Due to insistent public demand, Splintr.com is extending +/- (Plus/Minusâ€™) stint as the artist of the month. Theyâ€™re blazing a trail right now through the Philippine music scene with their distinctive eclectic sound.
For those living under an oversized rock and donâ€™t know who +/- (Plus/Minus) is, let us give you a little musical education. They are a Brooklyn-based band who can most closely be classified under the indietronica (indie electronic) genre and is composed of James Baluyut, Patrick Ramos, and Chris Deaner.
James Baluyut, the vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist, is of Filipino descent but was born in Detroit, Michigan. Joining him in the band is Filipino-American Patrick Ramos, an all around notable musician. Rounding up the group is their drummer, Chris Deaner. All of them are quite incredible musicians â€“ both technical and soulful.
+/- started out when Teenbeat records got James Baluyut to record a whole album for release in 2000. Although, at the time, James was part of Versus as a guitarist, he recorded the album under the name +/-, and for the most part, it was a solo effort. Come 2001, before the release of the album, James was already touring with Patrick Ramos, Chris Deaner and Margaret McCartney. Margaret eventually left, though.
Theyâ€™ve been touring extensively since then, especially in Asia and Europe. That actually explains why they were here recently. Well, that plus the fact that two members do have Filipino blood, and therefore Philippine music, in their veins. Up on the Splintr blog is their Manila tour diary. Click here to check it out.
As far as records go, theyâ€™re no slouch in that department either. For the better part of this decade, +/- has been churning eargasmic albums. Released in 2002, their self-titled debut album was under Teenbeat Records. You Are Here under Teenbeat Records soon followed. After leaving Teenbeat, they signed with Absolutely Kosher Records and they would go on to produce two more albums â€“ Letâ€™s Build a Fire (2006) and Xs on Your Eyes (2008).
Their music is difficult to describe, really. The indie attitude is definitely there, and they go against the flow for sure. Conventionality and Plus/Minus are so far apart, there could quite possibly be two galaxies of musical genres between them. Their tone is clean and crisp; their melodies are complex – doesnâ€™t stop their songs from being catchy, though. Some of them, like Snowblind, you can even hum along to.
Here are a couple of their videos to give you an even better feel of what their music is like.
Check out their performance in Manila. Nothing beats live music, yo.
As soon as we have live footage of any band anywhere, for sure itâ€™ll go up on our YouTube channel so donâ€™t forget to subscribe to SplintrDotCom.