"Hayup talaga 'tong Rico Blanco na 'to. Pinapakinggan ko yung bago nyang album ngayon. Nakakatakot. Para syang mad scientist ng music."
-as tweeted by Chito Miranda, Parokya ni Edgar
And that, in a nutshell, is what you can expect from Rico Blanco's second album, "Galactik Fiestamatik". It's been four years since the former Rivermaya frontman's solo debut "Your Univerese", which spawned such hits as the orchestral masterpiece "Yugto", and the sweet title track "Your Universe", and Blanco's back to rock out this world with a totally different sound.
Eluding definition, Blanco shares, "The title IS the genre," and a quick listen takes you on a festive adventure through the magic and mayhem of Galactik Fiestamatik, Blanco's parallel Pinoy universe. The story of this album begins with fulfilling the dream of having a home studio. His eyes lighting up, Blanco shares, "I've wanted my own studio since I was a kid, and now I have it in my attic. So it's like me again in third year high school, when my classmate lent me his double cassette player and keyboard, and I could record stuff at home!"
For this album, Blanco takes the sounds he grew up with - the thundering ethnic beats of Ati-Atihan, analog synths of New Wave, and even the catchy groove of contemporary pop - and mixes it up all in his head in a tribal punk rave that defies time and space. Orchestrating his own mad symphony, his signature songwriting takes center stage, flanked by an assortment of 'found' objects and unlikely instruments (a melodica, a lyre, a gigantic cow bell, a violin that he picked up while walking around Araneta with Ira Cruz while killing time at a concert).
The madcap journey begins with "Amats", the creepy yet intriguing carrier single which has already been dominating the airwaves, making its mark in iTunes, and proclaimed by fans as a "stalker anthem". A departure from his trademark sweet melodic ditties, Blanco reveals, "I wanted it to be in your face, like a stalker you want to get rid of." He continues, "It's always the first song that I create (for an album) that takes me where I want to go; that's what happend with Yugto, I just took bits and pieces of Yugto and turned them into other songs. This time it was Amats."
Never half-assed at anything he does, Blanco marches to his own drum, dreams boldly, and declares, "if we fail, we fail boldly." Mad scientist, indeed.
to view photos from the "Galactik Fiestamatik" album launch.
Check out highlights from the launch below.