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EDITOR’S NOTE: Every week we will be featuring up and coming bands that we just can’t get enough of and we think are worth your attention. These bands and artists not only come from Manila but in other parts of Southeast Asia and the world. Most of them we’ve seen live or had a chat with them at local gigs in the Metro, or at a conference or music showcases overseas. While some lands are the ones who’ve sent us demos that we are truly impressed with. 

For this edition, we have ambient-electronic and post-rock brainchild of Aldrice Chincuanco,  ANKO.

What’s your band called? ANKO

What do you sound like? Sonically, I’d say if Tycho, Angels & Airwaves, and Porter Robinson had a lovechild.

My sound is pretty much a mix of my preferred ambient electronic synths, samples and progressions infused with simple yet melodic guitar driven riffs. Since there are no vocal lines in my music, my sound relies heavily on the arrangement of the instruments to set the character of the song.

Are you any good (honestly)? I’d like to say that I am competent enough having my fair share of experiences recording and playing the guitar for about 14 years now. I started in 2006 with a laptop and a computer mic to record my then-band’s early demos (it didn’t sound great, but it was definitely a starting point) into gradually investing in better equipment which eventually lead to my own personal recording studio at home.

With this, I am constantly making a daily effort to improve both on my guitar technique and recording processes.

What’s your best song? Currently released are City Love and Pinnacle which are great, but the best is Downpour to be released on July 31, 2020 for my 30th birthday.

What’s been your most memorable gig? My most memorable gig was the launch of my first single (City Love) last Feb 20, 2020 at Lime Hut Katipunan. It was very memorable because of the intimacy of the event, having all of my closest friends gathered in one location. This was the moment my friends heard my original songs for the first time, having kept this solo project secret from them for about two years. There were quite a number of new faces in attendance as well and it was encouraging to see them come forward, to let me know that they truly engaged with the music.

Tell us something really interesting about you, that isn’t to do with music. Along with the music, I’m also passionate about experimenting with some visual art through photography and videography. The mere thought of imagining landscapes and visual storytelling already excites me.

Do you have any rituals or process when you write songs? My initial process when producing a song is to have a clear vision of what arrangement and dynamics I am going for- when will be the buildup or crescendo? Do I start with guitars, synths, or drums? What effects will I use?

Next is identifying the mood that I am going for- how fast do I want the song to be, what bpm? Is it going to be a happy or melancholic tune?

Then, I identify the musical notes I will use, sequence the drums and synths, record the guitars, and then mix & level the tracks altogether.

Last will be having a third party to master the track for the overall quality to sound best on all platforms.

What do you want to achieve with your music? I want to pioneer a new sound and experience for my listeners. My goal is to introduce an introspective experience with my music- a canvas of soundscapes to be used as a conduit for the listener’s musical introspection.

How’s your band been coping with the lockdown? I know that it has been tough for a lot of people given our current situation today. With that in mind, I try to share my music to as much people as I can to spark some positive energy amidst the pandemic we’re in. (Thanks for reaching out!)

Where can we see you next? Hopefully, if the lockdown is lifted by May, the single launch event for my fourth single will be pushing through on May 20, 2020 at Lime Hut Katipunan.

What do you want to happen at your last ever show? I want it to be a full immersion of an introspective experience for the audience. Perhaps an epic venue with a 360-degree LED wall accompanied by breathtaking visuals, the best sound system resonating with clarity, and lighting systems to match every sequence and beat of all my songs. I want to take the audience’s breath away, and give it back threefold.

Any final words? I hope that my music can take you to places beyond your imagination. I’ve made it for you to use as a conduit for your musical introspection and a positive experience of self-discovery.