Imanez: Sunset & Sunrise

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Imanez-premiere
IMANEZ: SUNSET & SUNRISE

Sosok Imanez (almarhum) tidak banyak dikenal di masa sekarang. Ketika dilacak ke Google cuma sedikit sekali informasi yang bisa diserap. Pun di Wikipedia Indonesia, walau menyediakan keterangan tentang apa dan siapa Imanez, masih belum bisa dikategorikan komperehensif. Cukup tapi tidak cukup. Dan itu bukan sebuah fakta yang menggembirakan.

Musisi berbakat ini semestinya disuguhi ekspos lebih besar oleh media massa serta diberi apresiasi lebih tinggi oleh masyarakat penyuka seni khususnya skena senandung dalam negeri. Sebab sumbangsihnya kepada blantika musik Indonesia terhitung signifikan. Yang paling bisa dicatat adalah jasanya dalam mempopulerkan genre reggae ke publik luas, ke seantero Nusantara. Ia merupakan salah satu sosok penting yang memberi warna berbeda terhadap musik Indonesia pada pertengahan 90an yang notabene monokrom, statis di sekitar tema asmara picisan dengan irama pop mendayu-dayu. Tak hanya sampai di sana, satu tembang yang membuat namanya menjulang, “Anak Pantai”, pula secara bawah sadar bak menegaskan bahwa identitas reggae Indonesia adalah menyukai pesta, berperangai santai, bukan kriminal—mendamba damai, serta dekat dengan pantai. Seperti deretan syair yang tertuang di lagunya,

Gak kenal waktu / Party selalu / Yang ku suka hanyalah sunset dan sunrise…
Ooo…Anak pantai / Ooo…Suka damai / Ooo…Anak pantai / Ooo…Hidup santai

Ungkapan sedemikian rupa kebetulan didukung oleh videoklip yang lumayan jitu menghidupkan lirik yang dinyanyikan. Berikutnya di kehidupan nyata, ajaibnya, disambut anak muda bagai sebuah tata tertib tak tertulis bahwa jika anda mengidolakan reggae maka anda wajib bergaya santai, menghindari konflik—lebih memilih damai, menggemari keriaan—bergitar bersama sambil menikmati ikan bakar, salah satunya; serta memilih pantai sebagai ajang berekspresi dan unjuk eksistensi.

Nah, atas dasar minimnya penghargaan yang pantas terhadap talenta istimewa macam Imanez inilah insan-insan penyelenggara Vision International Image Festival (Vimage Fest) merasa terpanggil untuk menempatkan Imanez di posisi yang lebih layak, pun secara kebetulan banyak dari karya Imanez klop dan kontekstual dengan tema Vimage Fest yaitu bahari. Sudah begitu, Vimage Fest lalu melakukan napak tilas ke masa silam Imanez—mewawancarai beberapa figur utama, mendatangi sejumlah tempat esensial, menelisik dokumen substansial, menggali informasi vital—lalu menuangkannya ke dalam karya visual berupa film dokumenter. Imanez: Sunset & Sunrise lalu dijadikan judul, yang dikutip dari potongan lirik lagunya yang paling tenar. Apalagi sunset dan sunrise erat terkait dengan kelautan, tema utama Vimage Fest. Selebihnya untuk menegaskan bahwa Imanez tidak seharusnya namanya tenggelam (dalam blantika musik Nusantara) tapi muncul dan bersinar.

Imanez terlahir dengan nama Abdul Firman Saad pada 22 Juni 1968 di Jakarta. Ia dibesarkan di keluarga berdarah seni. Kakeknya merupakan seorang penggesek biola serta sang ayah pemetik gitar. Ketika belia Imanez amat menggemari The Beatles serta sempat memiliki semacam band keluarga yang khusus membawakan tembang-tembang The Beatles, Speedy Beetle. Beranjak dewasa ia mulai lekat bergaul dengan komunitas Potlot karena kebetulan bertetangga serta sama-sama mengelola studio musik di rumah masing-masing. Interaksi intensnya dengan anak-anak Potlot kian mengasah bakat musiknya yang memang menonjol sejak kecil—Imanez piawai memainkan berbagai instrumen terutama gitar, bas, kibor dan drum. Selain nama panggung yang tadinya cuma Iman bertransformasi menjadi Imanez (Iman yang memainkan bas Ibanez), ia juga diajak bergabung di Slank, grup musik paling menonjol di komunitas Potlot, sebagai penanggungjawab gitar juga bas serta sesekali menyanyi (tergantung posisi yang sedang lowong). Di era ini pula Imanez mengokohkan keberadaannya di blantika musik Indonesia dengan merilis album perdananya, Anak Pantai (1994). Meledaknya single yang bertajuk serupa dengan album seketika saja membuat musik reggae terangkat pamornya di masyarakat luas, lengkap dengan gono-gini tak resmi bahwa reggae mengakrabi pantai serta bertabiat santai. Setelah menerbitkan karya keduanya setahun setelahnya, Sepontan, yang notabene kurang terdengar gaungnya, perlahan Imanez mulai jarang tampil di depan umum. Sampai kemudian pada 2004 publik mendengar namanya lagi justru karena kabar duka: ia meninggal dunia akibat gangguan lambung akut dan kanker hati. Musisi yang terlanjur dicap sebagai pengusung reggae—sejatinya di era tersebut ia lebih beredar di orbit alternative rock dan poros tengah macam Lenny Kravitz—ini meninggalkan seorang putri dan sepucuk album yang belum sempat diterbitkan.

RUDOLF DETHU
Penulis, Sutradara

Informal discussion before the film shooting; Satrio Prabotho (executive producer, 2nd from left), Oppie Andaresta (resource person, 3rd), Denny MR (resource person, 4th), Intan Anggita (assistant to the Director, 7th), Adib Hidayat (advisor, 8th), and me

English version

IMANEZ: SUNSET & SUNRISE

The late Imanez is not a well known figure at the moment. A Google search result does not yield much information. Indonesia’s Wikipedia has a brief profile about Imanez but without any comprehensive information. Enough but definitely not good enough. It is not a heartening fact.

This talented musician should have been widely exposed by the media and fully appreciated by the artistic communities, especially by those who are fans of Indonesian music. His contribution to our wealth of Indonesian music was significant. Among his vast contribution, popularizing the reggae throughout the archipelago must be noted. He managed to be a prolific figure who painted with a different color onto the canvas of Indonesia’s music scene during the mid-90s which was still remembered as a monochrome, static era when cheesy love ballads was reigning the chart. He did not stop there. One of his most popular songs, “Anak Pantai” (beach kids), unconsciously cemented Indonesian reggae identity as the music of the party, laid back and far from hard crime, it demands peace and an intimacy with the sea. Very much like the lyric of the song:

Couldn’t care less about time/ party all the time/ All I love are sunset and sunrise…
Ooo Beach Kids/Ooo… like peace/ Ooo… Beach kids/ Ooo… laid back life

That kind of lyric was supported by a spot-on video clip, bringing the words into life. In reality, magically all the fans took it as the unwritten rules: if you are a fan of reggae, you must be living a laid back kind of life, remove yourself from conflict—peace and happiness—strumming the guitar while grilling some fish, using beach as the place to express and showing up their existence.

Based on the lack of inappropriate appreciation for Imanez, Vision International Image Festival (Vimage Fest) feels obligated to put Imanez on his rightful throne. Accidentally, his songs are contextually matched with the theme of this festival: maritime.

A group of dedicated team from Vimage Fest then made a trip to the past of Imanez—starting from interviewing some of his closest family and friends, visiting some essential places where he lived and worked, flipping through substantial documents and digging through vital informations- then poured it all visually in one documentary film. Imanez: Sunset & Sunrise becomes the title, quoted from a piece of his famous song and an obvious tie with the maritime theme of Vimage Fest. Most importantly, this film is to highlight Imanez, whose name should never be drowning in the anonymity of Indonesian music history, but always there at the shining top.

Imanez was born Abdul Firman Saad on June 22nd, 1968 in Jakarta. He was raised in an artistic and musical family. His grandfather was a violinist and his father was a guitarist. He was a big fan of The Beatles, so much so he was part of a family tribute band, Speedy Beetle, who were specializing in performing The Beatles songs. He grew up with the Potlot community who happened to be his neighbour and each had a music studio. His intense interaction with the Potlot crew sharpens his musical talent which was clearly appeared ever since he was a kid. He was adept at playing various instruments such as guitar, bass, keyboard and drum. His old stage name, Iman, was transformed into Imanez (or Iman who played with Ibanez). He joined Slank, a leading band in Potlot community, as the person in charge for the guitar and bass, while singing once in a while, depending on available position. During this time, Imanez sealed his existence by releasing his first album, Anak Pantai (1994). His single—which title was the same with the album—successfully topped the chart and immediately raised the popularity of reggae, complete with the whole beach and laid back lifestyle. After the release of his less successful second album, Sepontan, two years later, Imanez slowly withdrawn from public life. Suddenly, the next thing public heard of him was the sad news of his death on 2004. He passed away because of an acute gastric ulcer sickness and liver cancer. This musician—who was known as the reggae legend—although it may be more fitting to put him in the center of alternative rock orbit like Lenny Kravitz, left one daughter and one album which have not been released.

RUDOLF DETHU
Writer, Director

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Produced by Vision International Image Festival 2013
Executive Producer: Satrio Prabotho
Directed and written by Rudolf Dethu
Advisor: Adib Hidayat
Line Producer/Asst Director: Niken D. Rahayu
Assistant to Director: Intan Anggita
Director of Photography/Editor: Rio Simatupang
Camera Assistant: Farmaditya
Graphic Director: Panji Krishna
Graphic Design: Edy Saputra
English translation: Eve Tedja

Premiere: Sunday, October 20th, 2013, 6pm, Bentara Budaya – Denpasar

SEE ALSO
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