A few years ago Dictionary 2 (2012, see review) of the Indonesian band Ligro was presented to me. The outcome was an album that was a bit too tough to digest in one piece. Mostly because of the over the top fusion the band plays and guitar parts that go beyond my comprehension. I guess that is just my bad luck, musically the band is a pure innovating band that is searching for borders to cross. Three years later a successor landed on my desk by the appropriate name of Dictionary 3. Ligro still is the brainchild of guitarist Agam Mamzah, who is accompanied by one of the most in-demand bass players of Indonesia Adi Darmawan and drummer Gusti Hendy, who also participates in the mega pop rock band of their country Gigi. What is new, is the addition of piano and keyboard player Ade Irawan to the first composition of the album.
Dictionary 3 starts with Bliker 4, an almost fifteen minutes long song, that guests aforementioned Ade Irawan. This song is the highlight on the album for me. The reason for that is that the piano creates structure and makes sure the other instruments are limited in their freakiness. Bliker 4 is a solid jazz rock tune, highlighting the keyboards and filled with suiting solo spots of Ligro members, keeping the song within the boundaries of accessible jazz and fusion. Something completely different are the compositions that follow, like Pentagonal Krisis, a song that has a perfect combination of drum and bass and a guitar that is searching for direction, towards the end, melodies and sounds have evolved to a sort of composition, but still you got to really be into chaotic and seemingly random guitar sound to dig the whole picture. Basically this goes for the rest of the album, both Adi and Gusti lay down a solid and very interesting base for the compositions and Agam plays over this base, using unorthodox scales and structures to complete the songs. During 20th Century Colosseum, the co-operation of the three members results in a relatively solid accessible piece of music, without the song getting too freaky. The final song Lonely Planet has a nice beginning, adding their own kind of blues to the music, but gently along the way the structure changes into chaotic sounds, creating a confusing end to this song.
Dictionary 3 is a new step into Ligro's music and I guess the heart of the songs always will be the (un)structured chaotic guitar sounds of Agam. This time the addition of the keyboards preserved an accessible element in their music, but still, Ligro is a band for people who don't really need structure and can enjoy chaotic elements in a song. For myself, I like structure, therefore I think I Ligro's music is too ambitious for me.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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