You’re now leaving 2020: a fever dream of questionable laws, a giant Christmas tree breaking down at the sound of holiday jams, monthly WTF-inducing sagas, and eerie soundtracks to summarize the vibe. For the last item, just ask similarobjects for starters.
The Filipino musician-producer’s latest creation is an 18-minute dystopian loop of reality called “DDS Mix Club: Budots Nonstop EJK For 2020” as seen on Instagram.
The song is coupled with a visual of President Rodrigo Duterte seemingly morphing against a backdrop of Counter Strike-esque guns and a familiar budots clip. Living up to the loop, a recurring lyric wraps it up: “Mamatay kayong lahat!” (Ooooh, sounds like Philip Salvador’s message to Duterte critics.)
“The project is a reflection on the administration’s long history of impunity, police brutality, abuse, human rights violations, and extrajudicial killings. The main message is to inspire reflection/critical thinking and action towards the contradiction and corruption in the administration,” Similarobjects says, adding that it’s also an invitation to dig deeper in schooling ourselves on the real state of the nation.
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The mix was initially borne out of his preparation for the postponed Unknwn Fiesta last February. “I was set to specifically perform a live budots set which I prepared, produced and created original budots material for,” he says. “I decided it wasn’t enough for me to just re-imagine, adapt or transform and mutate the form. But I wanted to re-contextualize and encourage reflection and open up a dialogue about the political climate in Manila, specifically topics surrounding EJK, DDS culture and the administration.”
One day, he decided to share this work, motivated by both his love for budots and his frustration over the current administration. “So it’s safe to say this is part tribute and part commentary,” he says.
Similarobjects also mentioned a 2017 project of BuwanBuwan Collective, “Rodrigo Duterte’s Summer Budots Party,” which was both “a joke and critique” to educate listeners on issues with actual documentation.
If you access “Budots Nonstop EJK for 2020,” chances are you’ll also access reference readings about the administration’s extrajudicial killings, like Human Rights Watch’s “License to Kill.”
You can listen to the full track on Similarobjects’ Bandcamp page.
Still from “DDS MIX CLUB: BUDOTS NONSTOP EJK FOR 2020”