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Monteanni, Luigi (2023) '“More Metal than Metal”: Preliminary Reflections on Imagined Genealogies.' Brief Encounters, 1 (7).

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Réak is the Bandung subregional variant of the “horse trance dances”: a popular group of animist performances present throughout and outside Indonesia. During theevent, a trance master coordinates a series of spirit possessions with themusical accompaniment of a percussions and shawm ensemble. Like other artforms, including metal, réak is described as ramé(tangled/interesting/noisy) and kasar (coarse) due to its chaotic social ambiance and distorted, fast-paced music. Indeed,due to geographical proximity and the genre’s local relevance, réak is experiencing the influence ofextreme metal. Although most participants avoid hybridity, a conversation istaking place among participants, debating the aesthetic affinities between thegenres, generating a commentary stressing similarity and genealogy. Moreover, while metal bands invite réak troupes to open concerts, réak practitioners, often familiar with the metal community, appropriate the genre’s stylistic elements such as distorted electric guitars and “Metal Distortion” pedals.Despite réak’s and metal’s resistance to assimilation, stylistic musical and extra-musical cross-fertilisation generated a non-synthetic hybridisation that safeguards genre boundaries. The discussion will be useful in laying the foundation to problematise concepts of hybridity that classic analyses of genre do not grasp.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Indonesia, west java, extreme metal, genre studies, jathilan, ethnomusicology
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of Music
ISSN: 25140612
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2023 08:12

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