Tuesday, 3 June 2014

THE AFTER-SCHOOL SPECIAL – FIND, LOSE, AND LOVE

I'm so bad bad bad, bad like a bad car not a bad man; inefficient, belated, whateverative. But don't worry I've come to share a nice-nice sound with you this fine whatever-time-of-day-it-is-for-you. I'm sorry everybody, I'm sorry. TRIUMPH OVER ADVERSITY. And with this guilt-ridden waffle, I'd like to introduce, yeah, this nice-nice sound I mentioned.

It's called 'Find, Lose, And Love' and it's been created by Filipino artist The After-School Special. The man behind this romantic moniker – so chosen "because he would often find himself crafting beats after coming home from class" – is Anton Salvador, who began making his own music in 2006, when it was more of an outlet for his creativity outside of the various bands we was in; it was only in 2012 that he began working on The After-School Special in earnest. Anyway... let's have a lil listen shall we?

Taking as its showpiece a quote from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo – in particular, the part where the protagonist, Scottie, is attempting to rid himself of his acrophobia/vertigo by going up and down a small step stool repeating the mantra "I look up, I look down…" – the track is a progressive piece of electronic dreaminess

The decorative metronomic hi-hats become gradually faster and more frequent, the Vertigo dialogue tunes in and out as if being watched inside a pastel green cloud of whirling synth, with lower rumbles providing foundations with the constant, grounded thump of the kicks. Add to this successions of deliciously raspy claps and the simple bwinging notes of synth melody, not to mention the well-tuned dynamics of the track, and there you have it: something wonderful. Describing the track, Anton wrote, "This is a manifestation. This is a release of energy. This is me trying to find balance."

He is part of BuwanBuwan, " a Pinoy beatmakers and electronic musicians collective" alongside many others – including Similar_Objects (aka Jorge Juan Wieneke V, a director of the collective) and Spazzkid. I can't really put it any better than the arbiters of BuwanBuwan, who describe it as "a framework for their perpetual creative exchanges, a take-off point for defining their identity as Filipino artists, and above all, a common ground where they can all play." A treasure trove rich in new sounds to be explored, new artists to discover!



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