After supporting Manila Killa across two tours in 2019, it was only a matter of time before young guns ilo ilo and pluko put a piece together with their headliner. The resultant track – “on the way,” an admitted final release for all three artists in this calendar year – is a master class in collaboration with the perhaps only stylistic disagreement in its scope being the capitalization.

Synthesizing a variety of sounds from the trifecta’s catalog, “on the way” is a reassuringly pleasant piece. In a sub-3 minute run time, the track’s musical ideas never overstay their welcome amidst a constantly evolving soundscape.

ilo ilo’s soft-spoken vocals overlay a smattering of indie synth sounds anchored by a fluctuating but simplistic beat drawing influence from both pop and trap sounds. The differences between these three artists are only displayed while amalgamating for a satisfying crossover that draws the perfect amount from each individual’s catalog. ilo ilo’s indie influence in the quirky synths build to an unexpectedly driving hook more akin to pluko’s production style. These competing ideals are masterfully reigned in by the contemporary composition techniques employed by Manila Killa leaving 2019 on an ironically warm note, cementing the perception that these three artists are, indeed, on their way.

Keep an eye out for another big year from these three producers in 2020!


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