By: Claudia Siregar & Patricia Kusumaningtyas
After making his debut earlier this year with his single “Samuderasa”, ambient folk soloist Eky Rizkani, also known as Reruntuh, has released his first album “Runtuh, Tumbuh” under Labuan Records and Spotlight Musik. The 37-min-long album serves us with nine memorable folk tracks including Reruntuh’s previous singles “Samuderasa”, “Runtuh, Tumbuh”, “Embun”, and “Kembali Kita Berlayar Pelan”.
Production value-wise, “Runtuh, Tumbuh” is a rather neat yet slightly daring ambient piece of work. Folk elements are present with the dominance of acoustic guitar sounds and lyrical themes of going back to nature, longing, and hope throughout all the tracks, combined with a lo-fi ambient production style and sounds of nature (e.g. rain sounds) which add a unique touch to Reruntuh’s sound. It is definitely obvious to see Reruntuh’s influences in his music; he reminds us of Sufjan Stevens with his whispery delivery and soft acoustic sound, and more locally, reminds us of Banda Neira’s soft guitar-tinged melodies. Evidently, Reruntuh makes good use of vocal layering throughout the album, even in more ambient/instrumental-heavy tracks such as “Harap-Harap”, “Hujan”, and “Whispers”. This use of vocal layering is reminiscent of Fleet Foxes and Thom Yorke’s Anima album.
As Reruntuh’s sounds take us back to nature, his lyrics also take us back to the deep ocean that is our wistful mind and soul. With a calming ambient background, Reruntuh sings about longing for a lot of things: people (Samuderasa), a new place (Pergi, Jauh), the ability to express one’s thoughts and feelings as a loner (Senyap), and more. But this longing is not without a resolution. Reruntuh also aims to give his listeners hope through his songs, as heard on “Senyap”, in which he conveys that all human beings have their own equal portion of struggles.
In his single before his album, “Kembali Kita Berlayar Pelan,” Reruntuh uses the hypnotic grasp of his melodies and his meditative lyrics to create an ambiance and an inner understanding of ourselves. In “Kembali Kita Berlayar Pelan,” he repeats the lyrics “Rasa takutmu, jauh di dasar palung” (“Your fears, deep down in the ocean troughs”) and “Kembali kita berlayar pelan” (“Again we sail slowly”), creating a meditative effect reflecting its listeners’ feeling of going through a slow-moving body of water.
One downfall of this work of art, however, would be the monotonous instrumentation save for the nature sounds throughout the album. However, being a new addition to the Indonesian music scene, Reruntuh is just getting started. We would definitely like to see more musical experimentation in his next releases, especially through melodic/stylistic tweaks in the signature acoustic sound he has established. We’ll be eager to see how he progresses in his future works!
Listen to Reruntuh here: