Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Formed in 2004, West Chester’s own Imbala is a three piece instrumental prog-rock band. They sought to create music that was “outside the box.” They were looking for a sound that would evolve all of the music they found inspiring. This includes bands like The Mars Volta, Gruvis Malt, Incubus, Tool, 311, Minus the Bear and RX Bandits.

In 2005, drummer and West Chester student Ben Wirjosemito asked his brother, Adam Wirjosemito, to join the band as their alternate percussionist.

From the xylophone, bongos, and timbalis, to tablas, cowbell and djembe, he added a huge rhythmic presence that contributes to their emphasis on polyrhythms and odd time.

In addition to the Wirjosemito brothers, the other band members include Scott Zanon on guitar and Nate Hatch on bass.

Scott Frost of the Trentonian has said that “Imbala is an instrumental mish-mash of rhythm, melody and thundering breakdowns funneled through erratic time signatures.”

In 2006, Imbala recorded their first EP, “Between the Mass and the Muscle.”

Since they are an independent band, the EP was not released under any management.

They are currently in the process of recording their first full length album which is projected to be released in the spring.

Imbala plays shows tirelessly, all through the tristate area and often in nearby Philadelphia.

They recently played on October 25 with Enstride at The Rusty Nail in Ardmore, PA.

Imbala has been mentioned and discussed on popular radio station WMMR in the Philadelphia area, and has played a number of local venues including Stone Pony, 8×10, Doc Watson’s, Grape Street Pub, The Fire, and others. Imbala has music available on their MySpace.

The adress is www.myspace.com/imbala. The page contains music which features their unique talent.

One aspect of the band that may surprise many is that Imbala’s songs do not have words, but instead are musical journeys through instrumentation alone.

They change from hardcore to progressive rock, back to hardcore with a number of influences inbetween.

Imbala sounds like a funkier version of bands like Pelican and Russian Circles, but with a lot more alternative percussion, for a welcome change in sound.

Imbala certainly achieves the unique vibe and blend of genres they were hoping to in their brief sampling of music on their MySpace.

As their tagline says “buy the ticket, take the ride” and that’s certainly an accurate representation of their music.

If you’d like to book or contact Imbala, you can email imbalamusic@gmail.com.

Amanda Warren is a third-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at AW631747@wcupa.edu.

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