As part of Island of the Gods ongoing ‘Island Explorer’ series Young Marco was invited to Bali to collaborate and record with local artists. The end result being ‘Bahasa’ the long player we now have before us. Extended free-form jam sessions with gamelan, gong and bamboo musicians, coupled with local field recordings have melded with Marco’s modern(ish) drum machines and synthesisers in a satisfying amalgamation of indigenous and new age / ambient sounds.
Marco, as evidenced on his previous ‘Biology’ LP and Gaussian Curve work with Jonny Nash and Gigi Masin, has a keen ear for melody. He never allows Bahasa to drift into self-indulgent noodling despite the familiar tropes of birdsong and jungle ambience. This always feels like a Young Marco record – hugely evocative, atmospheric and magical sounding.
It’s a hard job to pick favourites from a record that hangs together so well as a whole, but opener ‘Kalapa Garden’ with its addictive echo of Gamelan percussion and woody FM synthesis shines through.
Marco saves the very best for last with ‘The Beginning and the End’ and its truly heart stopping haunting melody. As ever with Island of the Gods, the record comes beautifully designed and packaged and gives the listener some equally evocative imagery to accompany their voyage.
‘Bahasa’ is out July 12th on Island of the Gods