26 October 2016

Local Tunes Round Up: Ankhten Brown, Alex Omiunu, Gabby Alipe, Grows, Manila Magic, Clara Benin, and Munrö

Another week, another time to bless your ears with the newest local tunes under our radar. Whatever your trip is for the long Halloween weekend up ahead, we believe we found the grooves perfect for any mood. This week, we've got a party shindig based on a cult classic, a former band frontman on his first solo venture, a trio that creates harmony out of chaos, a soulful bare-bones approach rendition that tugs at the heart strings, a duo with '80's sensibilities, and a songstress that captivates with her ethereal stylistic tune.

Ankhten Brown x Alex Omiunu - Catch Em All (Pokemon Go)

Be warned, the first forty seconds of the track will hypnotize you with repeated chants of Pokemon Go. Come to think of it, a good chunk of Ankhten Brown and Alex Omiunu's psychedelic musical masterpiece is all about the Pokemon Go. Pokemon. Pokemon. Pokemon. Pokemon Go (yes, we just sang that in our heads). The popular game may have lost a bit of its steam since its release, but no one can deny the fact that our childhood is complete since its inception. The music video for "Catch 'Em All" shows you how to party Pokemon style, just in time for that Halloween shindig. The track complements the trippy video, rendered with hints of playfulness, intoxicated slurs, and lots of fun. Take a listen and watch out for all those Pokemon Go character references (Snorlax, Squirtle, and Psyduck even make an appearance).

Gabby Alipe - Visions

Photo by Paolo Ruiz from MCA Music

A listen in and you'd think that "Visions" is the banner single for a new and upcoming artist in the local music scene. But plug your earphones and listen carefully. Now, doesn't that voice sound familiar? It's because it is. Enter Gabby Alipe, who was then Urbandub's frontman. The band, who made its mark in our hearts since '01 and gave us hit after hit, took a breather in 2015 (and broke our hearts in the process). The call to music was too strong to resist for Gabby, however, and he chose to work on his own sound. Visions, his titular track from his first solo album A New Strain, is completely devoid of Urbandub and completely Gab. Gone are the anthemic, loud, in-your-face arrangements. In its place is a much simpler approach, slow placed and anti-climactic even, backed up by hints of R&B and stripped down guitars. With Gabby's clear-cut vocals being the main focus and an entirely different direction from what we're used to, he makes for a strong case in the frontman turned solo artist department. Have a listen here.

Grows - Grounded/Electrocuted

In Grows' "Grounded/Electrocuted", the latest single to drop off of their debut album Go Glow Grows, we are introduced to a sound that boasts of beautiful organized chaos. Kaloy Olavides' vocals soars in chill tones and reserved confidence amidst the stark contrast of his own spunky guitarwork, alongside Bijan Gorospe's melodic bass and Vin Zafra's fuzzy percussion. The result is that of an easy headbanger of a song, perfect for road trips or stuck-in-traffic scenarios. The video, shot and edited by Victor Balanon echoes the same sentiment. In it, snapshots of Manila's busy thoroughfares and alleys serve as the star. The Metro unfolds unto itself, in an artwork featuring illusions and dimensions of the hectic cityscape. The clips distort into a melange of harmony or the lack thereof. The perfect backdrop to Grows' uneasy charm masked in simple melodies and their penchant for elements blending into unison from disharmony. 

Clara Benin - Tila

As if Clara Benin's previous rendition from her best selling 2015 EP Riverchild was not heartwarming to begin with, she returns with a raw and acoustic version of the Side A classic. Benin's further subdued approach, bereft of pizazz and grand reimaginings, makes for a silent stunnerintimate as if she sings the song directly to you. It sounds like a lullaby almost, understated and angelic with waves of nostalgia of the feeling of being in love. Tila is given the MV treatment by Grilled Cheese Studios with Clara Benin in the middle of the woods on a beautiful afternoon, guitar in hand.

Manila Magic - In the Night

We could imagine a bunch of '80s-inspired scenarios with In The Night as the soundtrack. One, a prom night with the track playing in the background as the two leads slow dance and realize they're falling in love with each other. Another, a montage of the happy couple going on several dates, grins and invisible hearts everywhere. And, a more racy scene, late into the night as the boy and the girl break the walls and get into the gradual, loving, throes of intimacy to seal the deal. This is the effect of a collaboration between Zild Benitez and Tim Marquez a.k.a. Manila Magic's debut single. Theirs reflects on the '80sa bygone era where important musical influences and styles had their humble beginnings. Through the neon-colored lens of wistfulness, their aesthetic time warps us back into memory lane, coupled with the right authentic synths. 

Munrö - Take Me

At first listen, the experimental tune is harder to comprehend than most. It's not your usual head-bopping, LSS-inducing piece. But with each subsequent listen, Munrö takes you by the hand and guides you through a pristine and compelling experience. "Take my love wherever you go," the songstress sings in haunting exquisite tones. Soon enough, we are entranced, transfixed in place as her a cappella performance, backed up by minimalist koto and native percussions, transcends into soulful crescendos. Have a listen to her theatrical showcase of a track below.


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