It’s doubtful you’ve heard anything like Trabajo, a Brooklyn duo that culls samples from Indonesian gamelan recordings to create a gripping psychedelic engrossment from another world. “We nerd pretty hard about world music from all over the map, and this band is our way of channeling that nerdy fan vibe in a creative way,” they wrote. “Gamelan is a longtime favorite so this was a particularly satisfying endeavor.” It’s quite easy to create a novelty sampling act; anyone could form a project that makes songs from the sounds of spoons clanging on a table. It probably just won’t be any good. Trabajo actually have a vision to their madness, best shown by the hypnotic “The Myth”. It echoes the traditional Indonesian ensemble in its haunting wordless croon, yet with a modern edge that employs everything from hip-hop drumbeats to a haunting psych-pop vocal layering courtesy of a devilish female vocal lead. “The Myth” is just over two minutes long, but it transports listeners to another dimension.
Download their album, Gamelan to the Love God, here for free.