INTERVIEW: Omar Joesoef



Omar Joesoef creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world.


Born and raised in Indonesia, Omar Joesoef built this EP with samples of old records of ethnic music that he has found in an abandoned radio station on Java island. Named Lokananta, it is one of the first radios setting up in Indonesia in the 50’s. The recordings in Omar’s EP come from rituals and meditative chants of one of the last tribes still living in the ancient way, completely disconnected from the modern world. Including remixes by Cosmo Vitelli & Jonathan Kusuma


We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.


Where are you and what have you been up to now?


Im staying in Jakarta, I spent most days in the studio. this pandemic has shifted a lot, but there are positive outcomes from it, ive been focusing on my Band’s Sunmantra we’re having an upcoming Album with all parties restricted I think it gave us time to reset and have a clearer vision for what we are looking for in music. That's the plus side.


How and when have you been interested in music? And electronic music?


Its probably the environment that plays huge part in my involvement in music maybe the first time ive been interested in music was when I saw my fathers vinyl record for the first time and how it can project sound. It was very all sophisticated and intriguing for a kid. I still remember the record was Herbie Hancock’s Sextant. From then on I bought a pair of 1200s then explored drum machines, toy synths, and eventually found electronic music


Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music?


Its hard to tell how I get into music I guess what defines the true notion of it goes back to my early days, you could probably say an accumulative series of experiences and commotions of music itself intrigues me into music.


How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now? What artists are you interested in these days?


The last mix I did was for Mutant Radio, not so much in the dancefloor direction for the mix, recently ive been digging through my old records so most of the time im listening to my early influences like Jan Hammer ‘s Trance and some indonesian 70s psychedelic rock and 80s disco. Found a record of Dian Fakih an 80s pop disco the track is Dian Fakih – Mencari Diri, this track is quite unique it has vibes like Boney M’s Oceans of Fantasy but done raw remembering the studio gear and technology in 70s 80s Indonesia was very limited. Transs – Jawab Nurani, is genial

and theres this one track from Delly Rollies – Licik this track is out of this world visionary.



How do you feel your music influences or impacts other people?


I hope it does. Most of my music are products of influences and impacts, I hope my music contributes the same way.


How would you define the sound of Ritual of Gorontalo? What is the concept behind?


The core idea of it is Traditional Trance. Its an indigenous ritual a state of altered consciousness which achieved through rhythmic dancing and hyperventilation. I guess that is still relevant to the modern world only now we have a more sophisticated trance I tried to manipulate aspects of that into my re-interpretation of traditional trance.


We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?


Not really I never corelate sales with creativity.


Can you tell us what your present and future projects are?


My future project is with my band Sunmantra we are working on our very first Album!


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