DEBU redefines the term â€œworld music.â€ With its multilingual poetry, eclectic and always evolving selection of instruments, and members from various backgrounds and ages, DEBU has brought a new and exciting sound to the music world. DEBUâ€™s brilliant fusing of East and West, traditional and contemporary, acoustic and electric, yields a unique sound, laced with familiar yet exciting elements.
Music aficionados of every genre can appreciate the ingenious and stimulating blend of traditional instruments (such as the Middle Eastern santur, saz and oud) with modern electric bass, keyboard and guitar.
DEBUâ€™s repertoire does not focus on a particular category of music. The goal in creating the music is to take exciting rhythms and themes from both familiar and ethnic instruments and meld them to produce a new, vibrant sound.
The 24 member group, formed in 2001, has gained vast notoriety in Indonesia and Malaysia with its live and television performances, and with its albums Mabuk Cinta (Drunken with Love) and Makin Mabuk (Even More Drunk).
DEBUâ€™s musical style transcends cultural borders. Each song is unique and attractive, creating excitement while conveying the message of its Sufi poetry - the universal love of the one True Love. DEBUâ€™s lyrics are from the heart, to the heart.
The music of DEBU is free and rich in expression because it is not fettered to any one musical style or concept. DEBUâ€™s music is progressive, exploring new horizons of sound while at the same time remaining faithful to the purpose of the underlying poetry. It may reverberate with energetic Middle Eastern drumming or soar on the ethereal sounds of a flute. Melodies may evoke an Arabian caravan scene or the strumming guitar of western country music. One may hear nuances of cool jazz, western and Turkish folk music interspersed with the multi-cadences of traditional Indonesian marawis. The listener may be roused by the fierce rhythm of a marching song or soothed by hints of European classical music. Often members of the audience are brought to their feet by soulful rhythms.
Shunning the trite rhythms of most popular music, DEBUâ€™s percussionists play an eclectic array of meters, leaning heavily on Eastern beats and Middle Eastern dance rhythms like the zafin. From Indonesian marawis and hajir drums to the Egyptian hand held tar drum, tambourine and finger cymbal, the percussion ensemble plays intricate tempo and counterpoint. While DEBU incorporates a varied ensemble of instruments, it doesnâ€™t shy away from modern elements of pop and rock music such as the bass guitar, trap drum set and keyboard.
DEBUâ€™s music - while incorporating a wide range of musical styles, instruments, and languages â€“ maintains its originality. Whether playing the Indonesian song â€œLautan Hatikuâ€ (Sea of My Heart) which has Oriental and Bollywood elements, or performing a pop-style English song like â€œWhere Does It Come From?â€, DEBUâ€™s music has a unique signature. The perfect melding of exotic and familiar elements attracts a wide range of listeners and fans, who appreciate DEBUâ€™s music as entertaining and artistically expressive.
â€œâ€¦the music has a rounded world music feel to it â€“ their panoply of instruments evoke Egyptian, Irish, and Turkish soundsâ€¦â€ David Kennedy, The Jakarta Post
Some Instruments in DEBUâ€™s eclectic ensemble:
ïƒ˜ Irish Lap Harp: a 22 string model of the instrument that has been played since antiquity.
ïƒ˜ Santur: a very old instrument that was often played in the Persian royal court. There are 1000 year old poems which mention this Persian dulcimer.
ïƒ˜ Saz: Turkish long-necked member of the lute family; has an ancestry that can be traced as far back as the ancient cultures of Babylon and Sumeria.
ïƒ˜ Yaili Tamboura (or Tambura): Another Turkish long-necked instrument resembling a lute; frequently used to produce a drone accompaniment to singing.
ïƒ˜ Gendok-gendok: traditional Indonesian Bugis instrument somewhat similar to a carved wooden xylophone, stroked with two mallets. DEBU obtained this instrument from a Bugis mountain man in Southern Sulawesi.
ïƒ˜ Kemanche: a bowed string instrument held in the lap; its round gourd body, slender neck and sound board originally of fish scales.
ïƒ˜ Bamboo Sax: Hawaiian reed instrument with a sax-like sound.
ïƒ˜ Tablas: small two-sized hand drums used in Indian music and Indonesian Dangdut.
ïƒ˜ Oud: instrument which has been played in Africa and the Middle East for over 500 years, either plucked or played with a plectrum. In some cultures, it was the most important musical instrument. It is noted for its expressive similarity to the human voice yet its ability to blend with other instruments. Along with the violin it plays a major role in Middle Eastern music.
ïƒ˜ Sundanese Flute: a long bamboo flute from the Sunda people of Java Island, played at its extreme end like a recorder.
ïƒ˜ Bansri Flute: an Indian bamboo flute played from a side hole.
ïƒ˜ Dumbek: an Egyptian drum used in disco music in the Arab world. Its pitch is the higher end of the bass range.
ïƒ˜ Jembe: a tall drum made in Indonesia patterned after an African drum, used as a bass drum.
ïƒ˜ Marawis: small hand held drums used to play syncopated beats in intricate call and response patterns.
ïƒ˜ Hajir: a bass drum that accompanies the Marawis.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Pesta Asyik (Joyous Celebration)
2. Mazhab Cinta (The Path of Love)
3. Biduan IstanaNya (Singing in His Palace)
4. Astagfirullah (Forgive Me)
5. Tawanan Kegembiraan (Prisoner of Joy)
6. Salawat Buat Ahmad (Blessings on Ahmad)
7. Don't Turn Back
8. Mabuk, Mabuk (Drunk, Drunk)
9. Angin Sepoi-Sepoi (Gentle Breeze)
10. Ucapkanlah Bersama (Say it Together)
11. Satu Lagu Lagi (Sing One More Song)
12. Gerbang Tol (Toll Gate)
13. Ayolah Jiwa Yang Tenang (Come On, Tranquil Soul)