Efek Rumah Kaca once again graced the stage of Soundrenaline 2017 #UnitedWeLoud on 9 September 2017 at Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Bali and albeit performing as the first line-up at Menthol Burst Stage, their stage was packed with spectators. The band fronted by Cholil Mahmud, Akbar Bagus Sudibyo and Poppie Airil collaborated with an orchestra hailing from Semarang called Cognatio Orkest to present special performances on Soundrenaline 2017. Nine songs were played by the band and seven of them were accompanied by string section from the orchestra. With only few practices, meetings and arrangements, the show was quite fascinating as the orchestra added more dramatic flair to Efek Rumah Kaca’s music. “This might not be our first time performing at Soundrenaline, but each time there is always a new, different, and fun experience. This time we asked Cognatio Orkest to create harmonic symphony,” said Cholil during a press conference after the set. Cognatio Orkest consist of Johanes Mario (conductor), Dean Abhiyoga (violin), Kevin Christian (violin), Reksada Belly (viola), Riky Rachmawan (cello), Vina Renata (flute), Asaf Putra (alto saxophone), and Andhika Tanaya (tenor saxophone). Together with ERK, they brought a beautiful arrangement on “Desember” and applauded by the audience.
Afterward, Efek Rumah Kaca also dished out about their future plan and current band’s condition with their new formation sans Adrian Yunan who decided to go solo. It has been 10 years since they first came up with their breakout self titled debut album in 2007. Since then, the coined term of ‘indie band’ did not become so indie as their music starts to be widely spread and enjoyed by the mass. Cholil expressed his contrary feeling on the stigma of indie band that should remain under the radar. “I think that our music could be listened by many and it is no problem for us. The more people listen to our music means more platform for us to voice out our feelings and thought about many things,” added Cholil. As the band who could be deemed as Indonesia’s indie music pioneer, ERK also said that today’s bands seem to vary in terms of genre and themes. Even though their song “Cinta Melulu” was aimed to mock love songs that became the ‘it’ theme in the past, ERK said that today’s love songs are getting richer and deeper. “The industry has vastly developed, even thought (it is) love songs, many of them vary,” remarked Cholil. He nodded at the statement that indie has become the new mainstream.
ERK also spilled the news of their upcoming record and said that they have secured two new songs that have been recorded. They plan to release a new album next year, so the fans won’t wait too long like they used to for “Sinestesia” that took roughly 7 years in the making. They wanted to set deadlines, so they’d become more punctual and productive. When they were asked about Adrian Yunan’s departure from the band, ERK stated that they understood his health condition very well. Rather than forcing him to join Efek Rumah Kaca’s packed schedule, they wanted to fully support his decision to go solo and picked the live performances as he sees fit. Poppy Airil who replaced his position as bassist also said that he was ready to sing, play bass, guitar, and fill in the gap that Adrian left since his “temporary” departure from 2011 to 2016. Without wishing any harm on both sides, we hope the two acts could offer more variation on Indonesia’s indie music scene.