April 29, 2012

NEW TRACK: Outcasts of the Universe - "Open Hearts"
























Filed under best new music! Outcasts of The Universe’s “Open Hearts” drops melodies that could melt whatever the scorching heat of the sun leaves behind. It’s a wistful electro ballad that exists in a dream-within-a-dream sequence, delightfully assembled through a swelling mass of seductively coy vocal harmonies, heartbeat pulse, sweeping synths, and  cascading beats. Even though you can barely understand the lyrics, the uncertainty sends off a stanch feeling of nostalgia and heartbreak, so instant that it leaves a scar straight to your heart. Listen to this awesome song below.

NEW TRACK: Dirty Hate - "La Brea"
























Dirty Hate has unveiled the new single “La Brea” from their upcoming EP The Garage. It’s a brooding guitar-rock jam fashioned from the psychedelic leanings of Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, with a fair share of charm dashed in their songwriting style. Originally titled “Say My Name You Bitch,” the song was inspired by drummer Bryan Baltazar’s unforgettable, one-night stay in a hotel room in Baguio. Sexy and creepy, if you'll ask us. Hear it below:

April 27, 2012

NEW VIDEO: Chillitees - "Don't Leave"
























Chillitees has dropped the video for their spanking slowburner “Don’t Leave.” It features vocalist Uela Basco in her bikini, begging for her man not to leave til the sunset’s on the horizon. Like a soul singer laying waste to the beach in hopes of getting away from that dud feeling, she’s taken what could’ve been typically heartbreaking and made it suave and cool. And that vooiiiccceee? You’ll love her all the more for it. Watch the video below.

April 26, 2012

NEW TRACK: Eyedress - "Tokyo Ghost"
























Eyedress’ demo track “Tokyo Ghost” feels like a love song that exists in celestial spaces. The music is sad and weightless, blurry and limitless, churning a lo-fi, synth-laden pop that’s wrapped in gauzy glow. Check out the track below and download it here.

April 25, 2012

BRANDON CUETO and his trippy dubstep, Pinoy style


Dubstep/Brostep/Two-step diehards, meet Brandon Cueto. He’s an upcoming Filipino electronica artist whose production style borrows heavily from the likes of Skrillex and Burial, stuffing his sound bank with wobbly bass, metal-clunking beats, dubstep breakdowns, chopped vocal loops and otherworldly electro sounds. He has a new EP out, the three-track banger called Gladiators. It’s one of our favorite underground releases of the year—a futurist, manic record that merges the pensive and the adventurous, the sonically challenging and the pastiche. We honestly love everything about it, from the Sleigh Bells-sampling “Places” to the splintering dark “Why Oh Why.”

As a treat to our ever-loyal readers, you can download the EP here for free. Check the sample track from that amazing record, below.

April 24, 2012

NEW TRACK: RomCom - "I Don't Want To"

RomCom’s new single “I Don’t Want To” gives us a foretaste of what their upcoming EP would sound like: tear-stained, ‘90s guitar-pop charmer that must have been the product of staying in a misery camp for months. The song echoes the low-keyed pop styling of Moonpools and Caterpillars, Fatal Posporos, The Cardigans and Narda, with lyrics ringing of crystalline despair. Blast this off your speakers and unguard your emotions just for once. Stream the track below.

April 23, 2012

ALBUM DOWNLOAD: APLM's 99 Problems And Maria Is 1 (2012)

99 Problems And Maria Is 1, that massive 15-track album from A Problem Like Maria is now available for download. The digital bundle follows the pay-what-you-want template, where the price is determined by what the individual consumers want to pay for it. A brief note on APLM: her debut album is actually her first solo hiphop release in eight years after getting involved in various experimental/IDM projects here and abroad. It also marks her return to crafting minimalist, soul-inflected hiphop—one that teeters with renewed confidence and feminist attitude, giving her the advantage over her contemporaries. Talking about 99 Problems via email, Maria gamely shared to us what to expect of her new record.
“It's the kind of hip hop that I always hear in my head -- booming, head bobbing, and steady. The fifteen tracks we've lovingly crafted are a testament to how much love I've got for this genre -- one can only wish that shines through the music."
Download the album here and make sure to give Maria a shout out on her Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter page. You can also stream the track "You've Got Nobody" below.

April 22, 2012

Hear Sans Saboteur Cover Wilco's "Jesus Etc."

Last week’s roster of talents that played in Attraction Reaction was one of the best prod line-ups we've seen this year, from veteran band Ciudad making a huge comeback in the gig circuit to indie rookie Child/ren of the Pilgrimage debuting new songs off their highly anticipated Tower Of Doom release.

The biggest surprise of the night, however, belongs to Sans Saboteur, a band that did a sultry cover of Wilco’s 9/11 tribute song, “Jesus Etc.” Sans Saboteur delicately revisits this nu-Americana classic with a feminine touch, transforming the song into a bluesy, post-beat tune that throws rawness and attitude to the fulcrum. Watch the video below.

April 20, 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: Pedicab - Kaya Mo Mag Sando (2012)
























It’s hard to imagine what spurred Pedicab’s decision to release the EP, Kaya Mo Mag Sando. Without resorting to promotions and press releases that could have built public interest, Pedicab silently debuted their record in an online music store one Tuesday afternoon. Whether they’re breaking the usual business model of how major labels release albums or simply trying to tag along the controversial fit of North Korean rocket launch, there’s no denying that their refreshing release strategy have caused so much clamor for fans and music aficionados to dive into their bait. After all, they have a sizable fan base, and they’re one of the few bands I know that are capable of mixing highbrow-cool with pedestrian sensibility relatable to all classes and kinds—A-E, girl, boy, gay or confused. Name it.

On their latest 6-track EP Kaya Mo Mag Sando, Pedicab proves to their detractors that they’re still a galvanizing force in both the indie and mainstream music markets, busting shiny, disco-inflected punk tunes so mightily that we’re now embarrassed to be the wallflower that doesn’t know how to dance. This is more of a cousin to the band’s debut album Tugish Takish than a real follow-up to Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter, with Sando bringing nonstop fun and escapism and accomplishing the feat where every songs (except for the filler title-track) want to be as tight as the singles. On first few listens, they’ve instantly dragged me to their delightful, four-on-the-floor anthems about drunkenness, summer heat and annoying insects the same way my friends or uncles would have remarked LOL-worthy innuendos in one of those beer-flooded nights. Suddenly, it feels like the 90s again, where everybody doesn’t even care about indie cred.

There aren’t any dull moments from start to finish. What perhaps matters is that they’re trying to make a seamless, punch-drunk record that a lot of people will love and relate to. Lead track “Ang Apoy” demonstrates this sheer selling point: a narcotized, rave-rocker that gives the perfect impression of what summer is all about at its most twisted imagery. “Insekto” triples the energy and excitement, grinding like a Day-glo, synth-heavy hypestorm that Klaxons, Justice or Simian Mobile Disco would care to jam for. Diego Mapa fashionably brings the wit and charm by ranting about insect bites like someone about to explode out of anger. Suddenly it felt like Monsterbot’s back again, this time with a bouncier groove and a dance floor-readiness that’s bound to give you some Brooklyn hipster vibe. “La Liga Filipina” strikes to me as every troubled Filipino anthem that shows why despite all the depravity and problems we face, we still remain cheerful and carefree at all cost. “Otomatik” continues the deliberate pacing, strong enough to have everyone figure out if the fun and loose punk energy would eventually die down. This impressive momentum, unfortunately, is interrupted by “The Shot” which sounds totally out of place in the album. But hey, it took me four spins before I've fully appreciated its appeal. And it's one that actually goes for 90s revivalist, guitar-driven pop that Yuck and Pains of Being Pure At Heart have been busy copping out since last year.

Though Pedicab couldn’t be expected to surpass their previous heights in Tugish Takish or fully immerse themselves in the playful experiments of Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter, it’s amusing how they were able to deliver another brilliant record brimming with unassuming confidence and consistency that appeals to as many people as possible. At album # 3, they’ve proven enough longevity worthy of a discography track down. And in the grand scheme of Pedicab’s career, this is only one in a series of albums that should define why they’re one of the biggest bands of this generation, and why they need not to dumb down or alienate audience just to prove something.  A- 

April 18, 2012

NEW TRACK: RBTO - "Bloom"

Well, it’s happened. RBTO finally fulfills our summer craving for some kick-ass swagu. His new song, “Bloom” off the upcoming 2012 album Inverse features soul-snaring, laid-back beats from JedLi (of People’s Future) + Deeper Manila's Justin de Guzman and a triumphal opening verse that rhymes kung fu with Sun Tzu. Download the track here.

TEASER ALERT: Third World Summer - "Displaced Voices"


Allan Lumba has a new project out called Third World Summer. And it’s a noticeable departure from the accessible, guitar-pop he refined via one-man band, Multo.

On the new single, “Displaced Voices,” Allan snatches compositional tricks from Balearic pop instead of going for guitar-based stuff. He mixes seaside music with hazy vocal loops, minimalist electro and ambient sonics. Based on the one-minute preview, it does sound like a cross between Caribou and Achillea: liquid soundscapes submerged in club-ready delight, one that’s actually perfect for dancing when nobody’s around to watch. Judge it for yourself and check out the snippet below.

April 17, 2012

Guess Who's Back?


On a scorching hot afternoon, Pedicab dropped  their 6-track EP, Kaya Mo Mag Sando to limited coverage. There are no warning signs. Not even a press release circulating from online music zines and blogs telling us that the boys are definitely back from bedlam, ready to kick some majah ass. The record came out like it was a North Korean rocket about to hit territorial lane. Fast, unexpected, but definitely worth the surprise.

I’ve been listening to the EP for an hour now, and so far, it gets better the more I play it! Kaya Mo Mag Sando actually reminds me of the manic energy that is Pedicab’s debut album Tugish Takish, paired with the aggressive sonic experiments of Shinji, Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter. There are no throwaways in the album. Even the one-minute, title track can hold a candle to the rest of the single-worthy tracks.

Support the band by purchasing the EP here. Review to be posted soon!

April 16, 2012

DEADBEAT HEAT: A Summer Mixtape


Sun. Tan. Beach. Road Trips. Hook-ups. Daydreaming. Nature. Love. These are the themes that we’ve considered in collating the tracks for our first ever summer mixtape. We’ve ransacked the blogosphere and band pages to hunt down the perfect sunny tunes for your download pleasure. And boy, it really is hard to trim down the list to just 12 songs as there are so many of them, floating in cyber universe waiting to be heard.

Many thanks to Mary Christine Galang a.k.a. @basterrda for helping me out with the cover design. We’re planning to work on a series of mixtapes in the near future, so watch out for that. In the meantime, you can download the tracks below, one by one. Our apologies for not bundling them up in a single download.

1. OuterhopeThe Man With The Pipes (Modulogeek Remix)
2. Ang Bandang ShirleyLarong Kalye
3. Kai HonasanHeartbeat
4. Sans Saboteur We Are New Hearts
5. Outcasts Of The Universe One Little Bomb
6. Dr. StrangeLuvAight ‘Ma
7. Patience Dear Juggernaut Swimmers (Heart & Mind)
8. The Love ChariotFeliz
9. The Sleepyheads Dreaming And Waiting For 1000 Years
10. PopulardaysMe & My Bicycle
11. Some Gorgeous AccidentStating The Obvious
12. Archaster Willow Low

NEW TRACK: Archaster - "Khristine Anne"

“Put on some old sad bastard music, see if I care.”

Remember that one line uttered by record store clerk Barry (Jack Black) in the movie High Fidelity? It has become a jargon in the indie community for more than a decade now, a term used to describe gents who love their tunes morose and sad, slow and unabashedly quiet.

Francis Yu’s bedroom project, Archaster offers such lonely, disaffected brand with a fascinating degree of introspection that doesn’t come off as too dark or pale. Sure he mines sad troubadours for inspiration: a little Nick Drake here, some Kings Of Convenience on the side, Lush, Some Gorgeous Accident, you name it. But he makes an entire flourish out of the miscellany, incorporating rich layers of sparse electronics, dream-tinted folk melodies, and downtempo singing. Below is a new track called “Khristine Anne” off his upcoming EP, Would You Like Some Tea. Stream and dip into the unconscious, like now.

April 15, 2012

NEW TRACK: The Dropouts - "Beef Tapa"


For less than 2 minutes, The Dropouts’ new video for the glorious punk anthem “Beef Tapa” gives us the ultimate B-movie fixture: third world, sci-fi action wrapped in comedy gold, with the beef tapa suddenly turning into a monster out to ruin the world. Fantastic concept, enjoyable video. Check it out below.

April 14, 2012

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Lost In Translation With Bob & Jesse!

Internet has forever changed the way we listen to music. People are more in control of what they want to hear. Decades ago, we listen to popular radio as if we’re attending to church; we let ourselves be influenced by the pervasive patterns that these mass-mediated communication frontiers present and shove down our throats. To borrow Bob Dylan, “the times they are a-changing” and if you want to listen to the music you want, then go connect to the internet. There’s a big universe out there that you’re bound to explore.

But there are great things in popular radio that we look forward to every week. Bob And Jesse’s Lost In Translation, a two-hour radio program that airs every Saturday night at Jam 88.3 from 9-11 PM, offers something bigger and brighter than what we aspire for in our daily dose of blog-buzzed music and Pitchfork-approved BNMs. Featuring non-stop banters and healthy discussions that may appeal to your cerebral and fun-loving tastes, the trio of Bob, Jesse and Joee has been a radio fixture for exactly a year now. And they play kick-ass music, too: from hiphop to lost classic rock gems, from indie staples to new OPM.

Lost In Translation is celebrating their first year anniversary today. Make sure to give them a listen today as they’re broadcasting live as early as 7:00 PM. Spread the word and greet them a happy first year here on their Facebook fan page.

April 11, 2012

NEW TRACK: Halik Ni Gringo - "Release The Golden Eggs"

“Release, release, release the golden eggs. Unleash, unleash, unleash the strength within,” yelps Joey Santos in a mantra-like build, providing thrill and pure escapism despite conceivably doing nothing groundbreaking. Apparently, the post-Holy week single is classic Halik Ni Gringo at its finest: a gleefully profane, rage of an anthem that touches on delicate matters such as voyeurism and err, masturbation. It’s actually the stuff of pure comic genius, delivering more laughs and irony than anyone since Giniling Festival. Stream the track below and download it here.

NEW TRACK: Kidstuff - "Softly Through The Void"

Early January, we revealed that The Strangeness have plans of cooking up the release of Outside Jesus Camp, an indie rock mixtape featuring tracks, demos, and rare recordings from their respective projects outside the band. We got the chance to talk to Francis Cabal, chief guitarist/vocalist of the band, and here’s what he has to say on the upcoming compilation:
 As for the Mixtape, well there's no details actually. We got our hands on some recording equipment and we decided to make a mixtape made up of our projects outside The Strangeness.It's not an all-covers album per se, but it features a lot of covers. Shinji has his ukelele pop solo project "El Explorador", Erwin's part of the folk duo "Vicious The Boat", Bijan started his solo project "Cosmo Canyon" fairly recently, and Jayme has an old band "Science Of Women" that's got a song or two in the release as well. We're also thinking of including a song from The Love Chariot, a band that all of us are involved in.
There’s no release date yet, but here’s a glimpse of what is to come, via the cone-filtered, folk psychedelia track, “Softly Through The Void.” It’s actually a cover of a 2008 song by psych-pop band, Elf Power. We love its barenaked simplicity, especially with Francis a.k.a. Kidstuff singing atop of a lo fi recording, letting all the darkness cave in. Listen to the track here.

April 9, 2012

NEW TRACK: Child/ren of the Pilgrimage - "Apostolic Dominique Fire"

Wow! A hazy, summerbeat song that's perfect for countryside road trips.

Child/ren of the Pilgrimage has recently revealed the carrier single off their upcoming debut album, Archaic. The track is called “Apostolic Dominique Fire,” a lo fi, misty guitar-pop that brings out the dreamily nostalgic feel of bands like Real Estate, Lotus Plaza, and even Grizzly Bear. Along the temperament of echoing vocal melodies, cottony guitar-lines and glimmery washes, they craft perfect summer pop while also referencing Kanye West, Islands (the band), and Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” on the lyrical stride. Those beautifully understated moments, captivated in widescreen melodies and tasteful tunesmithery, makes all the churning in our head, worth the time. More of this, please! Watch the video below.

NEW TRACK: Yolanda Moon - "Smalltalk"

Yolanda Moon, a new band led by Ernville drummer Cholo Hermosa debuted their new single on Soundcloud yesterday. “Smalltalk” wears the funk n’ soul spirit of yesteryear’s Sam Cooke and Al Green, and shreds its retro skin for a fragile acoustic number that’s soaked in exquisite melancholy. Ray Lamontagne, anyone? Stream the track below and make sure to download it here.

NEW TRACK: Nyko Maca - "Rainbow"

Timeless music made for essential listening. Nyko Maca has dropped her new song just recently as part of the compilation album, Are You Listening: Keep Me Company, vol. 1. The track is called “Rainbow,” a spellbinding, quiet storm ballad that projects more than enough raw emotions to earn the words soulful, liberating, and powerful, at one time or another. The horn and instrumental arrangements are nothing short of mesmerizing, but it’s Nyko Maca’s voice that will knock you off your feet during these perfectly splendid minutes.

Download the track HERE for free. Along with NM’s “Rainbows,” you can also cop out other track releases by Julianne, Walkie Talkies, Carlos CastaƱo, Paolo Valenciano and Marco Dinglasan in the given link above!

April 8, 2012

NEW TRACK: Japsuki - "The Resolve"

For some uncanny reason, Japsuki picked Easter Sunday to unveil his new track, “The Resolve.” It’s actually an optimist anthem to get your energy moving to a better pace, and one in which Japs Sergio combines the euphoric popcraft of his former band, Rivermaya with new wave nostalgia. Stream the track below.

April 7, 2012

NEW TRACK: Turbo Goth - "Julio Polet"

Turbo Goth has recently released the video for their noisy, industrial banger “Julio Polet” off the debut album, Destroy Us All. There’s nothing really fancy about the clip which features raw footages of the band gigs, but if you want to swoon over Sarah Gaugler and Paolo Peralta’s onstage theatrics, then this might spark some interest to you. Check the video below.



April 5, 2012

FRANK MAGALONA. A Snippet of his new single "Gonus" and more.


Such a tease. The snippet of Frank Magalona’s debut single, “Gonus” went viral two days ago. With every one I know fanticipating on what he'll be doing next, Frank is up to prove that he’s more than just the apparent heir to Francis Magalona’s music brand.

Via Twitter, Frank revealed that “Gonus” actually means Gone Us, a swag-speak that may have some implications with whatever’s happening in his personal life. We actually like everything about it: the electro-pulse groove, the whimsical slow jam beats, the feathery coos that remind us of Robin Thicke or even, D’Angelo at some point. Tease yourself with the one-minute snippet below and follow Frank on Twitter to get updates about him.


April 4, 2012

NEW TRACK: A Problem Like Maria - "Gossamer Wings"

The past few months witnessed the Philippine urban music scene unfurl into a monstrous force. From an outsider point of view, it’s amazing to see the baby steps expand into something bigger and wider, with everyone in the community setting aside their differences to just concentrate in improving their respective craft. The recent development also shows how flourishing the actual scene is. It started out with Fliptop surprisingly becoming a phenomenal platform in reintroducing the local underground hiphop culture to a wider audience, with Youtube hits of rap battles amassing over a million internet views and with popular comedy gag show, Bubble Gang spoofing it on a regular basis.

Also every week, thanks to the cooperation of blog buzz and social networking sites, we get to hear fantastic teasers of upcoming releases, from People’s Future to Mighty Miscellaneous, from Loonie to the roster of Deeper Manila talents. And just a few days ago, somebody plucked from obscurity gave us one of our favorite singles of the year so far! A Problem Like Maria debuted the track “Gossamer Wings” off her first full length album, 99 Problems And Maria Is 1. It’s actually a downtempo piece with a gorgeous, minimalist vibe that plays just oh-so-perfect for late night walks on empty, big-city streets. The beats wind up feeling relaxed and earnest from start to finish, while Maria raps with a sexy strut that could cool down even the running rage of a man. And wait ‘til you hear her sing the hook in the chorus. It’s pure sex, soul and fiirreee, all in one suave! Stream the track below and make sure to visit her tumblr site here.

 

April 2, 2012

NEW TRACK: Admiral Peppery - "I'm Going To Marry Jane"

Admiral Peppery’s first single, “I’m Going To Marry Jane” off their upcoming EP is unbelievably confident, fresh and earnest, exuding youthful candor in four minutes of acid washed, Britpop-inspired goodness. There are hints of George Harrison, The Verve, and Oasis circa Definitely Maybe in their brand of less-is-more brashness, with an inimitable pop songcraft that’s just hard to ignore.

Listen to the track below and download the track for free here.

ALBUM REVIEW: Never The Strangers - Never The Strangers (2012)


Up to now I still don’t have any idea how to approach Never The Strangers’ self-titled debut. Come to think of it, this should be easy: decent, melodic alt-rock music teeming with big choruses and hooks, with two or three songs standing out in the pack. Examined as a whole, it stenches of maudlin sentimentality, but not compelling enough to make the entire joint impenetrably solid.

There are flashes of brilliance as in the case of “Davenport,” a glossy, synth-pop charmer with danceable tempo played at its strength. “You” is as interesting and engaging, a call-to-arms anthem that flaunts their influence at best—post-Rivermaya Rico Blanco, Coldplay, Keane, Dove, Travis, Switchfoot. And sometime early this year, I remember how I’d barge in my room and play “Alive” on repeat just to get lost in a day’s wilderness. However playful, inspired, and at times, enjoyable, their new record doesn’t explore any further, contented with just roaming around a safe, guarded territory for commercial breadth’s sake.

I’m confused. I honestly want to like the album. Most of the tracks, although polished to studio standards, sound beaten down to tried and tested formula, handpicked for the purpose of getting radio airplay. While not half as bad as what you may think (read: Somedaydream, Sponge Cola, Calla Lily etc.), the overwrought sentimentality of the songs and the dead-serious corniness of how they were delivered, makes for a cringe-worthy experience. “Moving Closer,” inarguably their biggest hit of the moment, works just fine as a sprawling piano ballad. But the lyrics, made to appeal for a toothpaste commercial, proved to be a contrived, last minute project aimed to meet the demands of corporate sponsorship. Whatever charm the song has dissipates at the thought of how it’s been made.

The rest of the tracks alternate between being somewhat pleasant and being totally banal. Listen to any song on NTS and you will get the same feel—that sense of youthful romanticism wrapped around pretty, delicate melodies and modest arrangements engineered for a crossover chart smash. One can easily see the potential in there despite the disparate elements juggled to compromise with a more mainstream sound. And for a debut, they still managed to spread some modest charms. Give them a year or two perhaps, and I’m sure, they’ll figure out what needs to be done the second album around. B- 

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