The concept behind the trio named Uwalmassa is the fusion of international sounds – from traditional to modern – with translation through an Indonesian lens. Uwalmassa acknowledge that the Indonesian identity is not something that is diminishing, but rather in need of being reconstructed – that it is still subject to reinterpretation. This does not justify erasing existing cultural identities, however. Instead, it is an incentive to continue to build upon pre-existing foundations. Throughout their work and research, they challenge shallow and narrow thought processes used in understanding the vastness that is Indonesia.
Elaborate production techniques and non-conventional composition methods are at the core of Uwalmassa’s music. By incorporating elements from a broad musical spectrum, Uwalmassa aim to convey a relevant narrative within the contemporary climate. Instead of preservation, they take on the initiative of bringing Indonesian arts and culture into more explorative and imaginative sonic realms. Simultaneously, this opens up the path for more thorough research into the parts of Indonesia’s musical knowledge and history that have been lost.
In 2018 they released their Bumi Uthiri EP on DIVISI62, a Jakarta-based sound and visual arts label aiming to reach new heights in the continual construction of the Indonesian identity. The same year they also featured on a split EP, Animisme, with a track described by Boomkat as a “combination of swinging syncopation and fragrant vocal samples coming off like Shackleton dubbing Senyawa.” They have performed for Raung Raya (curated by Rabih Beaini) in Berghain, Berlin, and at Alur Bunyi at Goethe Institut Indonesia in Jakarta. They held an exhibition, titled “Paripurna,” at Ruci Art Space in Jakarta.