Monday, January 9, 2012

Play4Serve: LockedDown X Daily Grind Session

"...the sheer energy and delight that erupted between artists and audiences is what completed the magic of the night..."

Photo Credits: Isi Laureano
For Play4Serve (production of Sandwich & Imago)

You never know what to expect at a LockedDown gig. Or let me rephrase: you can expect great camaraderie and music from all walks of life, but any other expectations are truly that of positive ambiguity.  In other words, full of pleasant surprises.

That being said, the Play4Serve event at Escobar, CubaoX did not disappoint with its diverse lineup of artists and an appreciate, open-minded (and eared) crowd. Don't get me wrong, the initial reaction for those with rock preferences was to clear out whenever a hip hop artist came up.  However, when they would hear something unlike the commercially known sound, I would see rockers bobbin' their heads and rejoining the action. That, my friends, feels really good to watch and experience in 2012.

ILL-J and D'Tech

While the whole night was remarkably passionate in everyone's unique crafts, I thought I'd summarize my personal picks for the evening's highlights.

Firstly, it was a real treat to see ILL-J perform after a bit of a hiatus with DJ D'Tech (of The Mighty Miscellaneous) backing him up on past and present tracks.  Giving homage to Nas and Mastaplann then warming up the crowd with classic SVC single "My Homies" to his own "First Wifey" and "Feel Good"; his medley sparked up a little something for everyone. The crowd  definitely took a liking to unreleased track "A King is Born", which gave tribute to The King of Rap Francis M. and other Filipino heroes.

Secondly, and speaking of Filipino heroes: RAIMUND MARASIGAN. With Imago. With Pedicab. With Gaijin. Then my personal fave, with Sandwich.  Not to mention his jam session on Miscellaneous' set where he joined in on the boom and bap of DJ Umph's MPC. He is a rock legend, but here's a little trivia for ya: he's a huge Beastie Boys fan and he produced 1 of the first tracks for SVC when they chose to go independent for their All Natural album.  Not only is he well-versed in so many musical elements (drums, guitars, vocals, etc.), but also in so many genres (hip hop included).  Basically, I believe Mr. Marasigan's musical talents have the Midas touch, because everything he touches turns to gold. It was amazing seeing him display his multi-talents throughout the night.  That's passion right there.


The Mighty Miscellaneous x Raimund Marasigan

Sandwich bringin' down the house
Thirdly, The Mighty Miscellaneous kills it every time. I've never seen any flubs or lack of power in a Misc performance. What made the Play4Serve set different? As mentioned before, music vet Raimund Marasigan jammed with them (he actually rapped the CTRL+ALT+DEL hook on his sesh with Sandwich too), but the surprises didn't stop there! Member Tibbz, who we usually see playing the live instrumentals on his MPC, got back on the mic that night for a heavy, unforeseen verse. Factor all that into their solid foundation as a unique, live hip hop group, and there was no way this set would not end up on my list of highlights.

The Mighty Miscellaneous

Lastly, I can't really explain the feeling of discovering new talent.  Not that this group was new, per say, but new to my ears. Straight out of Baguio, came a bonus set from Sky Dive Academy.  With their big band + brass section blaring and intellectual rhymes coloring up the instrumentation, it's no wonder why Raimund Marasigan was so eager to have everyone listen to this crew. Big ups!

It was the sheer energy and delight that erupted between artists and audiences that completed the magic of the night. The Play4Serve: LockedDown x Daily Grind Session was just what I needed after the Christmas-New Year break, which sort of put music in the backseat for me.  Regardless of how present music was in each individual's lives, though, it seemed like they all needed it too.


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