[dropcap letter="W"]e’re down to the second half of the year--what the inspiring, responsible and manically work-obsessed gentlemen of Comedy Central’s Workaholics would call “Half Christmas.” In the true spirit of Half Christmas and list-making, we’re taking this as our cue to make one on local music released so far that are worth checking out online on the artists’ official social media pages, at live gigs or if you’re lucky, on your favorite music store’s shelves. Treat it as a Half Christmas treat to yourself or your music-loving buddies (regardless of whether they’ve been more naughty or nice).
Released March 28, 2014
We have to give Squid 9 (aka Raimund Marasigan’s electronic/hiphop pet project) and Team Manila props for great packaging, because most things that come in sealed cans are almost always bound to be fun and/or useful (unless it’s worms). His latest release Origamidi is, to the can-opener’s delight, BOTH fun and useful, with the tracks saved in a reusable USB drive nestled amongst stickers and small packets of-–yup, you guessed it–-squid flakes.
If you think loud, ruckus-making punk/ska is dead, it’s actually in the pink of health--if you know where to sniff it out. Pink Cow (also loosely called Pingkaw) and their launch of debut release "No Boundaries" last April at made people want to look for their dancing/stomping boots and remember that having fun in the time of all sorts of turmoil is still pretty achievable through DIY… and maybe a little bit of alcohol.
It’s never too early nor too late for Halloween, especially if you have Mr. Bones and his circus in town. This sophomore album "The Great Fall Onto Madness’" eerie storytelling theatrics and ghoulish metal riffs easily conjure up dark-stormy-night scenarios, and it should be easy to grab a copy (the packaging’s pretty cool too), with the CD released under MCA Music.
Released April 29, 2014
Album Cover Photo by Joe Ash, drawings by Low Leaf and design & layout by Nate James for YWG
Technically, this album would fall under “Imports”. But with tracks written in celebration of LA-based songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Low Leaf’s pure Filipina roots, Akashaalay is as organic as organic gets. Check out Fresh Selects to get your hands on a copy or at least to get a preview of how the mesmerizing Low Leaf puts the “muse” in “musician.”
(Released March 8, 2014)
With a new lineup, Peryodiko’s Balik Sa Simula is exactly that--a fresh sound formed by a good mix of seasoned talents (Josh Villena on guitars, Pat Sarabia on drums and Ian Tan on bass) joined forces with frontman and guitarist Vin Dancel’s reality-tugging lyrics and melody. It also includes collaborations with Diego Castillo (of Sandwich and The Diegos) and Jazz Nicholas (Itchyworms), to name a few.
Released February 23, 2014
Listen to one of the album’s highlights, “Consumed On The High”.
Come February, sKarm released Into Your Program up for download on his Bandcamp page.
Its straight-to-the-point yet masterfully produced lyrical sensibility and flow makes it a good playlist addition to those who want to get acquainted to what local emcees have to bring to the table--doesn’t matter (or even better if) it’s the first homegrown hiphop album on your playlist.
(Released March 8, 2014)
Album art by Joe Pring, layout and direction by Jolly Navarro
Downtempo reggae/dub outfit Goodleaf re-buzzed their steady cult following with this 2nd album that’s guaranteed to fill most people’s need for otherworldly beach beats and subliminal peace messaging. If you’re sending a care package to reggae/dubhead friends overseas who long to hear more from their homeland beyond the headlines on dirty politics and “wtf?”-worthy showbiz “news”, "Mutations and Natural Versions" has just the right dose of local good/odd vibes.
(Released April 10, 2014)
Download the mixtape for free here.
Local producer Idris Vicuña aka Eyedress has a follow-up release to last year’s "Supernatural" EP, this time in the form of a debut mixtape titled “Hearing Colors” up for download for free (check out the link above).
What to expect: 12 tracks (6 with vocals from Skint Eastwood) and pretty, distant and pained ambient sounds and possibly an idea of what life’s been like for someone after having been signed under an independent British label (XL Recordings’ Abeano), touring and having gotten the attention of the likes of Fader, The Guardian and BBC.
What are your favorite new local releases? Post links in the Comments Section.