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Tarsius in Aural Audibles: Baluga 2000

A Parallel Planets piece by Tomi Uysingco
Parallel Planets presents Tarsius
in Aural Audibles Series: Baluga 2000
Music Review by Tomi Uysingco

Mentioned: post-Jeepney rave, futuristic bakya, and drunken revelry

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"Pucha pang Cubao Z party tong Tarsius 4ever. Libreng alak vibes." - Erin Emocling, Parallel Planets Founder and Editor at large (which roughly translates to: Damn Tarsius sounds like a Cubao Z party forever. Free alcohol vibes.)

You know when you get on a PUJ (that's Public Utility Jeepney for all you fine, non-Filipino folk) and it's blasting that god awful racket of cheap rave remixes of pop songs, making it into dirty four on the floor club bangers that is so bad you want to stab your ears with a pen? This is not that, thank fuck.

This is post-Jeepney rave music.

Not to be pretentious and be all intelligentsia (eww gross did I actually just type that?), but hey I just calls it like I sees 'em, or at this point, hear 'em. Tarsius makes music to shake your ass to, no doubt, but they do so with sophistication and panache. At the same time though, most critics would lazily lump Tarsius' music in a box some would call IDM, completely forgetting the fact that the band equally makes music for the house music nerds and the masses—the bakya in all of us. IDM is such a dumb term too, ironically enough.

Just take for example their track titles. Carrier single Baluga 2000, which in all honesty I didn't get the first time around and made me weary at first glance, was a jeep like the old Sarao that had a route going to Antipolo, as Diego and Jay explains in their interview with Team Manila. If that ain't hella futuristic bakya I don't know what is. 

And speaking of the clothing brand Team Manila, who else would be perfect to collaborate with in a release such as this, but the purveyors of anything good and local? Just in time for their Jeepney Collection, too.

Soundwise, Baluga 2000 is any hardcore house music aficionado's wet dream. With its dance floor ready thump, one would be hard pressed not to dance. And once the synths start stabbing, it's like you're transported to a warehouse rave much like a scene in that movie Groove. You'll be busting in the doors riding your owner-type jeep in all its stainless steel glory blasting this, and man, even Paul Van Dyke would have to stop his set and stare.

It is followed by Crossing United, another reference to jeeps as it is a terminal for jeepneys bound for Antipolo. It is a dark, menacing track that reminds me of Alt-J at points, only its more dance-y than any of Alt-J's output and the dudes in that band could only wish they had the chops of these two. But then, that is only if your idea of a party is dancing with vamps while it's raining blood ala Blade. Yes, another movie reference, I know. It makes me think that this record was made as a perfect soundtrack for a film about a post-millennial night out filled with drunken revelry.

The whole shindig closes with Azucena, a more laid-back tune with its nu-disco like flourishes. Leaning back a bit, it's the most apt cap to the unrelenting danceathon of an EP. The lounge like vibe would lull you to your next jeepney stop, still buzzing from all the partying that just happened.

Although a tad bit short, the Baluga 2000 EP makes up for it with its energy. I thought a spectacular debut like Primates was hard to top (read an old interview with did with the band right at the height of their debut), especially with an anthem like Deathless Gods, but here is the band completely blowing my mind once again and forcing me to dance alone in my room like an idiot. I can't wait to let my friends who are heavy into the club culture hear this. It's closely akin to dropping the dirtiest E you could find but with the assurance of having the chillest come down. Drop that pill and don't be scared homie. Tarsius is here to facilitate your trip.

More from Tarisus: Facebook, SoundCloud, YouTube
*photos courtesy of Team Manila


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