Manila Community Radio (MCR) has been bestowed the Broadcast Lab grant from Boiler Room and Jameson to promote emerging local talents while spotlighting the Filipino grassroots genre that is budots.
The recording session of this special showcase will take place on April 29, 2023 at an undisclosed location.
On the sidelines will be a panel discussion that aims to initiate and bridge dialogue between budots and similar genres in the Southeast Asian region.
“Like other grassroots sounds across the globe — like Detroit techno, Chicago house, Indonesia’s dangdut and more — budots feels like something the Philippines can truly call its own,” says MCR co-founder and MCR programming lead Jorge Wieneke V aka obese.dogma777, who will also feature on the line-up.
Budots refers to both the music genre and the dance and is said to have originated in Barangay Camus, Davao City, in the 2000s. The term comes from the Bisayan slang for “slacker”, but can also be traced to the Bisayan tabudots — a person who dances in a freestyle manner, so to speak.
The genre sees an intertwine of indigenous music-making with 2000s Euro trance and techno (colloquially known as bistik or Bisayan tikno), characterized by a fat bass, blippy synthesizers, air horns, looped voice samples and atmospheric city sounds.
MCR is the sixth awardee of the Broadcast Lab initiative, which has given the radio as much as GBP9,000 for the project.
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The showcase will highlight the genre and its many mutations through an unconventional presentation that features a diverse billing of sonic trailblazers; Teya Logos, Libya Montes, Showtime Official Club, Hideki Ito, T33G33, obese.dogma777, Pikunin and DJ Love who is largely credited as a pioneer of budots.
Speaking on budots exclusively to Mixmag Asia, DJ Love explains "It's a freestyle dance. When it gives you the urge to dance ... just go! The beat isn't fast, it's just right. For me, budots will never go away. It's part of Filipino culture.”
He also mentions how in his hometown of Davao City — where the dance-slash-music genre is considered to have originated — foreign music doesn’t sell in clubs; “It’s really budots”.
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Metro Manila native T33G33 adds "I think the growing interest in budots in the club context has something to do with our desire to make sense of our identity through our music — by decolonizing our culture and somehow going back to our roots, while at the same time adapting and thriving for the future.”
For more information on MCR’s special showcase on budots, head to their Instagram here.
Amira Waworuntu is Mixmag Asia’s Managing Editor, follow her on Instagram.