Life’s A Journey at Indonesia’s Legendary Recording Studio: Lokananta – Right across the road from our hotel, The Sunan Hotel Solo, was Indonesia’s legendary recording studio: Lokananta. It’s the must-go to spot to visit in Solo if you like Indonesian music and it’s a great historical lesson for those not yet too familiar with traditional Indonesian music. We loved it. Stepping into Lokananta was like a pair of retro arms embracing me and as they say, if only those walls could talk…

Lokananta can be translated as ‘Gamelan sounds from heaven’, a recording studio which was “heaven” primarily for recording gamelan music.

There’s a lot of sounds with multicoloured signs, history and plenty of collections full of heritage that will take you back in time. I adored the old vinyl record covers and the fashions of the 50s and 60s.

Lokananta has over 40,000 recordings, which include some 5,200 commercial labels, in its collection. The studio also holds the master recordings of Indonesia’s first president Sukarno’s speeches as well as recordings of the national anthem, “Indonesia Raya” (my partner shed a few tears listening to this recording), “Bengawan Solo” (by noted composer Gesang) and “Walangkekek” (by noted singer Waldjinah).

Lokananta also has the biggest collection of keroncong and gamelan orchestra recordings (Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, even Bataknese), along with the first recorded speeches of Indonesia’s first president Soekarno and the original version of the national anthem. Gesang, Titik Puspa, Wajinah, Idris Sardi, Ismail Marzuki, Bubi Chen, Jack Lesmana, and Bing Slamet are a few of many legendary artists whose recorded their music on Lokananta.

For those out of towners wanting to go, The Sunan has a package worth checking out.

The Lokananta, one of Solo’s oldest. It’s definitely one to visit! Book your tour now:

Stay tuned for more adventures around Central Java with @thebojoku in Indonesia.


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