Netral YouTube highlights: Haru Biru

Netral YouTube highlights: Haru Biru

Just under four minutes in duration, it showcases the Indonesian cult band Netral, as they perform Haru Biru. The video kicks off with a menacing synth rhythm counting down to the actual performance that gets going at 0:30. There are shots of street scenes in urban Indonesia, with crowds of motorbikes roaring along to convey a chaotic atmosphere. Against this backdrop we see the individual band members appearing to be suitably angst-ridden.

Netral's performance starts with a slightly discordant, jerky guitar riff, building up to a refrain consisting of bellowed shouts. You could imagine them performing this in a sweaty club somewhere, with their devoted fans inspired to punch the air in time with the song!

The band themselves are spotted chasing manically along city streets and alleys, sometimes stopping to wrap their arms despairingly around their heads. This footage is interspersed with clips from a live performance, where the drummer is sporting a severe Mohican haircut - which is appropriate for the grinding punk rock being played.

But at 1:18 the melodrama fades slightly, and Netral burst into a pleasant melody. This contrasts very well with the more aggressive verses and their ‘shoutalong' parts. At the same time as these sections of the song are being played, with various band members tearing along the road, an animated graphic of lurid red graffiti follows them closely. This is a particularly effective image. Graffiti is obviously, by its very nature, a type of artwork that is static. But the director's idea of animating the bold aerosol lines and have them pursuing the guys from the band is extremely creative. It is particularly effective when the vocalist raises his head to laugh scornfully towards the skies, while the red ‘ink' flows up around his face, almost as if he is being wreathed by flames.

This use of brightly-coloured red lines is enhanced by the musicians also being spotted wearing red t-shirts. While they dash along streets, under subways or through bustling street markets, they always stand out boldly, as the background tone is kept deliberately drab. Most of the backdrop appears to be awash in tones of grey.

An interesting break kicks in at 2:34. As a light swings above the trio, the music spirals off into a discordant middle-eight, with ringing minor key organ notes being driven along by furiously percussive drumming. This eventually cuts to a more melodic bass part. Again, the red graffiti trails after the protagonists in the video, snaking across the grey landscape, while the guitar eventually comes back to play harmonics that create a suitably eerie atmosphere. If the guys aren't running down alleyways in the video, they're performing some very agile urban gymnastics, filmed in slow motion.

The outro consists of the punchy chorus being repeated to terrific effect, while the solitary spotlight swinging above the band seems to increase in momentum in synchronization with the song. As special mention is due to the drummer, who keeps the jaunty track's momentum going along right to the end, with some furious rhythm punctuated by deftly-performed drum rolls.

The directing credits for this film go to Slim F and Sunu.

Nidji – brightly shining Indonesian rock

Nidji – brightly shining Indonesian rock

Nidji are a bit of an enigma for an Indonesian band, difficult to pin down or pigeon-hole. On the one hand, their name isn't even Indonesian – it actually comes from ‘niji' which means rainbow in Japanese. Their music has had all sorts of labels thrown at it, from pop punk to out-and-out rock, to Britpop (a style of guitar-driven pop originating in the UK in the 1990s, inspired by much earlier bands like The Beatles but more exemplified by the likes of Oasis and Blur). A clue to where Nidji see themselves is in the range of influences they cite themselves, including The Killers and Coldplay. This would tend to place them firmly in the alternative rock camp.

The band originated in Jakarta, on the north-west coast of Java, in 2002. At that time there was a definite resurgence in a guitar-driven pop music. A lot of this originated in America, where bands like The Strokes and Interpol were giving a modern twist on older garage or post punk sounds. The former were often likened to classic 70s pop/rock exponents Blondie, while the latter owed much of their material to the intense riffs but subtle melodies of Velvet Underground-inspired English rockers Joy Division.

Both The Killers and Coldplay certainly came to prominence at the start of that decade, and it's no wonder that news of their dynamic modern take on classic rock vibes made its way across the Pacific to Jakarta, via the radio waves and, of course, MTV.

The musicians who grouped together to form Nidji were vocalist Giring Ganesha, keyboard player Run-D, guitarists Rama and Ariel, bassist Andro and drummer Adri. So far they have released six acclaimed singles: ‘Child', ‘Sudah', ‘Hapus Aku', ‘Kau dan Aku', ‘Disco Lazy Time' and ‘Biarlah'.

One of the aspects that has really propelled Nidji's music into the public eye is the fact that two of their singles were chosen for inclusion in the soundtrack of Heroes, an American science fiction drama that ran for four seasons from 2006 to 2010. In addition, they have also supplied background music for the Indonesian movie Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troops), director Riri Riza's acclaimed study of ten schoolboys and their two inspirational teachers struggling against the odds in a farming community.

Their debut album, released in 2006, was entitled Breakthru. And English version of the album came out the following year. This was followed by a further three albums over the next five years, entitled To Up in 2007, Let's Play in 2009, and their most recent Liberty in 2011.

Nidji tapped into a whole new and potentially vast audience when their track ‘Liberty and Victory' was adopted for a club anthem by English Premiership football giants Manchester United. The so-called ‘red devils' of Manchester are the club with the largest support base anywhere on the planet.

Naturally, all this popularity has been well recognised when it comes to awards. MTV Indonesia declared them Best New Artist of 2006. That same year, MTV awarded them with the prize for Best Group Band / Duo.

Judika gig in Singapore

Judika gig in Singapore

Indonesian pop icon Judika is scheduled to entertain his fans in Singapore on 29 September 2014. Rated as Indonesia's number #1 male artiste, Judika is set to rock Esplanade Concert Hall with his hits such as 'Aku Yang Disakiti' and Mencari Cinta. This versatile artiste gained foothold in the music industry after becoming the runner up in the Indonesian Idol Season 2.

There is no doubt that Judika Sihotang, or commonly known by his stage name Judika, is the #1 male singer/artiste in Indonesia. Judika has eluded our shores many times due to his hectic domestic schedule. We are please to announce the day has finally come for Singapore fans to catch their idol.

Event Title: Judika Live In Singapore 2014

Date: 29th September 2014

Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall

Time: 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm)

Sistic ticket Info:

Cat 1: $168 (VIP include Meet & Greet) Limited tickets

Cat 2: $118

Cat 3: $108

Cat 4: $98

Cat 5: $88

Cat 6: $68

All prices exclude Sistic ticket charges.

Judika Nalon Abadi Sihotang or popularly known as Judika is an Indonesian singer. Blessed with a unique husky voice, Judika started singing since young. In the early years of his career, Judika formed a vocal group with his friends Roy, Juneidi and Jonathan. The group performed in local 5-star hotels.

Judika has a burning desire to become a superstar. He participated in a talent competition, ‘Bahana Suara Pelajar'. Judika won the competition in Sumatra Utara and came in 3rd in the National competition. Judika's biggest break came when he took part in “Indonesian Idol'. (Season 2). He overcame millions of participants across Indonesia. Judika clinched the runner-up position in the competition.

Two years after Indonesian Idol, Judika's first album was released. The album titled ‘ONE', consist of 10 beautifully written songs. Judika's 1st single ‘Bukan Rayuan Gombal' became a success and shot Judika to stardom. It's music, coupled with Judika's special vocals that made the song to be an instant hit.

Judika's 2nd album, ‘Setengah Mati Merindu' was released in 2012. The album, which consists of the singles ‘Aku Yang Tersakiti' and ‘Setengah Mati Merindu', became a success not only in Indonesia but also in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. Judika was awarded the Multiplatinum Award from Sony Music Entertainment, Indonesia.

Singing achievements: Indonesian Idol Season 2 – Runner-up Male Singer of the Year – Indonesian Choice Awards 2014 Best Male Singer – Anugerah Planet Music 2013 Multiplainum Award – Sony Music Entertainment, Indonesia

Nidji – YouTube highlights

Nidji – YouTube highlights

Liberty and Victory

The official music video for Liberty and Victory is certainly a suitably inspiring anthem for any football club. Manchester United have a massive fan base, not just in England and other parts of the UK, but right across the globe. Nowhere is this support more fanatical than in the Far East, which is why a dynamic band like Nidji are perfect to perform this rousing slice of pop rock.

Singing in English, there are clips of the band playing their instruments inside the players' tunnel leading to the hallowed pitch of Old Trafford in Manchester. The action is interspersed with shots of United footballers showing off their silky skills at ‘keepy up', and at one point vocalist Giring Ganesha performs as an airline pilot! The band also clearly relish donning the famous ‘red devil' football shirts as they sing along, while stars of the United first team like England internationalist Wayne Rooney look on, grinning enthusiastically.

‘Take me down to your victory, I don't know what you did to me tonight, I'll be happy to fight for love', goes the adamant chorus, coupled with impassioned verse lyrics along the lines of ‘ride the ocean's tide of life'. Amongst the other footage on the video are the band performing the tarck, surrounded by adoring fans, on the top of an open-deck bus. At the song's conclusion the band members stride out of the tunnel into the vast arena of Old Trafford stadium, fists clenched high in the air. The legend superimposed on the film states: ‘No room for average. No settling for second best. No compromise'. As this fades out, there is a clip of the fanatical fans inside the ground chanting ‘Glory glory Man United'.

Bila Aku Jatuh Cinta

The video for this melodic pop song showcases the band's more sensitive side. A simple verse is strummed on acoustic guitar, floating along, occasionally dipping into minor chords that provide the perfect counterbalance. The video itself consists of a collage of shots featuring heartfelt vocals, set against a backdrop of a mysterious attractive girl.

At 2:36 the track suddenly hits a climax, as the guitar spirals off into a punchy solo, while the rest of the instrumentation provides a series of harmonies. At this point the film shows, variously, kids playing with fireworks, then a couple on a bus who are clearly going through some sort of emotional issues – which are resolved, as the girl's sombre expression dissolves into a smile while she accepts her boyfriend's hand.

This YouTube video has already amassed 835,000 hits.


Taken from their phenomenally successful ‘Top Up' album, Birlah clearly demonstrates the band's debt to English alt rockers Coldplay. Driven by piano chords, the vocals surge towards impassioned peaks. The band footage is filmed with spotlights soaring behind, creating silhouettes. The effective storyline of the accompanying video shows a young couple, and when the boy dons headphones, the backing track dips accordingly, cementing the music to the narrative of the video. This persists as he lifts up then puts his headphones back on. Obviously the song has some deeper significance for him. This is an emotion that has also struck a chord with Nidji's audience, as over one million viewers have latched onto this video.