The lack of outstanding full-length releases this year can be quite bothering. In a year which saw the release of Anne Curtis’s Annebisyosa, one would think that an antithesis would exist, as if to maintain the balance of The Force. There’s also the curious case of Somedaydream, who has been hailed as the future of the local music industry but whose lack of actual singing talent and fractured musical sensibilites (latching on the autotune hysteria way after its impact has died already) has people almost dying in fits of convulsive laughter whenever the messiah proclamation comes up. If indeed he is, then our music industry is seriously retarded.
Tags are shady anyway. They fulfill the need for neat categorization. But if there’s one thing that should rightly be marked as the hope for local music, it should be Number Line Records. Featuring a sonically diverse line-up of artists, Number Line’s 2011 releases make up much of this year-ender list, signifying a burning torch that foretells a glimmer of a brighter future.
1. Indak – Up Dharma Down
2. Pagsamba – Vic Robinson III
In Alvin Yapan’s Gayuma, Mercedes Cabral braces herself for an uphill climb, carrying her comatose lover on her back, dragging him along to a mystical waterfall in the hopes of waking him up until the effects of his love potion reveals the truth behind their sweet words. ‘Pagsamba’ accompanies this pilgrimage, forming a haunting plea for a love grounded by a conviction as strong as a fundamentalist’s faith.
3. Spectre – Modulogeek
‘Spectre’ skitters with warm happies that take the form of soft, pitter-pattering beats that bounce off the walls. There are no menacing apparitions here, only Joon Guillen’s impressive articulations that border between waking and starry-eyed dreaming.”
4. Anarchy in the Ukay-Ukay – Tarsius ft. Evil Scientists
Basically, reveling on the cheap kicks of ukay-ukay finds, ‘Anarchy in the Ukay-Ukay’ is a stroke of mad genius, with Evil Scientists ruminating on the life of a strapping young lad courtesy of secondhand goods. Ukay is swag indeed.
5. This is Our City – Taken by Cars
6. D.R.U.G.S. – The Strangeness
7 . Casual Fridays – Multo
Multo comes around the local gig scene, seemingly unannounced from the land of hipsterdom (Portland, OR). ‘Casual Fridays’ represents Alan Lumba at his best, where the warm fizzles break out into riffs that demand a closer listen, inviting you in its confusion until you just find yourself shuffling along.
8. 20/20 – Pupil
More than anything else, 20/20 will always be remembered for its car-free EDSA music video, something that actually happened in an alternate universe. ‘20/20’ drifts until it collapses in itself, zipping through the stars “in a silver shopping cart” while Ely Buendia waxes poetic about some being probably responsible for that miraculous quasi-post-apocalyptic vision of EDSA.
9. Cold Turkey – Slow Hello
10. Fish Song – Arigato, Hato!
Arigato Hato’s ‘Fish Song’ thrums and escalates while vocalist Cat Cortes croons as though she were swimming in Bjork’s mother Oceania. Heartsongs humming and thriving in the glimmering promise of a newfound love.
- Stereo Light – Japuski
- Escape – Techy Romantics
- Muli – Ebe Dancel
- Panorama – Some Gorgeous Accident
- Fizzy Good Make Feel Nice – Don’t Bogart the Can…Man
- Missionaries on Rural Transit – The Treblinka Love Scene