Touched by the Techy Romantics
by rick olivares
The title of Techy Romantics’ debut offering Touch is apt. Their music touches you on so many levels and that is always good. Techy Romantics is Mandalay with more vibe and sans the Kate Bush influence. Vocalist Camille Besinga is like an early Madonna with a more chill out bent and stronger vocal timbre. She etches her voice all over the grooves as the music takes your body for a ride. It’s like driving along the Nobre de Carvalho Bridge on a sultry summer night with all the lights ablaze across its length and you’re staring deep into the eyes of a beautiful woman beside of you.
Their brand of electronica is sensuous. The beat is hypnotic and flirts with you. Shakes you. Takes you. Everybody, get up and do your thing.
If you’re sitting in the corner and feeling anti-social, Besinga’s entrancing voice beckons you. Her delicate voice permeates whatever kind of shell you’re in then you know you’re infected already. You start tapping your feet. Then before you know it you’re swaying to the beat without a care. The awkward non-dancing bones in your body find their inner Christopher Walken (see his fantastic dancing in the Fat Boy Slim video for “Weapon of Choice”).
At times I wonder if the vocals should be stronger but no. This isn’t R&B. Everything But the Girl’s Tracey Thorn started out (circa “Love Not Money”) that way but with maturity (circa “The Language of Life” and “Worldwide”), the music became perfect pop confectionaries wrapped in song.
Tunesmiths Dondi Virrey and Ryan Villena never complicate matters. The music they make reminds me of Prefab Sprout – you listen to the music and every time you do, it’s like there’s a new layer to discover.
I can talk all night long about Touch but suffice to say that it’s like good wine – it’s like having a good drink that warms you all over then makes you feel alive.
Touch is an important release in the annals of original Filipino music. I’ve listened to many local artists get into electronica but how many can get you into the dance floor? Like Fragmented, that superb debut effort by contemporaries Up Dharma Down, Touch is an album that belongs not just in your iPod but in your heart, mind, and hips.
Get the album from Party Bear Records! Or if you can't find it drop me an email and I'll help you get the album.