Whirlwind Records, December 2012 (CD, digital)
Yes No Wave Music, June 2013 (digital)
Total Running Time: 58:04
"Autonomy" is Kekal's 9th full-length album, and it also marks as the second one being recorded and released without official band members. The term 'autonomy' itself reflects the current state of Kekal; that the band remains autonomous and is kept alive by getting significant contributions from its former members as a collective and/or collaborative work of art in the forms of music, artwork, and audio production.
The music on "Autonomy" can be best described as emotionally adventurous and introspective in nature. As dark as it is illuminating, this album will definitely challenge listeners to free themselves from seeing music as a mere entertainment commodity. Simplicity takes the most important role on the album, as it values the most basic and primordial drive to balance life's complexities. The visual artwork in the form of photography complements the music, and together, they create one solid statement to evoke our subconscious minds - the wildest imaginations and visuals that oftentimes are being suppressed in a conscious level by conformity to the norms. Carefully crafted and anxiously delivered, "Autonomy" has set its own standard within the music world.
First pressing of CD is a Limited deluxe-edition double-CD with "Audible Minority" as bonus disc.
Main contributors: Jeff Arwadi, Leo Setiawan and Levi Sianturi
All songs composed by Jeff Arwadi, except "Rare Earth Elements" and "Playground" by Jeff Arwadi & Leo Setiawan
Produced, mixed and mastered by Jeff Arwadi
Engineered by Jeff Arwadi & Leo Setiawan
Northern Isolation Station (Calgary, Canada) and Langit Sejuta Damai (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Photography and illustration by Levi Sianturi
Digital layout by Jeff Arwadi
As in 2012, Kekal has no official band members.
The first pressing of the CD format is a hand-numbered limited deluxe-edition double-CD with the 2008 album "Audible Minority" added as the bonus disc, and 16 pages full-color booklet covering both albums’ visual artwork. This version comes in a very limited copies, so once they’re sold-out, the "Autonomy" CD with then be sold only as the normal version without an extra bonus disc. So be sure to grab this one while you can!
To me, the whole approach on "Autonomy" is an exercise in modesty.. Conceptually, the album itself celebrates and communicates simplicity in our day-to-day life, and there's nothing too symbolical about it.. It's not a theatrical form of art, it is basically the art itself; the so-called human expression..
With "Autonomy" I'd like to challenge myself that being simple doesn't equal to being lazy.. We need to redefine our perception and attitude to both simplicity and complexity.. I mean, in this era of digital communication and social media, it takes you much more effort in order to achieve simplicity rather than complexity.. I see more people right now can’t stand to watch DVD, or Youtube video with only 480p resolution.. They want HD, they want BluRay.. More and more cars offer lots of fancy electronic and computerized stuff so you can be totally ‘connected’ while on the road, well, except with the road itself.. This age has gone crazier and crazier, that's why simplicity is important as a statement to balance life's complexity..
Some of music enthusiasts see Kekal only from the technical side alone.. They see Kekal as 'progressive' based on the structure of the songs on albums like "1000 Thoughts of Violence" or "The Habit of Fire".. While it is fine with me, song structure doesn't represent what Kekal stands for.. If you want to describe Kekal to someone, it is important to get to know and become familiar to the basic philosophy of the band, the cultural background, and the daily life of the human contributors behind the presentation..
Well, we'll have to realize that Kekal isn't considered as an important band in the music industry. It's basically just another small, non-touring, underground independent band releasing album after album. Kekal is among the least priorities in the industry. It doesn't matter with me personally, as I don't consider Kekal to be part of the music business at all. Kekal doesn't need music business in order to exist and to make statements. That's why I prefer to promote the album direct to listeners through free download. That way, it would help gaining momentum. I'd like the album to be spread under the radar, in the underground, just like an infectious disease. And eventually when the time the official promotion starts, which is yes, very very late, it wouldn't be considered as an unknown album at all.
Get the entire Kekal digital album discography (a bundle of 13 Kekal digital releases sold on Bandcamp incl. 10 full-length albums and 3 EPs) for only $22.50 USD! Yes, that's more than 50% off a-la carte price.
A great chance to check out the music of Kekal.