By MC Galang and Ian Urrutia
Header Art by MC Galang
Walang mahalagang hindi inihahandog
Ng may pusong mahal sa Bayang nagkupkop;
Dugo, yaman, dunong, katiisa’t pagod
Buhay ma’y abuting magkalagot-lagot.
– Pagibig sa tinubuang Bayan, Andres Bonifacio
New Music We Love returns this week after a short break to help with the #JunkTerrorBillNow campaign. We strongly urge fellow members of the Filipino music community to get your voices heard loud and clear. Dissent is our duty and our right, it is not a crime. Our artists are speaking up, and so should we.
Primitivo Mijares wrote in the “Whither Marcos?” chapter of his book, The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos (1976), “The business community will remain cowed and acquiescent, however, resentful some of its members may be. Profits derived from a ‘stable’ social and political order, and profit is what is important to them. To the typical businessman, the old dictum of Goethe applies: if he has to make a choice between disorder and injustice, he would choose injustice.” What do you choose?
MAÑANITA ~ A Noise Barrage from 18 Bedrooms – Various Artists (Pilipinas)
“MAÑANITA is not a birthday party. It’s also not a protest. It’s a cacerolazo of materials recorded or assembled by Filipino artists and their friends in the locations they were stuck in during the past few months — from Yangon to Lapu-Lapu. Not all had the privilege of being home. And not all count being home a privilege.”
As of today, June 12, Independence Day, NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas remains on his post. He and 18 others were charged on May 14, but no one has been arrested. Five days later, President Duterte commented on the case, “You know, seniority. It is [Sinas’] time to be there. And I do not believe in firing him just because kinantahan siya ng happy birthday.”
Meanwhile, eight people in Cebu have been detained for three days for staging a peaceful protest against the Anti-Terror Bill and a group of jeepney drivers were arrested and also held in jail. Two of the drivers, including 72-year-old Elmer Cordero, were detained for seven days.
Earlier this month, Catch272 and Green Papaya Art Projects in Quezon City caught fire. They need all the help they can get to recover from this tragedy, on top of an ongoing pandemic and threats to our democracy. For Catch272, you may direct your cash donations here; for Green Papaya Art Projects, donate here.
‘Boy’ – KOLATERAL f/ Kartell’em (Pilipinas)
- Aldrin Pineda, 13
- Joshua Laxamana, 17; and Julius Sebastian, 15
- Angelito Soriano, 15; Jonnel Segovia, 15; Sonny Espinosa, 16; Ednel Santor, 22; Kenneth Lim, 20; Analyn Dayamla, 25 and her unborn child
- Francis Manosca, 5
- Jerico Garcia, 16; Harold Bulan, 17; and Jomari Sinerez, 17
- Raymart Siapo, 19
- Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19; and Reynaldo De Guzman, 19
- Myca Ulpina, 3
- Kian Delos Santos, 17
Stream KOLATERAL here
‘Indayog’ – Pamcy (Pilipinas)
While Pamcy’s music was forged on her own interpretation of electronica, her style and references remained grounded in the origins of club culture in Detroit and Chicago. More importantly, her work manifests what cultural writer Hillegonda Rietveld describes as “the dream of democratising power” in electronic dance music, particularly in the manner it’s produced and consumed “despite its commercial explosion,” but more importantly, despite being whitewashed and increasingly Eurocentric. Pamcy’s was formed in and around an abstract space—the Internet—rather than the physical club itself.
“Indayog,” her opener on Sayaw EP, is an icy cut that reimagines the word (which roughly translates to “rhythm”) as methodical and purposeful, rather than random and spontaneous. It’s as if each sway, bounce, and shimmy is a defiance against avarice and relentless self-indulgence. It’s rhythm with a cause.
‘Warrior Princess’ – Peaceful Gemini (Pilipinas)
On “Warrior Princess,” rapper Peaceful Gemini refuses to capitulate to hate without invoking empty platitudes in the name of toxic positivity. “It’s now more important than ever to hold space for one another and offer devotion to raising awareness with the world and within ourselves,” she said of the release.
Thematically, “Warrior Princess” is also a statement that confronts rap’s own sins against women. But instead of chastising, she chose to veer her message towards the soul of the art form itself: wielding words. We are in a critical state in dire need of reflection. She writes, “In the state we’re currently in, there is an evident need to re-evaluate what we’ve been conditioned with in order to build new and better systems. When chosen impeccably, our words can serve as a great tool to move through the situation… Let your words be guided with fearlessness and compassion.”
‘PROMNIGHT’ – HAUTE COUTURE (Pilipinas)
Producer HAUTE COUTURE’s “PROMNIGHT” dives deep into ambient post-rock and shoegaze structured around electronica arrangements. It’s a switch of pace from last month’s excellent noise track, “XXX.” This one is somewhat gentler, yet overly cautious—if not afraid.
‘Daragang Magayon’ – Precal Dropouts (Pilipinas)
There’s a lot to admire in “Daragang Magayon” on a purely aesthetic level: the subdued but repetitive piano lines that evoke hypnotic dreaminess, the calming pace that brews and builds into a storm, and the disruption that leads to a moment of reckoning. Precal Dropout’s debut single defies the limitations of a genre: hopping from post-rock to shoegaze, Radiohead-lite art rock to noise pop, without the need to subscribe to a particular sonic affinity or movement. But even as we trace the evolution from the moment it leaves the cocoon, the song remains captivating just like the story behind the legendary heroine of which the title is based on. Its beauty lingers above anything else, stealing the attention away from its internal chaos.
‘Flat Curver’ – DJ Joey Santos (Pilipinas)
DJ Joey Santos runs up against lo-fi house music’s conventions with “Flat Curver,” a moody, after-hours track that bustles and snaps in its own confined space. Rather than banner the genre’s stance on anti-authenticity through irony and humor, Joey’s latest bop captures a statement of defiance that reflects the mood of the times. Simply put, “It’s a take on Zoom parties, Facebook and Instagram Live DJ sets, and the general low-fidelity nature of live streamed performances compared to a real-world in-person experience.” Joey adds, “It may not be as satisfying as getting lost on the dancefloor with your mates, but it’s the next best thing we have right now while we fight this virus around the world.” Get on your dancing shoes and pump up this jam in your room.
‘Inside My Head’ – Mandaue Nights (Pilipinas)
Mandaue Night’s latest EP, Man On The Moon, abandons the effervescent ‘80s synth-pop of their debut for a brooding collection of post-rock sketches inspired by the anxiety one feels after being locked up in a quarantine for months. One particular standout, “Inside My Head,” is the only track that qualifies as listenable by pop music standards: weightless in its voyage to the unknown, but helplessly wandering to confront the stress and uncertainty that this pandemic poses. The indie musical duo comprised of Karl Lucente and Gino Rosales lives in a dreamworld where you can’t distinguish nightmare and reality anymore. These pummeling peculiarities in thoughts and feelings reside in “Inside My Head”: from the atmospheric moodiness to the ghostly murmurs whose words are nearly impossible to make out. Yet somehow, the song echoes our collective fears and doubts about the system, and it hovers around us, even as we try to escape and convince ourselves that everything will be fine.
‘Gutom’ – Tatz Maven (Pilipinas)
Tatz Maven has just released his new single “Gutom” off his upcoming debut album, Sige Simula—out this month via Uprising Records. Over jazzy piano samples and confrontational beats, the General Santos City-based rapper/producer takes street poetry to the center stage, spitting mad bars that go beyond spectacle. “Pero di ka niya ibabalik sa gintong panahon / Dahil siya na ang ginto sa panahon natin ngayon,” he brags at the expense of detractors trying to dismiss him as an amateur competitor; his words cut through the minefield with the restraint and confidence of a pro. I’m completely here for the tasteful braggadocio—nothing more, nothing less.
‘Sinungaling’ – Zild (Pilipinas)
IV of Spades’ Zild Benitez drops his debut solo single “Sinungaling” on Independence Day. It’s quite a sonically interesting piece that blends contemporary pop antics with a slightly abrasive, industrial music punch. The influences are more Charli XCX and Rina Sawayama than The 1975 on this one, and it’s exciting to hear Zild navigate unwarranted maximalism in his bid to write and produce a song all his own. More of this, please.