DARA Pus­PiTA 1966-1968 (sub­lime Fre­quen­cies)

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos -

Dur­ing the 1960s in In­done­sia, the rock mu­sic of The Bea­tles had been branded as “a mental dis­ease” by Sukarno, the coun­try’s dic­ta­tor. That didn’t stop Jakarta from be­com­ing a hot­bed of garage-rock psychedelia where con­certs were rau­cous af­fairs, even if the mu­sic played at them was banned from the air­waves. An all-fe­male band who played, sang, and wrote many of their own songs, Dara Pus­pita was one of the most ac­claimed bands of this era. It’s not hard to see why. Ef­fort­lessly chan­nel­ing Dick Dale and the early Rolling Stones, these 26 songs, culled from their first three LPs and sung largely in In­done­sian, are breezy blends of trop­i­calia, surf mu­sic, and bluesy, blown-out garage rock. The band has been given a new lease on life through Seat­tle’s Sub­lime Fre­quen­cies, a bou­tique la­bel ded­i­cated to res­ur­rect­ing lost gems of global pop mu­sic. Bri­tish and Amer­i­can ’60s pop is all over this record. While they never re­sort to cov­ers, Dara Pus­pita in­ven­tively bor­row from their he­roes, as when they re­cy­cle the riff from “Sat­is­fac­tion” on “Tanak Airku” (“My Home­land”). Their sole English-lan­guage song — “Be­lieve Me” — is a hook-filled gem that would fit well on any best-of col­lec­tion from the era of 1960s garage rock.

— Casey Sanchez

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