EYEDRESS: MOMMA’S BOY XMAS MIX
Idris Vicuña is a thriller from Manila, who makes ghostly 8-bit sound-swathes (a one-man genre we’ve dubbed ‘gravetendo’ for ease of reference) as Eyedress – and lo-fi guitar pop as Bee Eyes. To accessorize his ‘megadiverse’ Christmas mix, we spoke to Idris about the scene in the Philippines, Taglish and gross giant bats the size of 5 year-olds.
Who chats these days? Anyway, we’re here – come on over.
So hey Idris – what are you doing right now?
I had guests over earlier
Are you wasted? That might be a good thing for a couple of these questions
Haha not at all! I’m just stoned dude.
Ok – first (ok, second) terrible question. What time is it in the Philippines right now and where exactly are you based? Manila?
It’s 11:41 pm. I am based in Quezon City. That’s in Manila, basically.
And you are part of a cool creative community over there, right? What’s the scene like?
Yeah! It’s super small – like everyone knows each other. So we’re all friends.
Who else are you excited about in terms of creativity in your city?
Oh man I wish I could send you some stuff! I could actually - some songs.
How about some band/artist names to check out for now?
Outerhope, Slow Hello, Bearded Ladies, Rh Xanders, Similar Objects, Bubble Based Boy - some names you might wanna look out for
And you are in a lo-fi guitar band yourself called Bee Eyes, right? What’s with the eye vibes, dude?
Haha. I’m still in bee eyes and probably will be forevz. Bee Eyes is my guitar band! I sing sometimes too.
Ok, now on to the hardcore academic questioning. Many have crumbled under the intellectual weight of the JUKE interview style. (Most have not)
Your county is described on a well-known online reference resource as ‘MEGADIVERSE’. That is not just an awesome word, but a way to describe your natural bounty…
Our country is corrupt - and yes very diverse
Seems like everyone’s brainwashed with whatever America is doing
I was leading into a very lighthearted line of fire about the animal kingdom, but let’s park that…Is that a problem in the Philippines? Western obsession?
Alright – haha – we can go deep. YES. Ever since we were colonized, I feel that our history is just being erased more and more each day. It’s very Catholic over here too. And no one wants to move on – they just like to keep their minds closed and it’s kind of a Filipino thing to just be comfortable. No change. But I’d like to believe otherwise – I think people should open their minds more…
Is part of what your collective of young people is doing creatively about building something from the ground up?
Yeah definitely, because no one is really doing anything out here.
Is acceptance from the West not important in what you do? It’s happening either way with your music? Do you find there’s a difference in how you’re being received on home turf, as opposed to via the INTERWEB AND BEYOND!
It seems like everyone’s content with whatever the mainstream feeds them here.
What’s the mainstream music scene about over there? Who’s big?
It sucks. It’s super mediocre- a lot of cover songs and old dudes who don’t wanna give up their position
Hmm…who’s big- like names?
Yeah, or genres – what do teachers and drunk girls and douchebags listen to?
That’s the stuff they listen to on the radio. Taxi drivers love Journey. And like all those ballad songs. I guess they sing them a lot during karaoke. Yeah, people here like to get drunk and do karaoke.
Oh man, the autotune stuff haha. There’s this dude called Somedaydream - and he’s like the Owl City of the Philippines
Yeah it sucks – the music industry is fucked. All you hear are cover song and just really bad nu metal or emo
There’s a lot of good things to say about Filipino music though…like the old stuff is where it’s at.
Cinderella! Basically, everyone here is still trying to sound like this one band who made it big in the 90′s called the Eraserheads - and they’re dope. But like even that is getting old. I sound like such a hater!
So, how did you go about picking the music for your mix? It is ‘Christmassy’ in timing, but not in nature – or are you being typically cryptic?
Haha- well the ber months in the Philippines are really nice and chilly, so I just got all my favourite songs i like to relax to
HAHA. Sarcastically yesss -good one.
How about a concept album in Taglish?
Speaking taglish kinda makes you look stupid
Because basically you’re using shortcuts when you speak in Taglish. For example – ‘I want you to come over now’ is just ‘come over na’. HAHA.
How would you say, shut up JUKE, leave me alone!
Taglish style? Shut up JUKE leave me alone na. I dunno, that’s some shit you’d hear on TV.
Wow. I think I’m fluent already! So. speaking of MEGADIVERSITY (once upon a time) – your mix is megadiverse…
Thanks hehe. I grew up everywhere. Like I was born here, grew up in the States - went to public school all my life and met all these MEGADIVERSE peeps. I moved to Phoenix, Arizona when I was 5. My dad started working for 20th Century Fox. My mom enrolled me into public school, which is the opposite of private school haha. Public schools in America aren’t so bad though,compared to here. Anyways public school in America was tough for me – a lot of mean ass kids
You say your dad worked at 20th Century FOX…
Yeah he’s an animator
Speaking of the Philippines’ MEGADIVERSE natural biosphere (or some shit)… have you ever encountered any of the following radical sounding indigenous animals in the flesh?
What is that, a dalmatian deer? If you mean big ass sewer rats yes
Fucked if I know – it sounds kewt tho…
Sounds kinda cute.
Ok – A VISAYAN WARTY PIG?
This place is super grimey - when I think of animals, I think of stray cats and dogs and mutated looking things by the sewer
Like…A PHILIPPINE FLYING LEMUR?
Haha never man – it sounds like I need to go to the zoo. I need to google all these.
Yeah, tell us if you see a TAMARAW OF MINDORO while you’re there..
I hope people dont eat this stuff
Munchies! On a warty pig…
You hear about the giant bats out here?
NO. How big? Gross! Big enough to eat a mouse deer?
Oh my god.
Yeah, it would murder that thing. I’ve only seen pictures, but they’re scary looking
Ok we need to come to your ends soon, but in the meantime Idris, it’s been real – thank you for your mix – and we look forward to hearing more from you and your Filipino bros (and send us some pics of you with one of those bats and we’ll put it on the cover)
Oh my death – no that would never happened unless you photoshop that shiiit. Some grossness for ya – laters.
1. Amber London – You on my Mind (chopped and screwed)
2. Cody Chesnutt – Boylife in America
3. Pavement – Grounded
4. Fever Ray – Dry and Dusty
5. The Bilinda Butchers – Tulips
6. Part Time – Night Drive
7. The Radio Dept – On Your Side
8. Whodini – Five Minutes of Funk
9. Junior Mafia – Get Money
10. Clams – P-nut Butter Irony
11. The Flaming Lips – She Don’t Use Jelly
12. Autolux – Asleep at the Trigger
13. Sonic Youth – Shadow of a Doubt
14. Vincent Gallo – No Regard
15. Dream Koala – Go With You
[By Lucy Stehlik]