Kotak started out in life as a ‘Dream Band', first spotted on a national talent competition back in 2004. For that reason many purist music fans have been dismissive of the group's place in the Indonesian rock scene. Because they're perceived as being ‘not authentic enough', they were not treated with the same respect as those musicians who found fame the hard way – working their way up through relentless gigging in small clubs. However, Kotak have gone on to prove their detractors wrong with a series of excellent albums.
A terrific place to really get to know the band, if you don't already, is to check out their videos on YouTube. Tendangan Dari Langit, viewed by well over half a million viewers so far, is one of their most popular music video moments.
The film uses the technique of melding the band's driving rock music with the equally powerful world of sport. Both activities have much in common. They attract legions of devotees and the best of the action often takes place inside large arenas, in front of thousands of passionate fans. In this case, as the band launch into their song with a melodic but powerful guitar riff, they are surrounded by enthusiastic cheerleaders gyrating in time to the music.
All the other Kotka trademarks are present and correct. Tantri leads the vocal assault in her inimitable style, her beautiful voice strong enough to shine through the power chords. Cella's guitar is played hard and slung-low, allowing him to brandish the instrument with a swagger reminiscent of the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards (a long, long time ago!) As Kotak weave their catchy choruses, they bop around in the middle of a grassy pitch as if they are limbering up for a crucial athletics or football event. There is even a smoke machine behind the drummer coughing out great orange clouds!
At 2:15 Cella works a mesmerizing solo into the song. Reflecting the drama of the moment, a young footballer is depicted going to great lengths to improve his game. At one point he appears to be playing football on a rocky landscape, kicking the ball towards crevasses. When the action switches back to the band we see them surrounded by various coloured balls, as if they themselves have been involved in some form of rigorous training.
At 2:30 Cella's name flares on the back of his top, as if he has morphed into a football star. Arms aloft, he takes the crowd's acclaim, while holding a flare that spews out coloured smoke dramatically. The other band members follow suit, lifting their flares victoriously, while a multitude of cameras flash in the arena's tiered stands. By this point all the instruments have dropped out of the mix, except for a relentless martial drumbeat that is urging the band to victory.
As the song builds towards its climax, young footballers are shown practicing on desert landscapes; later, red-bedecked crowds swell the stadium to shout on their approval.
This is a perfect blend of strident, powerful rock music, and a video that enhances the band's performance by linking it with the struggles and triumphs of soccer. By the end of the song you'll be punching the air yourself!