In November 2016, after three successful and work intensive quarters and a lot of time in the studio, I spontaneously decided to travel to Indonesia with a friend of mine (Philipp Levinger Photography). Of course, in the back of my mind I wanted to record new sounds for the fourth instalment of the ProducerOnTheRun series.
After a total of 27 hours travel time we were greeted in Jakarta by the enormous heat mixed with the smell of burnt car tires. Another domestic flight took us to our first destination: Yogjakarta.
From there we visited two temples and used the breathtaking scenery to shoot a few photos.
Surprised by a monsoon-like rainfall that turned the streets into small rivers within minutes, we set off on our way back. Back in Yogjakarta, we went to a small karaoke bar, which played terrible music, but proved to be the perfect place to digest the first impressions of Indonesia.
These could not be more contrasting: smog, hectic driving and incomprehensible traffic on the one hand and breathtaking landscapes and buildings on the other.
A couple of Heineken beers later we got to bed exhausted.
A few hours later, our attentive driver shaked us out of our sleep, so we could still catch our train to Malang on time. After 8 hours of travel we arrived at our destination. Our AirBnB location should be located at 2.4 km altitude on a volcano and the trip there should take another 5 hours - for 80 km! The traffic was INSANE!
At our destination, the Bromo volcano, we explored the area for the next two days with horses and dirt bikes, which allowed us to approach the volcano crater. The air was very dusty but the view was breathtaking!
Our next stop was Probolinggo from where we took a 5 hour train ride along the east coast to Banyuwangi. From there, the ferry continued to the island of Bali.
Having arrived on Bali, we decided to take the less touristic route to the north to get a first impression of the island.
With a very friendly but crazy driver we moved from the north to the middle of the island. We visited the Git Git waterfalls and undertook walks through the jungle where we would make very successful recordings of monkey noises.
Impressed by the beauty of nature, we traveled further south to Ubud, a town in the heart of Bali. Here the landscape was characterised by large rice terraces and rainforest and thus provided an overwhelming scenery for the huge temple complexes. While visiting the temples, we were lucky enough to record a traditional ceremony.
From Ubud we went to the east of Bali, from where we took a speed boat to the island of Lombok. Located east of Lombok are the Gili Islands, which are known for its parties. After the adventurous trip we had so far, me and Philipp decided to spend three relaxed, fun days on Gili T.
The next stop took us across Pamenang along the west coast of Lombok to Setangi Beach, where we spent two more very relaxing days at the ocean. The next mission took us to the north of the island, where the waterfalls Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep can be found. We were able to record great ambient sounds. Also we recorded the bamboo percussion sounds that can be found in the drum kit.
The return trip took us by speed boat back to Bali, where we spent the last 3 days south of the city of Denpasar.
The first impression of the trip was characterised by Jakarta and Yogjakarta rather moderately, as environmental and air pollution was out of control, unfortunately. But the further we moved to the east, the quieter and less touristy it became. The impressive landscapes and friendly and helpful locals quickly showed us the other side of the region. After more than three weeks travelling thru Indonesia we returned to Germany with great impressions, unique images and sounds.
Link to the kit: ProducersOnTheRun Vol. IV: The Bali Drum Kit
Photos: Philipp Levinger
Additional writing: SVRN