Pandu Hutomo, known also as the Batavian Rogue has, in many ways, defied categorization and expectation, while consistently imbuing his music with a seemingly infinite and richly diverse series of influences. He is, after all, a true music geek. Not to mention that by the age 28, he’s already done it all: a nomad, a banker, a CEO, a teacher, a private investigator, an addict, amongst other things. The Southeast Asian’s music reflects specific periods of his life, resulting in a wildly diverse discography where the only mainstay is his poetic lyrics of longing and loneliness. He landed in the music arena with his single, “Insane”, before truly capturing his audience with the release of his album “Wasted Hearts: A Love Story for the (Loveless) Ages” in 2017.
Now, after diverse single releases, Pandu Hutomo has finally dropped his latest album, entitled “Madeleine of Rogues”. A mix of Indie Rock, Alt-Pop, and Art-Rock, the album shows Pandu’s penchant for bringing together a multitude of diverse influences into a still deeply personal (and recognizable) conception – irrespective of what anyone may choose to call it .
“Madeleine of Rogues” is an album as expertly crafted as any of Pandu Hutomo previous releases. The song structures may be accessible, the melodies consistently hummable and the grooves more decided, but the album still draws upon Pandu’s far-reaching musical tastes for its colors, textures and complexions, ranging from crunching guitars and thundering percussion to keyboard-driven soundscapes, vocal beauty and cinematic-styled arrangements.
Pandu Hutomo’s broader expertise, far-reaching musical taste and penchant for writing music that, even when made with greater accessibility in mind, possesses the kind of sophistication and depth that makes his idea of a popular modern record into something far more substantive. The album kicks off with the quaint guitar scream of “Milk Tea, Hot Babes”, and the percussive drive of “Goddammit, Mary”.
The album quickly reaches an apex with the catchy and anthemic, pop-rock jangle of “Felicia” ft. Young ill. This leads to the elegant groove of “Secret Stops” ft. Ratnayu Kirana, which eventually evolves and expands into a soaring rock template. It’s is followed by the choral delights of “Esplanade 2am (No Sleep)” and the soulfully sophisticated melodies of “Children of the Moon” ft. Huong Su.
Pandu Hutomo can make your head spin with his creativity and precision-filled performances, in a variety of styles, as he does on both “Great Banker Chaebin” and “Madeleine”. At times it sounds as though Pandu borrows his influences from the past, but then he seems to stride into the future, leaving an openness in his music that does not belong to any one decade, but spans time.
The album oozes style and creativity in a unique, yet satisfying blend of styles. Art and music combine into a thrilling blend that you just want to keep listening to. Pandu Hutomo can go from the wistful instrumental “Chiang Mai Night Bazaar”, to the vocal pop-rock soar, of “My Love Has Grey Hair” with effortless ease. These songs are beautifully produced, high quality, and offer sublime musicianship.
Simply put, “Madeleine of Rogues” is a stunning and evocative mix of songs that will have a huge impact on unsuspecting listeners. What is most striking about this new album is the way in which Pandu Hutomo makes his music accessible while constantly keeping in mind to affirm his trademark originality without compromise.