March 30, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: Spazzkid - Desire (2013)

There is no point in contention when it comes to electronic music being a groundbreaking event in the local scene. Last year alone, we saw an epiphany of breakthrough producers and artists delivering their finest opuses one after the other. It brought about a collective consciousness to most artists, deviating from and mixing innovative ideas to their traditional ways, welcoming change, thus upping the level of everyone's game.

California-based Filipino producer Mark Redito, a.k.a. Spazzkid, has been pottering, mixing, and experimenting with electronic music since 2005. 9 EPs after, he is lauded as one of the best in the scene. His deft production style, shaped by lo-fi grit and lithe electro-pop, has been picked up by international music blogs and coevals. On April 9, he will be releasing his latest album, Desire, which he considers as his 'best sounding album' and 'best effort yet'—citing Bibio's 2011 album, Mind Bokeh and his Soundcloud peers as inspiration.

Combining what sounds like torrential wave of Western beaches, summer solstice, East Asian autumns, and cherry blossoms, even—Desire is like a film score of enthralling landscapes and seasons, but fundamentally focuses on inner yearning. It gravitates around human desires, each track echoing different facets of longing but ultimately bears mutual significance to each other. Only, Spazzkid dresses them with his own brand of warm melodies and aesthetics. His capability to exhibit the zealous nature of our covert feelings while not falling prey to copious, lidded pop elements maintains the balance of it.

Spazzkid greets us with a chiptune ditty, “Getting To Know You” then proceeds to his sparse tracks, “Kokeshi Doll,” “40 Winks,” and “Marquez”—a personal favorite. “Loving Free” bursts with fuzzy elysian tones, while a more intimate lovestruck vibe encompasses “Candy Flavored Lips,” a hazy R&B number featuring Davao-based act, Skymarines.

Another favorite is “Forgiveness,” a gorgeous serenade well-placed in the middle of the album, which also features a sample of an old OPM classic. It anchors a weighty amount of exalted feelings, and might as well be an ode to a widely missed Manila sound. “If Not You Then Who” resonates the epilogues of Asian melodramas, a progressive cadence that punctuates the 42-minute album with a graceful flourish.

It only goes without saying, it's Spazzkid's best effort indeed! And we couldn't wait for another round of burgeoning, genre-defying electro-pop on his future releases.

Support Spazzkid's continued efforts to bringing the best in electronic music by participating in his fundraiser here, which will run until April 1st. You can also score limited merchandise, including his EP Desire in cassette format by Portland's Purr Tapes. The 8-track digital album will also be out on April 9.  A- 
via Mary Christine Galang

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