After a relatively quiet 2021, Manila Killa is ready to deliver his highly anticipated debut album, Dusk. Known outside the music world as Chris Gavino, the Philippines native and DC local fell in love with electronic music in high school and quickly started teaching himself Ableton. That dedication and drive now shine crystal clear through his highly emotive and heartwarming discography as well as the many successes Manila Killa has achieved thus far.

In college, he formed Hotel Garuda with fellow producer Candle Weather. With their dreamy remix of Alina Baraz’s “Make You Feel” and a collaborative remix with Gryffin on BANKS’ “Begging For Thread,” they were an instant sensation. During this same time, Manila Killa co-founded the record label Moving Castle, with AObeats and Robokid. The independent label found similar success and has hosted artists like Slow Magic, Khasmin, juuku, and many more.

After years of living their dreams, Chris Gavino made the heart-breaking decision to depart from Hotel Garuda. The choice was not one easily or lightly made but his plate became too full with Manila Killa, Hotel Garuda, and an evergrowing record label. Knowing Hotel Garuda was in good hands, Chris hit the ground running and poured his heart and soul into Manila Killa. Literally. Manila Killa’s discography is a complete reflection of some of his innermost thoughts and emotions adorned in milky melodies and teary-eyed twinklings, his debut album Dusk even more so than ever.

“Soul” starts the project off with an inviting echo that expands into a transient angelic atmosphere. A song as epic and fleeting as falling in love, “Soul” gives listeners a taste of the kind of emotional, all-consuming world Manila Killa is an expert at creating in a tune, all in seventy seconds. As if to piggyback off that sentiment, the title track featuring Lights follows to remind us that Manila Killa can not only get you in your feels but on your feet and moving.

The project continues as Manila Killa invites us into his heart with efforts like “Never Easy” featuring TRACE, “Desire” featuring MADI, and “Sleepless” featuring Panama, where each track separately breaks down an intimate emotion while pairing it with immaculately detailed production to narrate the mood. “Liminal Spaces” and “Dark Places” featuring Kwesi switch the pace to express more complex emotions and production amidst the head-in-the-clouds and head-over-heels vibe of the first half of the project.

The second half of Dusk delivers heartfelt heaters like “Devotion,” “Best Part of You” with EVAN GIIA, and “Heart To The Night” with Gioli & Assia and Night Tales until we run head-on into “Take Me Higher” with fknsyd.

“Take Me Higher” teases the listener with Manila Killa’s usual melodic glimmers until those breakbeat drums reveal themselves and soon we are blasted with a healthy serving of some soulful liquid DnB. The track is a surprise treat for the listener where he gets to challenge his emotive writing and usual pace to deliver a bass-fueled slapper.

To close Dusk, “The End” strings together harrowing organs and sugary synths that ooze the same bittersweet goodbye that “until next time” brings. As if the first eleven tracks didn’t impress you with Manila Killa’s ability to orchestrate the right emotions with the right sounds, “The End” will leave you walking away fully astonished.

Starting on September 16th Manila Killa is bringing Dusk to cities across North America beginning at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. From there, the fifteen-date tour runs until late November, click the tour poster below for information on tour stops and tickets!

What did you think of Manilla Killa’s debut album Dusk? Will you be seeing him on tour?? Let us know in the comments below or on our socials!

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