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Music Makers

Taking psychedelics… in aural format

“For us, we would like to create music that could mimic the experience of an individual taking psychedelics but in an aural format,” Ronaldo S. Vivo, Jr. said.

In 2013, the Vivo brothers [Ronnel S. Vivo (Guitars/Synth) and Ronaldo S. Vivo, Jr. (Drums) from the doom/sludge band, Hateure)], and Joy & Jay (from progressive/death metal band, Barabbas) were “searching to a breather from the scene we (were all) in for more than a decade.” That “breather”, however, turned out to be a “gathering”, with the four ending up forming The Insektlife Cycle.

They had a musical project at that time, and it was dubbed as “The Insektlife Cycle”, and the members thought that “it sounded really good as a band name,” Nel recalled to Fringe Magazine; with the name eventually adapted as the then new band’s name. “You know, sometimes, something need not have an elaborate explanation or rationale for its existence.”

The Insektlife Cycle generally focuses on psychedelic instrumental rock music; however, this is added with modern elements, and incorporated with other styles/genre like progressive rock, jazz, noise and funk. 

“For us, we would like to create music that could mimic the experience of an individual taking psychedelics but in an aural format,” Nel said. “What we intend for our music is to be as close as possible to a meditative or religious experience rather than a mere listening pleasure.”

For Nel, psychedelic music literally just mimics the effects of “acid” sound-wise. With that, this genre commonly features contrastive song structures, erratic key and time signatures, drones, modal melodies, extended instrumental sections and improvisation – just like when one is on an acid trip, when one is experiencing “dechronicization, depersonalization and dynamization”.

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Nel admitted that there’s no particular challenges that the group encountered with this kind of genre. “We have the freedom to create music and enjoy the experiences incorporated with such and that’s fine us. We don’t intend to be known or amass a large fan-base, so it wouldn’t be a problem or challenge if we will only have few dedicated listeners or none at all.”

Music-wise, “what influences the band is the mere contribution of each member in the creative process – meaning the connection of each and everyone’s idiosyncrasies, and the urge to personify the organic experience the music creates.”

The Insektlife Cycle already released four Vinyls, one EP, three splits and two full-length albums in the last six years, all of them, said Nel, “well-received abroad.” Two of the songs from the debut album received airplays from BBC Radio UK and other local radio stations in the England. Releases from 2013 up to present have received “generally favorable reviews abroad”.

The goal now, not surprisingly, is to “release more albums. Continue our collaboration with the three UK labels taking good care of our records (Fruits de Mer Records, Gardener’s Delight & Mega Dodo). Play overseas. Let time test our craft,” said Nel.

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And yeah, continue exposing the world, including Filipinos, to take psychedelics… in aural format.


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