ALBUM REVIEW: Calix’s “IKUGAN” Will Punch You In The Gut With Its Activism

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After Calix’s hard-hitting sophomore album entitled The Lesser Of Your Greater Friends that shouts with rage over injustices and social issues—he’s now back with the same fire in his eyes and in his fist with his first mini-album “IKUGAN”.

 

This 7-track album from Calix starts out like any of his past albums—grimy, with raw lyrics and head-bopping beats from Amanamin” to a more smooth, yet gloomy “Monday (San Na?)”. Calix yet again, masterfully curated this track list, so when you play it chronologically, it’s a tour of several emotions and vibes for us to explore.

 

Calix And His Lyrical Advocacy

Since his first album “The Breakout Satirist” Calix is known to never fuck around when it comes to his gut-punching lyricism. He has this rapid-fire persona with a clearly enunciated flow that makes you feel like you’re being punched. This is what set Calix apart from his counterparts. He doesn’t like to joke around, much less be subtle, this is clearly exemplified in this album with lyrics:

 

Yung mga binoto nyo mas adik pa sa akin
Fenta-fenta-fenta-fentanyl pa pre 2x

 

With the nationwide launch of the War on Drugs, it is suffice to say that this is obviously an attack to the current President, Rodrigo Duterte and his own addiction; as if Calix doesn’t want his listeners to take his message the other way around. Calix wants us to immediately get what he’s saying.

 

 

Palagi mong sinasabi na binigay mo na lahat
Pero bakit marami sa amin ang kinakain ay palaging di pa sapat?
Pinagsamang mga palad para ika’y maka-usap
Ang hiling ng mga tulad ko, di yumao ng dilat
Sa pagkat ang dami kong pangarap
Na sinabi ko sayo pero di ka kumurap (fuck)

 

His agitated voice alongside with stellar collaborations with: BLKD, JamSykes and Holic, this album is a variety of sound that pins you down to the wall while words are being thrown right in front of your face.

 

A Multigenre Mini-album

Calix is never shy showing off his musical prowess. “IKUGAN” is a mix of different genres fused with rap produced by Serena DC. Most notably is his track “Limbo” – this track breaks from your typical hard banger into a progressive-rock pattern with it’s hook that again breaks into a trap-like musical structure with it’s verses.

 

IKUGAN is full of structural breaks with some tracks that includes sounds, and a pitch tempo which is evident in the mid and latter parts of his tracks.

 

Calix: The Ghetto Priest

 

 

Like a priest delivering its sermons, Calix delivers his messages through his medium—harsh truths that encompasses social injustices from the poor to the working class and most definitely an attack on the elites— while hypothetically , the Philippines is slowly burning, Calix is here to save us from blindness as he tries to open our eyes to these truths however how hard, in what way he does it. He will even attack and punch you in the face if that’s what it takes.

 

No one is safe from Calix’s gaze.

 

Look into his eyes and listen to his sermons here:

 

 

 

 

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Paul Vincent Evangelista, is a filmmaker, storyteller, and a poet. He finished his Bachelor's Degree in Arts, Major in Film and Communications. One-fourth of the group called "Retrobandido Productions". When not making films, he spends most of his time sitting on a wooden chair, with a book in his hand and a cigarette tucked on his lips; contemplating about his purpose and meaning in this absurd world. He also accepts laundries during weekends.

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