“On the internet, there is no real underground anymore,” writes graphic novelist and author Warren Ellis. Music today doesn’t rely on charts to remain relevant; some songs that have never experienced radio play have millions of plays on Spotify or YouTube. The internet has created an equalizing space for any artist to put their song out there, and hopefully make their mark in the world.
Conversely, people can get easily overwhelmed with all these music releases, which is why there are still channels people follow for new releases, little pockets of music people can live in. But today the question you should ask isn’t which music is the “best,” but rather which music you can relate to this very moment.
We take a look at local musical collectives that, one way or another, formed their own pillars in the music scene. There are artists that continually push sonic boundaries and there are artists that drive towards building a familiar brand. These are all voices worthy of being heard.
Formally started in 2012, BuwanBuwan Collective is a strange, enticing brew of beatmakers and selectors that have driven music experimentation to uncharted sonic territories with the same DIY bedroom-studio approach. Founded by Vince Pante (BIN5), Kyle Quismundo (formerly Yolanda Moon), Luis Gutierrez (Like Animals), and Jorge Juan Bautista Wieneke V (SimilarObjects), BuwanBuwan now hosts almost two dozen artists who share the same vision of challenging the norm and pushing the envelope of electronic music outwards.
By its existence, BuwanBuwan represents the possibilities of making music and, through its efforts to reach out to other musicians, fosters a community where fellow musicians can learn from each other and grow together. Its members have spawned movements and communities of their own, and its group projects are always a must-listen just to see what each member can come up with.
Categorizing the transportative, experiential, and textured music of the members of BuwanBuwan isn’t easy, and to be honest, it’s often futile. The music the members of BuwanBuwan create becomes a coded language that speaks differently to both the artist and the listener. Each member of the collective is talented in his or her own right, but the truth of it is that this collective as a whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, whether the members are aware of it or not.
Photography by John Dee
Video by Ivan Cocjin
This story originally appeared in Scout Magazine’s May-June 2017 issue.