Krontjong from the Spice Islands

IMC Krontjong Ensemble - The Collection
IMC Krontjong Ensemble – The Collection
IMC Krontjong Ensemble

The Collection (Jamboe Entertainment, 2012)

Dutch ensemble Indisch Muzikanten Collectief (IMC) presents a lively album of krontjong, also known as keroncong (pronounced keronchong) . This hybrid music style is the result of the fusion of Indonesian Gamelan and traditional Portuguese music. IMC performs its own material and traditional songs as well as unexpected covers of the Allman Brothers southern rock classic ‘Jessica’ and Alison Krause’s ‘Choctaw Hayride.’

The IMC Krontjong Ensemble features flute, violin, melody guitars, ukulele, a cello and string bass in pizzicato style, and a male singer. The Collection includes several instrumentals and vocal pieces sung in English, Dutch, and Bahasa Indonesia.

Although the ensemble’s music is rooted in keroncong, there are also elements of bluegrass-type improv and twangy guitars with a Hawaiian flavor. For those unfamiliar with krontjong, the music frequently includes a strumming sound similar to the ukulele. This is the influence from the Portuguese cavaquinho, which is the ancestor of the ukulele.

The lineup includes Eduard Sebastian on vocals, guitar, Portuguese guitar; Guus Paat on vocals, guitar, ukelele, Hawaiian steel guitar, dobro; Pim Fuchs on vocals, acoustic guitar; Noortje Huiskens on flute; Anne Bakker on fiddle; Marcel Titarsolej on vocals and guitars; Robert Schra on cello; Richard Wallenburg on ukulele; and Rico de Jeer on bass.

IMC Krontjong Ensemble takes the listener on a mesmerizing journey to the musical melting pot of the spice islands.

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