Gingee released her new EP Island Blooms last month, right at the spring equinox.
According to her Facebook bio, Gingee (Marjorie Light) is a DJ, producer and vocalist from Los Angeles. DJing and producing since 2003, she is known for her unique take on electronic music, which blends elements of global bass, world music, and hip hop. Her work is a reflection of the sounds and cultures she has been exposed to growing up in Los Angeles as well as the musical world of her ancestors and beyond.
From the percussive rhythms of instruments such as the Filipino kulintang, kettle drum, and cowbells, to synths, turntables, and rapping, she seeks to speak the language of music and poetry and use it to communicate a message of empowerment and celebration. She has performed at Coachella, South by Southwest, Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture, Calentura, and Magic Garage, an art and music festival she founded.
Despite growing up in Waipahu and living for 20 years in Kalihi (a reference for my Hawaii peeps; they’re two of the most Filipino neighborhoods on Oahu), I can’t pretend I know a darned thing about Filipino music, either contemporary or ancient. Still, Gingee’s grooves sound tribal, hurricane-beaten, humid, and warm. She will remind you of M.I.A. for sure, which already makes her pretty cool, but Gingee’s definitely got some sounds and beats all her own.
I’m sharing this photo, which I’ve stolen from her FB, because it looks like the kulintang is part of her live show, something that has to be unique in her genre, right? I mean, I’ve seen video of EDM DJs doing their thing, and they never play instruments live, let alone a set of gongs from ancient Southeast Asian cultures.
The first track, “Coco Water,” is fun and celebratory, and it will make you want to get up and shake your thing, if you’re the type to shake your thing. I’m not, but I did find this some really nice music to listen to while writing. It’s the highlight of the three-song EP, but all the songs are groovy.
The highlight for me begins at the 1:15 mark in the second track, “Ilha.” Four measures of a long siren sound kick in. They’re followed by the same tone, but broken up in a quick staccato, then followed again similarly, but even more rapid-fire, then again, this time not broken up, but faded back and folded over itself, in kind of a multi-voiced chorus at 1:30.
I didn’t comparison-shop. It’s $2.97 for the whole EP on Amazon, so I didn’t waste any time and just purchased it.
See the Sun
also: Gingee played Coachella in weekend 1 and is back for more in weekend 2, beginning this evening. She writes, “I’m playing 4 sets this week at Coachella! If you’re around come thru w your amazing self!
I’ll update this post with video if any gets posted!