Frenetic and buzzing particles congregate and form an amorphous mass, simultaneously dense and evanescent. Hovering over the present, this crowd is locked in the pulse, trailing every hypnotic beat, only to be further intoxicated by a flurry of sonic collages and grainy hyperkinetic visuals. In SWARM, WSK foregrounds experimental club music and some of its diverse inflections ranging from oneiric techno to retrofuturistic groove, and psychedelic noise to ambient industrial, through the works of five different performers unified by a synesthetic predilection for hazy textures and propulsive rhythms.
A celebration of Manila’s uniquely exhilarating rave culture, ELEPHANT is the mise-en-scène of latex pop energy where Manila’s oddballs come to play every week. It is a party where the colorful and outrageous collide in a space that proudly welcomes it. Here, people coalesce under piercing strobe lights dancing for the right to unadulterated self-expression. Carving out a space of their own, where one could freely experiment, ELEPHANT explores the various ways one can be free. For this program, WSK collaborates with ELEPHANT to present WSK X ELEPHANT, a night of dark dance tracks, pounding techno, grind-gabber amalgamations and other polystylistic concoctions, glitchy projections, and a special hypersexual performance involving basketball, videoke, and kwek-kwek.
Featuring: Dignos x Adrianne, .G/FK/DS, Gabber Modus Operandi, Peter Kirn, Betty Apple, Pisitakun and “A Bwakeoke Night Performance” from Madam Bwakeva and extreme.meth.in.my.bloodstream (with special participation of Bwakeboyz)
WSK and Noisebath PH collaborate once again to orchestrate TORTURE GARDEN, a purgatorial night of raw, visceral noise. A demolition derby featuring luminaries of underground noise scenes from Manila, Bali, Tokyo, and the Visayas region, TORTURE GARDEN presents music as a coprophagic organism, unable to break away from a cycle of excretion and regurgitation. Equipped with contact mics, circuit-bent machines, and extended techniques, these artists — which include post-apocalyptic metal fetishists and a sleaze-and-schlock noisegrind outfit — scavenge from sonic refuse, dive neck-deep into music’s landfill, to unleash atonal and infernal torrents, test the thresholds of listeners, ultimately in pursuit of aural extremities.
In the remains of a burned down ancestral house, abandoned until its recent repurposing, creaking floorboards and harsh echoes bouncing off thick concrete walls are swallowed by otherworldly tones, glacial glissandos, and atonal shrieks. They bleed into each other, ebbing and flowing, as eight musicians — of distinct backgrounds and divergent sensibilities — continue to speak in tongues, slip in and out of time, volume, and idioms, and divine phantasmic textures from electro-acoustic mediums. Lurking from different parts of the dilapidated space, this cracked and scattered octet emits crackling static and shimmering skronks, tone clusters and sound masses, as each musician follows their own psychic streams, communally taking part in this suburban disturbance.
The hypothetical archive documenting the entirety of rock music is a sonic slag heap of wailing guitars, howling vocals, and other unholy utterances from which emerges a discernible continuum of tired forms and themes, stylistic artifices and hackneyed devices accumulated in less than a century. However, rock and roll’s promise of raw power and the wild electricity of live performance never diminished for some. These iconoclasts, coming all the way from Cavite, the Visayas region, and Singapore, harness and challenge two of rock music’s defining characteristics — its relative formal simplicity and its commitment to sheer intensity — via oblique approaches, expanding, disrupting, and redefining the genre’s syntax with the integration of unorthodox elements, and ultimately, opening up new paradigms. In BABEL, the shared Promethean project of galvanising the presumably exhausted idiom of rock through the mutually destructive interplay of polarities — the primal and cerebral, noise and nuance, convention and deviance, rabid fervor and analytic detachment — is on full display.
CLUB NIGHT: VISTRAX CONCERT showcases some of the most cutting-edge and exciting electronic musicians and DJs from Iloilo, Cebu, Roxas City, and other areas in the Visayas region performing alongside some of Manila’s most outré and left-field artists in a retro resto-bar in the heart of the bustling neighborhood of Poblacion. A show of dark industrial, minimal techno, ambient, and noise acts concurrent with the launch of the VISTRAX album, a new anthology of experimental music in the Visayas region, happening a block away at DULO.
Acting as the festival’s closing concert, SPECTRES will feature four electro-acoustic and multimedia acts, all of whom can be considered as artists working in the ambient idiom, or music which foregrounds transient textures over the rigid grids rhythm and structure imposes on sound. In an open-air theater located within the gates of a rebuilt Spanish colonial-era citadel, harmonically-rich and immersive walls of sound conjure remote atmospheres — of uncharted territories, otherworldly domains, and dystopian metropolises. Haunted by the weight of history, of centuries-long subjugation, and scarred with traces of the global catastrophe which almost obliterated it, the theater provides new dimensions to the readymade spaces often said to be evoked by ambient music.
WSK caps off its 10th year anniversary festival, bidding farewell to a decade of debauchery and godlessness before its hibernation and reformatting, with an open party featuring DJ performances from Bruder and Libya Montes whose styles encompass Berlin-style techno, harsh noise, and budots.