Aftermaths 2: The Noise in Indonesia

At the Voice of Valley festival in West Virginia last year, my friend J. Guy Laughlin was telling me about the noise scene he had become involved with while living in Indonesia, describing wild stuff being played at these shows popping up in all sorts of tiny spaces and strange corners. Less than two months later, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi. It was the deadliest earthquake of last year and one of the fastest earthquakes ever recorded.

The Aftermaths series is intended to do the double duty: illuminating exciting music scenes while raising awareness and money for climate disaster. A compilation that could hip Western ears to a bunch of really sick music happening in Indonesia while also raising some money for people affected by the disaster seemed ideal, so I hit J. Guy up to see if he could help me source some tracks. Graciously, he did.

Shortly after, Sean Stellfox got involved and did a lot of the heavy lifting reaching out to artists and getting music sent my way. He also made the savvy suggestion that I reach out to Insitu Records since I was interested in some getting some gamelan music on this compilation (I’m really obsessed with gamelan music).

The result is a sprawling compilation of harsh noise, industrial music, improv, synth jams, and gamelan featuring musicians either living in, born in, or significantly connected to Indonesia. The artist Ayam Kaili was directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami in September, and it took a few days before other folks in the scene heard from him.

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Aftermaths: Chicago Stands with Puerto Rico

Hello and welcome to Groove Cafe. You’ve stepped in because you want to learn a little more about this big compilation Aftermaths.

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Aftermaths is a digitally released compilation featuring 40 Chicago artists. There’s ambient music, improvised house, deep fried rock, free jazz, footwork, and ONO, the most important band in America. Lots of other stuff too. You don’t need to listen to it all in a big 3-hour chunk. Start anywhere and keep your ears open.

This is a fundraiser so let’s talk money. This compilation was released digitally, keeping overhead minimal. Thanks to a kind donation to Groove Cafe a few months ago, there was a small budget for mastering and art.

The vast majority of the revenue from this compilation is going to ISER Caribe, who has a really cool mission of helping Puerto Rico rebuild in a sustainable way. Some of the revenue will be reserved for a few months as a small budget for mastering another fundraiser album. If another album never materializes, that money will just get donated to ISER Caribe.

Groove Cafe will post the exact amount of money raised at various points in the near and longer-term future to Twitter, as well as receipts of donation to ISER Caribe.

Aftermaths is the first release on the new Groove Cafe music label. All releases on this label will be released as fundraisers for a specific organization doing important work. Albums by individual artists will split revenue between the artist and an organization of their choosing. Again, a small portion will be reserved for Groove Cafe costs.

What does music have to do with a hurricane?

There are three reasons why a sprawling compilation full of awe-inspiring artists across genres works well to aid a hurricane relief effort that’s almost a year old.

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