REAK “Indonesian Trance” (Tingo Tongo Tapes)

“DIY ethnomusicologist” Palmer Keen recorded the reak ceremony in Cinunuk, West Java, in May 2017. The reak is a ceremony celebrating a young boy’s circumcision. This is the point in any review where I’d be like, “Well, this connects for ME in such-and-such a way…,” but I’m not going to regale you with the details of my penis. We’ll just stick to the music.

Keen’s field recordings shed light on the amazing musical proficiency of groups outside of the popular consciousness, and the players here have undoubtedly performed this ritual music before. Eastern instruments and scales are the obvious marks here, which mostly flit by at a quick pace. It’s hard not to get lost in it, to imagine you’re there.