local music collectives
Mapping out the local music scene through our favorite musical collectives
"ON THE INTERNET, there is no real underground anymore," write graphic novelist and author Warren Ellis. Music today doesn't rely on charts to remain relevant; some songs that have never experienced radio play have millions of plays on Spotify or YouTube. The internet has created an equalizing space for any artist to put their song out there, and hopefully make their mark in the world.
Conversely, people can get easily overwhelmed with all these music releases, which is why there are still channels people follow for new releases, little pockets of music people can live in. But today the question you should ask isn't which music is the "best," but rather which you can relate to this very moment.
We take a look at local musical collectives that, one way or another, formed their own pillars in the music scene. There are artists that continually push sonic boundaries and there are artists that drive towards building a familiar brand. These are all voices worthy of being heard.
The sian wave of trap music made popular by eith pe s It G Ma and kept a oat by the likes of media out t rising nds its parallels in this record label founded by Blvck Lauren last year. The hallmarks are there: streetwear pieces meet rattling hi-hats and catchy hooks to show off the perennial hip-hop e . Look around you. This is where pop culture has arrived, with hip-hop permeating all ends of our every day. It was only a matter of time before we had our own local representation, people we can refer to when we say “local trap music.
That doesn t mean to say T is ust a dig at what s popular today. “If you look around we have heavy trap, we have vibes, but we re also going to lo- pop, and disco, says creative director . The in uences of anye est and harrell Blvck Lauren s idols are there of course, but T s appeal is its impressive and diverse roster of members: music producers, rappers, graphic designers, and fashion designers form the family that is T . “ usic is our forefront but it s also about culture and the lifestyle, Blvck Lauren says.
t its core, T represents a new wave of creatives chasing success without compromising their vision. They know what they’re good at and they make the most out of it. In short, they hustle.
TRAK N O FA C E
ormed by , I , T T , nife, and skin bones, is a label born out of the corners of the internet you always knew were there, but never fully noticed. The same online spaces that have created manifold genres like witch house and vaporwave have also created a tradition for artists to twist and bend these genres as they please. The tags assigns to its songs indicate a non-commitment to traditional labels, but they’re nonetheless descriptive “hip-hop rap is coupled with other tags like “therapy and “depressionwave.
lthough has been only been alive for a year, its members have been consistently—almost restlessly—releasing new pro ects. To date, there are pro ects up on its Bandcamp page, two of which are crew tapes “ T I and “ I I IB , both released in .
hether it’s abrasive cloud rap, disconcerting beats, lulling vocals, or a combination of any of the three, the one thing that binds this group’s sound together is that it’s music that is best probably listened to by oneself. Some kinds of music build a barrier between you and the rest of the world, and in the hyper-everything of today, a soundtrack to being alone (and more importantly, being yourself) is therapeutic.
It’s hard to ignore movements from the likes of , whose songs probably won’t be heard at the top of the music charts, but nd an audience nonetheless in the increasingly visible fringes of the underground. This record label might fade away back into the void where it came from, and the members may return under a different name. ho knows, and more importantly, who cares The music will hopefully stay.
ormally started in , BuwanBuwan ollective is a strange, enticing brew of beatmakers and selectors that have driven music e perimentation to uncharted sonic territories with the same I bedroom-studio approach. ounded by ince ante (BI ), yle uismundo (formerly olanda oon), Luis uitierrez (Like nimals), and orge uan Bautista ieneke (Similar b ects), BuwanBuwan now hosts almost two dozen artists who share the same vision of challenging the norm and pushing the envelope of electronic music outwards.
By its existence, BuwanBuwan represents the possibilities of making music and, through its efforts to reach out to other musicians, fosters a community where fellow musicians can learn from each other and grow together. Its members have spawned movements and communities of their own, and its group projects are always a must-listen just to see what each member can come up with.
ategorizing the transportative, experiential, and textured music of the members of BuwanBuwan isn’t easy, and to be honest, it’s often futile. The music the members of BuwanBuwan create becomes a coded language that speaks differently to both the artist and the listener. ach member of the collective is talented in his or her own right, but the truth of it is that this collective as a whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, whether the members are aware of it or not.
production house, a talent agency, and a “content cocreation space all at once, Stages Sessions’ artist-centric approach to gigs has been its trademark to fans. For pop artists, Stages Sessions provides a venue to experiment and push the boundaries of their own unique sound. For new blood, Stages Sessions offers a platform to be heard.
Stages Sessions has been getting attention from indie heads and mainstream fans alike since their its rst event last ctober with headliner hristian Bautista. Since then, it has organized events such as aniela ndrade’s anila concert, lara Benin’s farewell gig, and recently its latest project called The ig ircuit, which takes their roster of artists to frequented gig spots in the metro.
Far from the do it yourself attitude of the local underground scene but also distinct from the trademark extravagance of local pop, what sets Stages Sessions apart is an emphasis on production value. Its take on music has been described as “mainstream stuff, done in an alternative way. ach project comes off as somewhere in between pop sensibilities and new sonic territory, and it’s not entirely right smack in the middle. It’s in a different, better place.