Bottlesmoker is an electronic duo hailing from the town of Bandung, Indonesia, consisting of Anggung Suherman or Angkuy (synthesizer, sequencer) and Ryan Adzani or Nobie (synthesizer, looper). The duo has been performing experimental electronic pop music, greatly inspired by musicians such as Lullatone, Dan Deacon, and Tidy Kid. As well as providing music for free on the Internet, they’ve been releasing records under various labels in different countries, from Before Circus Over in 2006 through Neovinyl Records (Spain), to Polarity EP in 2016 through Thorn Kollektiv (Iceland) and their latest, Parakosmos.
We talked to them ahead of their performance in Zandari Festa.
You’ve been together for 10 years. What brought you together, and what makes you stick together? How do you overcome different opinions, and probably conflicts that arise between the two of you?
We don’t exactly know what makes us stick together for so long, but what’s certain is that we do what we really believe in, what we love with all our hearts. We love writing songs and distribute them to the public. Sharing music is our raison d’être. If there are differences in opinion or conflicts between us, we’d go away and do our personal jobs first, and when our emotions have died down, we would meet again to settle our problems. But after 10 years, there are no longer significant conflicts. The longer we are together, the less conflicts arise between us.
Why did you choose to create work in the electronic/electropop genre?
When we both studied Radio Broadcasting, there were many classes related to music production, such as radio jingle production, ad jingle production, background music for broadcast, and others. The music production that we studied introduced us to music software such as Fruity Loops. While looking for reference and developing music production through software, we eventually came to focus in exploring electronic music after finding the record label Morr Music, which specializes in electronic music and minimalist pop. We came to really like electronic music.
You make music with a lot of instruments, from cowbells to Nintendo DS. Do you bring all these instruments when performing?
We make albums with sound that is influenced by the music instruments that we have. In our previous album, we played around with toy music instruments, but in July 2017, we released a new album, Parakosmos, in which we don’t play around so much with such music instruments but instead use a lot of synthesizers, modular synths, sampling pads, and loops. So we won’t be bringing cowbells, Nintendo DS, and other toys this time.
You often share your music for free on the Internet. But not only helping with the distribution of music legally, Internet is also where people go to get music illegally. What do you think of this, especially in the Indonesian context?
We don’t really care about piracy and such issues; we’ve been sharing our music for free even before we started spending a lot of time on the Internet. We’ve been sharing our music freely, without charge, radically, in our gigs, in campuses, and even in dorms. When access to the Internet became easier and cheaper, we expanded this music sharing on the Internet, and we’re happy to contribute our knowledge about music as a medium to the public through the Internet. Our wish in doing our activities is that music can be freely accessed in the name of knowledge openness.
You’ve been touring not only in Indonesia but also some other countries. What were some of your most interesting tour experiences?
When we were doing our Asian Tour in 2011 to five countries in 19 days. The rhythm was very fast, we had to move around quickly and lacked rest. We used a lot of time for sleeping, taking a bath, eating etc on the road. We felt more like backpackers than musicians (laugh).
Do you have any goals that have not been achieved yet?
How did you get to know about Zandari Festa? What are you looking forward to from your participation in the festival?
We always want to perform in countries that we’ve never visited before, because we love the moment when meeting a new culture, a new language, and new friends. We’ve put Zandari Festa in ‘must-do’ list since a long time. Zandari Festa is a big festival attended by musicians from various countries; we want to learn, listen to their stories and their experience in music from them. We of course want to share our music with a lot of people there. We can already imagine the three days prepared to celebrate music with many people from many countries to be three very special days.
Last but not least, please say a word or two for the people who will have fun in Zandari Festa!
Bottlesmoker will perform in Zandari Festa on September 30 (Saturday) @ GOGOS2 17:30 – 18:30
For more info about Bottlesmoker and their performance in Zandari Festa, visit their Zandari Festa page.