Welcome to the World of Krontjong

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Keronchong Salina : Bubuj Bulan & Modjang Priangan
taken from the album
“Vol. 2” on Philips (197?)

Maroeti and his Krontjong Boys : Onde-Onde (“Sweet Cake”)
taken from the album
“Ballads In Batik Vol. 2” on RCA (1974)

Kontjong, Kronchong, Kroncong, Keronchong… as mysterious in spelling as it is in melody. Moody, brooding, beautiful. I have several cassette tapes of similar music that I picked up in Indonesia back in 2000, but digitizing those would require pulling out (and dusting off) a tape player, which seems a little daunting right now. What limited info I have about this style of sound comes from the back of these LP’s (and can we just take a nice moment of appreciation for the killer COVER ART here?). Apparently, these melodies:

“Originate from the early Portugese settlers in Indonesia and when the Portugese left and the Dutch settlers came, it was inherited by the Portugese/Dutch Eurasians from grand-grand fathers to grand-grand sons and so on.”

Here’s another informative link that I dug up about this Indonesian musical evolution.

Other than that, just let the tunes speak for themselves. “Bubuj Bulan” sounds like a ready-made RZA beat. Some serious Mulatu vibes around 1:40. I want more…

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