Review - Indonesia: Bali -- Golden Rain

Artist: Various Artists

Indonesia: Bali -- Golden Rain
Label: Nonesuch Explorer
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Indonesia: Bali -- Golden Rain

When faced with the daunting prospect of analyzing a dozen beautifully reissued CDs of Indonesian music -- all originally released between 1967 and 1989 as part of the groundbreaking Nonesuch Explorer series -- the best place to start is with the monkey chants. Side Two of "Golden Rain" has, since its original release in 1969, been an essential introduction to the freakier side of "world music." Indonesian music has a well-deserved reputation as elegant and ethereal, dependent on chiming gamelan and delicate female voices. The other 11 discs in this Explorer reissue series adequately chronicle that aspect, as does Side One of "Golden Rain," which contains an explosive, gong-based piece and a stately dance piece that are quite reflective of indigenous styles. Side Two -- the infamous Side Two -- is given over to a ketjak piece, "The Ramayana Monkey Chant": 22 minutes of frenzied chest-beating, chanting, grunting, ground-thumping and general mayhem orchestrated by a chorus of nearly 100 men and a dozen or so solo singers and dancers. The monkey chant is a creation of this century, designed to entertain tourists. But unlike hula lessons, the ketjak can permanently warp your little Western mind.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.