Updated: May 4
Unbeknownst to many, my vey first instrument was the piano and in my first ever band in freshman year high school divinely named "Absolute Sanctity," I played keyboards/synths.
It started when I was 14 when my mom saw me painstakingly teach myself piano on our old out-of-tune-upright pretty much everyday for hours. So she saved up and bought me a Yamaha PSR and later a Roland Juno 60 Polyphonic Synthesizer so I can follow my passion for making music. She did this without telling my dad because my dad wanted me to focus on my academics. I followed both of them. I worked on my music and my academics. 2 decades later, here I am. Thank you mom and dad!
Anyway, so while I went on and picked up the guitar and bass as my main instruments, the allure of synthesizers and electronic music never waned.
In the Freesouls days up to the Bleud and Happy Analogues years, I've always wanted to give electronic music a go. Luckily, one of the most remarkable artists in the scene and a very close friend of mine, Gatchie Ignacio, had the same itch. As a matter of fact, it was him who started going into this direction even before I did.
In 2012, when I was producing the benefit-album for the victims of "Typhoon Ondoy," Gatchie's entry into the compilation was an electronic track called "Hindi Ka Nagiisa."
Fast forward to the Fall of 2018, we found ourselves talking about starting an electronica group. So we started acquiring some gear for the project. I started with a drum machine: the Roland TR-08, which is Roland's faithful recreation of the iconic TR-808. Gatchie started with a drum machine as well: Arturia Drumbrute, an all analog groove box.
At that point I was still using virtual synths until, Gatchie came over to my apartment with the Drumbrute and a shiny, hefty, and brand new analog monophonic synthesizer: the Moog Sub Phatty. We went absolutely crazy and played with the gear until way past our non-millennial bodies of 10pm. And when I say "we," fortunately, it included another amazing artist and my Happy Analogues bandmate, and dear friend, Ronnie Lao, who is also a gadget addict and a child of the 80s New Wave scene. A few days, later, our trio was born and we initially called it:
Default Mode Network.
I love that name as it pertains to a neurological concept of how our brains function when at rest. Apparently, this network is responsible for all the non-active functions like daydreaming, imagining etc. It also acts as the "director" of brain or neurological operations. It connects parts of the brain to each other so it can do what it's designed to do. It is like the conductor of a full orchestra.
I came upon that name after reading Michael Pollan's psychedelic experience book "How To Change Your Mind," which details his personal journey and investigation into psychedelic substances. In his book, he mentioned that when the brain is under the influence of these substances, the very first thing that happens is that the disruption and/or arrest of the Default Mode Network.
When this happens, the connections between areas of the brain are temporarily halted, hence various things happen as a result:
First is the dissolution of the ego or the sense of self. This is the reason why people who use psychedelic substances have the overwhelming feeling of being one and the same with everything from the oceans, the skies, the nearby sofa, and the universe as a whole. We mentally lose ourselves and become part of the cosmos.
Second is the disassociation of neurologic functions. In this scenarios, areas of the brain that say is in charge of taste, erroneously connects to the part in charge of the sense of sight, hence everything one sees a certain taste. This is also called Synesthesia.
Anyway, I am fascinated by things like this and I thought the name and concept suits the new group well.
So why do we call ourselves DefMod Network instead of Default Mode Network? That's due to our artist and friend, Rich "Jonze" Saguirre, who serves as the group's art director. Knowing him, he just thinks DefMod Network is cooler. So there it is.
Fast forward to March 8, 2019, after countless sessions, lessons in synthesis, drum programming, and more gear, our first single and music video is out.
The track is called "Sebu" and it was produced with all combined skills and gear as well as beautiful samples of indigenous chants from the home country. You can now watch the music video on our YouTube Channel and stream the music on every major streaming service. Check out the links below:
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We are now working on our next single, which is due out in April. We intend to release one single and music video every month. In the meantime, we film all our live jams either individually or as a group and upload them on our Youtube channel and Facebook page so make sure to follow up there.