KoBaGi Kecak from Bali: Move Over, McFerrin, Step Aside Steve Reich

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Here is a “body band” if there ever was one. Nominally lead by a French gamelan fan named Grégoire Gensse and 1 Wayan Sutapa, KoBaGi — which means Crazy Body Community — was formed in 2010, and features body music and bamboo instruments. It’s about as organic as a band can get.

It uses elements from the traditional spiritual kecak dance, but expands upon them in new ways. The group is really tight and you can tell they’ve practiced together extensively. There are a lot of rhythms and polyrhythms to contend with and these guys carry it off with aplomb. I’m not sure what the white spots on their bodies are, but I do know that the swastika-looking tattoo is not the Nazi version but rather an ancient Hindu sanscrit  religious symbol; it’s different than the Nazi version too.

Here is the group’s website and email address:kobagi@hotmail.fr. Presenters: they are looking for 2016 bookings in case anybody is interested. Here is a clip of KoBaGi in action. The French co-leader is the white dude in the center calling the shots: “Kele” was shot by film maker Julien Vergne.

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