Shot by Kevin Cayuca
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The Pharmer’s Guide to Higher Ground is a hip-hop project conceptualized by MC’s Liquid, Skarm, Flexx and Lloyd. In this age where visual illustrations and juxtaposed figures of speech maintain a certain vital role in crafting modern underground hip-hop music, the Pharm introduce themselves as such group utilizing these elements. The 14-track album is a sketchpad of lyrical approaches stylized by each member’s own characteristics in spitting out mind-trip bars that reveal their own animated worlds, cryptic messages and bizarre thoughts. Backed up by hazardous headnod beats from 3 of the Pharm’s members (along with production from producers, Ill Primitivo and DJ Fresh-Lee) and surreal album art designed by abstract visual artist Sloj, this album promises a rejuvenating feeling in Philippine underground hip-hop; simply put, it is something fresh and relevant to look forward to. New Perspectives is here to introduce new gutter science for essential underground listeners in 2012. Meet..The Pharm.
Water Gun Water Gun Sky Attack (WGWGSA) Solves A Problem Like Maria (APLM) is composed of two solo artists living in opposite ends of the planetary spectrum: WGWGSA is from Denton, Texas while the latter hails from Manila, Philippines. This collaboration, entitled Decompose, is a 6-track EP that dabbles in glitches, broken beats and intelligent dance music mixed in with dreamy vocals from APLM herself.
The Decompose EP is, in APLM’s words, “the soundtrack of a love story set during the zombie apocalypse.” Zombie theme or not, it is an effort worth listening to not only because we’re suckers for collaborative efforts that span continents, but also because tracks such as “Standstill” and the title track properly showcase both artists’ musical capabilities. A step in the right direction for electronic music fans who dug Portishead’s Third album, Homogenic and Vespertine-era Bjork and even Drip, though slightly more subdued. Download it for free HERE if you dig it.
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In this video, Malek Lopez opens up on what he thinks is missing in the local electronic music scene: the need to advance our art to the rest of the world. This is the next step, a kind of logical progression in keeping up with the digitized world that is gradually becoming smaller and more accessible. The piece Malek shares with us here is something that he played in Indonesia recently. The track on its own is, by all merits, fantastic. But the added layer of piano into the composition (coming at the 3 minute mark), while subtle and unassuming, completes this musical puzzle. As Malek said so himself, electronic music delivers its message through beats and instruments, and rarely words.
We’re about raw cuts and essential headnod shit. Below is the link to some very wicked production from MC/Producer MIC of the AMPON camp, who Skarm also mentioned in his interview was his prime influence in music production. Because we explore our local artist’s roots, we present to you two instrumental tracks taken from AMPON’s fist album entitled DEKODING RHYTHM crafted by the M-I-C himeslf. Before the group’s second album SLANTED PLANETS release nerve gasses in the underground, let’s take it back to 2006 and listen to some serious sinister intro and outro music. Check out MIC’s music at www.soundcloud.com/producedbymic Enjoy!!
Sometimes the best way to know about an artist is to ask; simple as it may sound, not all of us get an opportunity to do so. Consider us a part of the chosen few. In this clip, Skarm opens up on his influences, The Pharm, and the state of Hip-Hop. Listen to the essence, absorb the ingenuity, and applaud the music.
Upon first listen, Skarm sounds like he is in a recurring nightmare. The stories are vivid, personal and keep him restless. Staying at midtempo with a sprinkle of gloomy piano keys on the side, The Pharm‘s CEO and founder is back with his follow-up to last year’s In Troubled Waters. Odyssey to the Sun, his third full-length LP, is a combination of bass-heavy, carefully crafted beats and lyrical deliveries that echo the confidence of an emcee that’s been in the business for years.
Finding highlights for balanced albums such as Odyssey … can be a little tricky since the whole album is more fulfilling than the sum of its parts. The ones that really warrant multiple listens for its clever wordplay and storytelling are “Aviator Traits” and “The Other Side”. It would be a mistake to sleep on the rest of the tracks, though.
Skarm may still be swimming in troubled waters, but this hasn’t stunted his growth both as a producer and emcee. There’s a lot to like in this album, and all 12 tracks breeze by so fast it leaves us wanting to hear a bit more. The production is layered with samples both simple and sparse, a good thing as the beats don’t overwhelm his narratives. Odyssey to the Sun, like its predecessors, is an album to listen and nod your head to. Pick this one up when you can.
“Subconscious Shades” (Live @ Subflex, November 2)
(Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of Odyssey to the Sun/Introubled Waters/Lazy Boy Blues. Delivers anywhere nationwide.)