it never reopened. The 175-room resort was the first five-star resort in Ungasan - Uluwatu area, boasting various food & beverages outlets namely The Cliff (casual dining), The Seloka Club (described as "a place to enjoy a snack ror a delicious dinner then tango or lambada the night away"), The Asuka (Japanese restaurant), The Ocean Restaurant (cliff-side seafood restaurant), Tirta Pizzeria (pizza restaurant), and Pool Bar (obviously, a bar). Other facilities include a tennis court, outdoor stage for perf…