Moonstar88's 'Lourdes 2088' album marries past, present art forms

Rick Olivares

Posted at Feb 05 2023 09:38 AM

Moonstar88's 'Lourdes 2088' album introduces a new kind of listening experience in OPM. Handout
Moonstar88's 'Lourdes 2088' album introduces a new kind of listening experience in OPM. Handout

When you open your copy of Moonstar88’s new album, "Lourdes 2088" — on vinyl I must add — what you have in your hands is not just a collection of new songs from this popular and award-winning band. 
To borrow from that quick fix that is 3-in-1 coffee, "Lourdes 2088" is a hybrid experience of the physical, musical, and spiritual.
No, Moonstar88 has not put up a new religion. They are introducing a new kind of listening experience in pop music.

It's a different physical experience. What you have is a first-of-its-kind album that on the physical side is a hybrid experience of music and today’s technology. 
It’s on vinyl – the band’s first with previous releases on compact disc, cassette, and digital.

“Nung pandemic ko una na experience ang vinyl,” admitted guitarist and chief songwriter Herbert Hernandez. “Vinyl was nearest to live music. Ganun pala kaganda yung warmth and sound kaya pala maraming vinyl aficionados. So I got into vinyl and thought that what if we put the new album out on vinyl in a cool packaging format? Hindi lang siya best listening experience but also visual.”
“There’s a ritual to listening to a record from how you place it on the turntable, how you flip the side when it is done, how you look at the album,” further explained bassist Buddy Zabala. “Nung dumating yung convenience ng compact discs and cassettes naiba yung experience. Now there is a way to get back to it and it is something for me to look forward to experiencing our music and that of others.”
Added drummer Bon Sudiang, “I grew up with vinyl at home and later on, I continued to be immersed into collectibles such as designer toys. Iba ang mundo ng collecting such as vinyl. Lourdes 2088 is a mix of both – an old format in vinyl with NFTs.”
Each track is represented by trading cards that each allude to a certain invention that helps people through emotional breakdowns brought about by heartbreak: the PusoCal (BreakUp Scheduler), ReEMO (Emotional Baggage Recycle Bin and Editor), Freezer (Cryogenic emotional stasis headwear), and more. The art for the trading cards, as well as the aesthetic of the album, is created by Nelz Yumul, the creative brain behind weewilldoodle, the Philippines’ premier doodle/illustration group.
The trading cards are only available through the special edition purple-colored vinyl (PHP 2,100) while a limited Future Edition of the album (PHP 3,000) will also be made available, one that grants the vinyl owner access to unique web 3.0 experiences and exclusive Moonstar88 content and perks.

Summed up vocalist and guitarist Maysh Baay, “Music is already an art but we want to top up our albums so they can bring home a piece of art.”

On the musical or thematic side, the band postulates about a future where man has shockingly learned how to handle emotional concerns such as heartbreak through apps and inventions!
“Yung concept ng album, is about how relationships will be in 2088,” shared Baay. “Years ago, dating was arranged talking face-to-face or on the phone. Hindi natin alam na magkakaroon ng Tinder. For this, you have gadgets where you can schedule a heartbreak until such time when you are ready.”
There are tools that help you upgrade your heart in terms of adapting,” threw in Hernandez. “So there is a less emotional impact.”
On the music side, Zabala bared that it is different. 
“This is the first time the band has tried something different. It sounds more expansive. It has many more sounds in the recording. When you listen to the music on headphones, you will hear more layers to the sound. Whether you listen to it soft or loud, it is a different experience.”
For the band, Lourdes 2088 is a spiritual experience
The title of Moonstar88’s fourth album is an amalgam of two things – “Lourdes” is the name of the street where Kodama Studios is located and where the band recorded, mixed, and mastered their album.
“2088” – well, you already know about it.
What you do not know is how this album was also an experience for all four members.
“We don’t get a lot of ‘team building’ activities kasi we all have families and responsibilities,” bared Maysh. “Lourdes was a place for us to bond, fully align not just musically but spiritually and emotionally as a group. At that moment we only had the four of us. So we wanted to honor that place.”
“During the recording, I felt unsettled. Kinakabahan. But nag-grow kami by leaps and bounds because we had two genius and legendary producers in Rayms Marasigan and Buddy. I like to think this is our best work yet.”
You heard the band, now get to playing that record and let your mind float away… to the year 2088.

Lourdes 2088 is the first vinyl release of the band and was done in collaboration with The Grey Market Records and Backspacer Records.