The Local Outsider #2: Nights of Rizal, Dearest, and Ryoku

The Local OutsiderOn this month’s The Local Outsider we rely more on Soundcloud. It’s wrecking havoc on my formatting, but, well, there you go. We had a(n un)surprisingly good response to the first installment last month, which is good because it proves local music is still doing well (albeit in limited places only), but scary because I now have the urge to live up to whatever it is I have to live up to. So, three more songs from the local front, then: a good mix of genres, all leaning towards new, because February has been pretty hell-ish we tried so hard to make some time.



We begin with an act that’s recommended by one of our contributing writers, Claud… well, let’s be honest here. Claud knows him. Nights of Rizal is otherwise the electronic project of Migi de Belen, all-around creative and part of the first ever Elements Music Camp. I’ve been meaning to write about him for a while now, since Claud’s been posting about him, but I keep on forgetting. Not this time, though. And perfect timing, perhaps, as “Penelope (Made Up)” is his newest release, out just a couple of weeks back, from an album he’s still in the middle of putting together. It bounces, this. I know I’ve been overusing that term on the blog, but it bounces. I didn’t expect it to, frankly; before I hit play I had this idea of a slow burner coming through my earphones. As I write this it’s available for free download, although he does say it’s still a work in progress. But it’s good as it is, if not a bit short.



How to get my attention: have an unusual name. Granted, it’s only a comma at the end, but Dearest, is already wrecking my head, one that’s inclined to make sure I don’t sound like I’m making a lot of unnecessary pauses in my sentences. Dearest, just launched their album last week (I think it’s available at Satchmi, although there are other details on their Facebook page) so they were all over my timelines this month. Nice name, guys. It’s totally not what I expected. “Yours (Hold Me)”, their single, has this energy that, well, I did not expect: some good old indie rock that’s not afraid to turn it up to suit whoever. (Although one of their early songs from an earlier EP – I did some Soundcloud exploring here – is, well, softer.) Dearest, is striking, and it makes for an interesting listen worth exploring.



Finally, in the process of compiling my earthings! Fantasy Festival stage, I ended up putting Clara Benin on the longlist, although ultimately I couldn’t find a place for her. Sorry, Clara. Let it be known that I still love you voice. And it’s a treat to hear it in the newest release from music producer Ryoku, “Here Comes The Feeling”. (It’s available for free download with a newsletter subscription here. Also, this isn’t their first collaboration: there’s “Window Seat” from a year ago.) I already know what she can do, but I’m new to Ryoku, aka Richard Ken Matsuyama, who manages to break the typical chilled electronica mold by adding a little bit of edge to it. And yet – perhaps it’s psychology suggesting this – it really does ease you into a horizontal position. I’m pretty sure I need more of this in the coming months. No clues. Just that. [NB]


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