My housemate recently quipped about my taste in music, ... si Aleph at kanyang weird music, sabay bawi, pero gusto ko naman yung weird music nya. I’ve been giving him copies of my favourite albums these past weeks after he showed the littlest of interests, actually, kailangan ko pa ngang maghold-back at baka maoverwhelm sya sa enthusiasm ko. I must admit I’m a music junkie, at gusto ko akin lang ang airwaves pag nagpapatugtog ako nang malakas (hindi ako nagpapatalo sa kapitbahay namin lalo’t kapag jologs hiphop/ballad at ang aga-aga). I’m territorial that way. Many animals work with scent, in their piss, for example. Ako, parang lion’s roar lang: you hear that? You’re within my space.
A quick browse in my music library reveals it has evolved into a strange creature. About 80% of it, I think, is now instrumental. I’ve been obsessed with postrock this past year(?), and I know, yeah, the “postrock” term is such an apt name for the genre (if it exists at all) as much as “epic fail” does for anything nowadays. Angas ng lakad mo tapos bukas pala zipper, epic fail. Malamig pa rin ang Pasko, epic fail (oops biro lang, parang si Aleph hindi eh, no). But out of convenience kasi, so there, basta instrumentation eh yung usual gig, guitar, drums, base, tapos instrumental, ayun tawagin na lang nating post-rock in the mean time.
Anyways, topping my list right now is the band Toe. I started getting hooked in them because their melody is quite catchy & lyric, tapos yung rhythm, dehmn. Ang galing ng drummer nila, in my humble I’m-not-a-musician-drummer opinion. Ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng expressive (and impressive) na style ng drumming. Unconventional, hindi background lang, it stands out as an instrument really of its own. At well-integrated with other instruments, yun, nagtatake ng liberties pero hindi pasikat. And let me come back to the lyric, this aspect is what I really like about postrock. Lyric, hindi lang yung iniimbento mo kapag may kinakanta ka from memory/LSS ah, lyric meaning yung pagiging emotive ng piece.
As an example, here’s A Plum Blossom by Yusef Lateef. I suggest you use earphones/headphones.
Favorite ko ito, astigin and I’ve read online that the frontliner is some traditional Chinese instrument. Capable of only playing out 5 notes. 5. Pero listen to Lateef’s many variations, he really makes it shine. Yun yung idea ko talaga ng isang instrumentalist/musician. Anyway, awesome track right? But it’s NOT lyric, get it? Not that lyricism is my only criteria for awesomesauce-ness. It’s just one factor among many, like structure, etc. And Texture, which Lateef mighty understands. And you hear that subtle beat on the background? Ang simple pero you cannot deny its necessity in the song.
So now hear Toe’s C
Around 2:15, yung part na yun eh orgasmic talaga to my ears. Ang talab nun sakin, parang nagheheadbang yung puso ko dun. Tapos magwiwind down afterwards, repetitition, sa album version may change of quality yung sound sa tail mga ilang seconds before it ends. Nakakakiliti.
Eto naman ang “Past & Language”
Oh-em-gee, tapos pagdating around 3:56 and onwards, ang saraaap.... parang ice cream at yosi. Parang nangungusap yung musika , yun yung idea ko naman ng lyric. Yung may oomph, minsan parang bigla kang nabigyan ng injection ng teenage angst, minsan parang natatahimik ka lang kasi para kang nagdasal habang nakikinig. Balik tayo sa kanta, at yung drumming, shiz, phenomenal. Right from the start, you really can tell that the drummer knows the rhythm, actually parang nilapat yung buong kanta para sa beat ng drums. Sa video, makikita mo pa minsan yung restraint niya, sheesh, may dynamics. Crush ko na yata yung drummer, actually, parang gusto ko ngang matuto ng drums (or mag-date ng drummer pwede rin, kaya pala either yung vocalist o yung drummer ang digs na digs ng mga females).
Anyway the point is, ang dami na-aaccomplish ng instrumental music in itself. Sometimes, I get this impression that musicians in this genre are more attentive to their sound than mainstream musicians. And let’s not even talk about celebrities who pose as “artists” and then get a shitload of “awards”. Gusto ko pang-gawing italics at bold just to emphasize. I may be acting like a snob pero I’m not a hypocrite. Makikikanta ako ng malakas sa bar sa isang meaningless rnb kapag sumasayaw (or the worst impression of something like dancing), minsan manonood ako sa youtube ng Korean group, pero at the end of the day, I think about which ones really fall within my criteria of real music in the artistic sense, those with sincerity and awareness of craft/aesthetics.