After reading all the glowing reviews for this compilation I eventually relented and ordered it from Amazon (it's not the sort of CD I'm likely to find in the bins of CD shops where I live in Bangkok). Overall I like this CD a lot, although I'm not quite as awestruck as some of the other reviewers. I'm not some sort of picky audiophile so I don't mind the lack of "slick" sound quality on these dated recordings, all of which were most likely culled from vinyl records or perhaps even cassette tapes. So actually, considering the source material and the fact that these recordings are from 1970-78, the compilers did a great job of making these songs sound as good as they do on this CD.
The style of music on this CD is described in the booklet as "Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk" and that sums it up pretty well, although I really don't hear much that qualifies as "funk" in my musical dictionary. A few tracks sound a bit too derivative of other 70s-era Western bands (I'd swear one of them is, in fact, a cover, with the lyrics changed), but there also some really incredible tunes on here that would blow the minds of most fans of 70s psyche and hard rock, bursting with wicked, fuzzy guitar licks and propulsive keyboard work. My two favorite songs are "Evil War" by Shark Move and "Candle Light" by Benny Soebardja and Lizard. Not surprisingly, Soebardja was also the vocalist and guitarist in Shark Move. Clearly, this guy was one of the country's rock talents. I'd love to hear by him and his various bands.
Like one reviewer, I was puzzled why there are no songwriting credits on this CD. Along with giving us a very interesting selection of music, the compilers did a fantastic job of putting together a very thick booklet with vintage photos, reproductions of the old records, a history of the Indonesian music scene, and even rosters of the band members for most of these acts. With all that attention to detail, not having the songwriters listed certainly is a bit odd. But the compilers do offer one explanation at the back of the booklet: "Due to the obscurity of some of the recordings contained within this compilation, we were unable to locate the owners of select master recordings. We have created an escrow account for royalties that come due, and hope that the owners will find out about this compilation and contact us." So ... at least they appear sincere and diligent in their duty. And once again, they have put together a really impressive CD compilation. Well worth getting.