10 great reasons to rock: Ivan F. Devota and “My Way” (album review)

Great music is everywhere. That being said, we are so overwhelmed with music coming from every direction, it’s sometimes hard to find lesser known artists and give them some of our time. And it goes without mention, sometimes it’s like finding a diamond in the dust of the commercialized, autotuned, lobotomized music trash coming from our mainstream media.

When I’ve set out to find out more about the Indonesian music, I haven’t a slightest idea where my quest will lead. But one of the stops is with Ivan F. Devota and boy, am I glad to find this artist!

Ivan is an instrumental guitarist from Bandung (ID) and so far he has released two albums – “My Way” (2015) and “Dream” (2019) (reviewed here).

Today we’re gonna have a look at his debut. It contains 10 songs – all instrumental and all rocking my way to work!

Opening “Ambience of Harmonic” serves as a sign of the things to come – or an intro, if you wish – and straight away, with “Runaway” we are on this wide highway to…wherever, with the energized tunes and great rock vibes. Yes, that’s the way I like it, baby!

“My Way” continues in this direction, the songwriting is clear and spot on, and I keep finding myself waiting for the vocals to kick in, haha…well, no vocals here, as I’ve mentioned above, it’s an instrumental album. But it’s definitely likeable and this song is no exception.

“If… (Song For You)” is a chillout rock ballad and as I am writing these words in the evening, the atmosphere created by this song is almost perfect. One can almost see the possible video for this track, right in the 1980s fashion. Wouldn’t it be perfect? The crying guitar here is touching my heart as I am really longing for those times to be back. They won’t, that’s the life, I’m afraid, but still, the spirit of the music remains. And this song confirms it.

Ivan Fabian Devota
Ivan F. Devota

“One Day” starts with digital drums, and in the slow mood, almost as it would be a continuation from the previous rock ballad, but it’s a little faster, with a fantastic bass line. And I do love fat bass, no doubt about it! Also nice is to hear accoustic guitar going along – in the background – with the electric one. It’s a nicely varied track, with a slow tempo here, the energized part there, you won’t be bored, I am sure.

And then it’s “Light in Peace”. A short piece, compared to others on the album, an atmospheric, almost otherworldly bridge between the otherwise rock guitar fronted tracks. Good for a break, definitely.

What’s on the other side of the bridge, then? Well, it’s “Move On!”, the longest (7:01) track of the album. Not a small task to write an instrumental song that long, that’s for sure, but Ivan has managed to do that, from the light, slower opening rises as the Phoenix with the guitar notes on his wings, only to put us back to relaxing position in about the half of the song (and the bass is still sounding great!), just to wake us up again. Man, I love that!

I will repeat myself, but this is great album indeed. The ending of the song is just pure joy. Rhythm and melody going hand in hand creating the feeling so needed nowadays! This song basically bursts with positive vibes and I mean it.

And I bet you wouldn’t even notice when you come to the last song of this great album – Glory. It features Febri Capnony, who I don’t know, but certainly will find. And as the rest of the album before this last song, it’s nothing but perfect. Don’t know what else to say, really.

Summing it up – Ivan F. Devota proves there are hidden gems everywhere, it’s only up to you to go and find them. The sad fact is not many people will put themselves into such a task, but for those who do, they will be rewarded with such delight as this album.

Brilliant, positive and relaxing. The best debut one can ask for.

Bandcamp: https://ivanfabiandevota.bandcamp.com/album/my-way

Avatar photo
I am the founder/owner and editor-in-chief of the Rubber Axe webzine, the underground/overground cultural publication, publishing also this website dedicated to all things Indonesian. I'm a happily married guy with 2 kids and a fantastic wife, and I'm a relentless discoverer of all things cultural and culinary. An everlasting dreamer and idealist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.