dMasiv: Massive on the Indo music scene


Jakarta's d'Masiv are rightly regarded as being at the forefront of the Indonesian rock scene, along with bands such as Nidji and Noah. Formed in 2003, D'massiv consist of vocalist Rian Ekky Pradipta, guitarists Nurul Damar Ramadan and Aditya Marsall, drummer Wahyu Piadji and bassist Rayyi Kurniawan Iskandar Dinata. Their unassuming name comes from the English translation (which is almost identical) – massive. They are obviously setting their sights high.Nidji indo music
d'Masiv are another Indonesian band who were given a step up the ladder thanks to that country's love of talent-spotting shows on national television. They won a contest in 2007 – A Music Live Wanted, leading to the release of their first album, 'Perubahan'. This album included the track 'Cinta Ini Membunuhku'.
Testament to this song's enduring popularity can be witness by navigating to the video hosted in YouTube. Here you will see that when you click on the action you are joining a line of viewers that is already standing at 1.38 million. Not bad for a young band that first got thrust into the public eye on a talent show!
The song is fairly anthemic, starting with a rousing chimed guitar intro that is not a million miles away from an early song called 'Yellow' by English global rock superstars Coldplay. As the plaintive vocal line comes in, two guitar tracks meander over one another in the background, eschewing power chords until the incredibly catchy chorus. As this comes in, the strident vocal rises and dips with passion.
A lot of bands attempt to do this contrast between a soft verse building into an anthemic chorus, but few pull it off with such aplomb. At 2:36 the music rises to a powerful guitar solo and a harmonising string accompaniment, while the rhythm guitar keeps the rest of the track guiding along. As the song heads towards its finale, the strings come in again, along with some subtle changes in the key.
For such a young band, d'Masiv are past masters at channelling heartfelt rock music with more laid-back balladry. This makes them come across as sincere commentators and musicians, with something that will connect with their audiences, as opposed to a lot of rock bands who are only interested in trying to impress their listeners with ear-shredding chords!
Another terrific example of their work can be seen online in their track 'Cinta Sampai Disini'. Here the narrative appears to be telling the story of a fragmenting relationship. Against a backdrop of an anguished female, and objects falling in slow motion, the band perform the song with gusto – leaping into the air and allowing the power chords to fairly rattle the speaker stacks. Predictably enough the music eventually subsides into basic notes on the guitar – but in creating a dramatic atmosphere that is just as poignant as ending the proceedings with a screeching guitar solo or a sudden stop.

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