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G A Z E - Z I N E electronica + experimental + etc. online music zine


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posted : December 27, 2003


Acid42 (a.k.a. Lionel Valdellon) is considered as one of the pioneers of electronic music in the Philippines. With the release
of his latest album, Mutatis Mutandis, Acid42 continues to be a frontrunner in the genre, convincing listeners to appreciate
the music and inspiring fellow electronic based artists to develop their craft.

GAZ: Hi Acid42! How are you? What's your new album about?

Acid42: It's basically a collection of tracks from 2001-2003. I finished some of those tracks right after my first album... and
the most recent ones a few months ago. In between I also made some tracks while in friend's houses in the States while on
a 6-month vacation/visit last year. There are detailed liner notes explaining each song in the album. I LOVE liner notes!
Hahaha. The album is a mix of downtempo Cafe del Mar-like tracks, house, and breakbeats. And the last track is an old
ballad I wrote in college, which I made into a downtempo track ala Air. I have a vocalist named Yumi Calderon who sang for
it and it looks like I might just head into that direction for future ACID42 or CLONE tracks.


It's a legal term i read which means: (a) with the necessary changes having been made, (b) with the respective differences
having been considered. It is a term I first encountered in 2002, upon reading the proposed Optical Media Bill, which I
believe will turn anyone with a CD-Writer into a potential criminal. In my liner notes I write: "Fight it. Or one day wake up to
find that your rights to duplicate or produce your own music in the country of your birth have been lost." Our government

How much are you selling it?

Php 150.00 + shipping. Or if abroad, USD$5.00 + shipping. If you're in the Philippines, you deposit the sum into my bank
account and I mail the CDs to you via mail courier. Either that or show up at my gigs! Of course it would be easier to go to
the gigs, but I want to make it as convenient as possible for anyone to get the album.

How’s your collaboration project album? You didn’t meet the majority of yours collaborators face to face in a
studio. Could you please describe the overall process?

Well, basically I had the idea of making a remix/collaboration album using some of my tracks as scratch material. And I
suggested we collaborate by using Reason 2.5 software since it's really easy to email with those tiny file sizes. The process
was this: a. I put an announcement up on the electronicamanila mailing list inviting those who wanted to remix my tracks
for an album. b. I emailed my reason files to those interested, gave them a deadline and waited for the remixes to come
back to me. There are still a couple of people who've gone way past their deadlines and I'm not sure if I'll ever get their
remixes, but I'm still pushing through with it!

What are the merits and demerits of such process?

It's really easy when you can work in our your own house and not have to worry about studio time or acoustics. The remixers
had free rein, so they could re-interpret my tracks any which way they wanted. So actually not seeing them face to face is
not a problem. We dont often see the other members of the electronicamanila list but we're still all friends anyway.

How did you get into electronica?

I always loved beats. In my first band in high school I was a drummer. So eventually I started buying music which was
heavy on beats. At first there were the rock and prog rock bands, later on I discovered Acid Jazz and from there, ambient,
techno and hip hop and industrial.... and later on breakbeats!

I understand you are also an Acid Jazz fan.

Yes I am! Love those funky beats and the glorious diva vocalists or the sharp patter of MCs rapping over shuffled drums.

What is your frame of mind when creating music?

Nowadays, I sit at the computer which has a keyboard MIDI'd to it, and bang out ideas into little sketches in Reason. No
inspiration needed. These sketches can go into full songs or they can stay as sketches for months.... or years! Which was why
I wanted to do a remix/collab album, to clear all those sketches which I never got around to making into full tracks. Sayang
eh! Recycle your trash! One man's trash, another man's hit tune!

When and how was your first gig as Acid42? How about your first gig with Clone?

Let me see. My first electronica gig, I was solo. Had a General MIDI keyboard and 2 synth modules and I basically played
MIDI files, or used the crummy pattern sequencer of my keyboard to generate rhythms. It wasn't very good. You couldn't
dance to it, which was what I really wanted. Indie filmmaker/musician Khavn dela Cruz was doing spoken word poetry over
my beats and pads. And he was way better than I was. It was sometime in 1997... in the now-defunct OraCafe along
Kamias. I called myself CLONE then. Later on, I got 2 more people and we became a “band”. Technically, My first ACID42 gig
was at the first Electronicamanila recital in Sanctum in Nov 2003. I could FINALLY do live gigs as Acid42 because I had just
come home from the States and I finally had a laptop which is what I always wanted.

How do you prepare for a gig? Your mastery over your gears is really impressive.

Sadly I don't prepare enough before a gig. I just make sure I have enough songs to play. Sometimes I don't even remember
what a song sounds like until i load it and play it. Sa dami ng kanta at sketches na ginawa ko sa Reason, nakakalimutan ko
na tono nilang lahat! Which is why I need to write little notes to myself in the information window of each Reason song. The
tempo of song, the key, the chords... hehehe. Mastery over gear? Not really. I just know the software from playing around
with it a lot. In fact I learn something new all the time. There are some people on the ElectronicaManila list who know Reason

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G A Z E - Z I N E electronica + experimental + etc. online music zine

waaaaaaaay better than I do. I just have the benefit of concentrating all my time on this one software whereas some of the
others use a whole bunch.

Please explain your approach and style during gigs.

Let's see. I first must know WHO I am playing for. If it's a gig at a bar on a Saturday night, I pretty much know I have to
play upbeat danceable tunes -- even if no one dances. Unless of course it's 3 AM and I can get away with a downtempo set.
If I'm at a rock gig, I better open my 160 bpm industrial/drum n bass files. Of course I still will sometimes play the worst
combination because precisely I forget what the songs sound like. So its very hit and miss. But I like that spontaneity...
sometimes picking a song that really sucks and realizing I need a better beat to keep people interested, so I draw in a new
drum pattern on the fly, and suddenly it sounds way better. Accidents are sometimes good. Not always though.

How was the experience of performing as a back-up musician for Grace Nono?

It rocked. I introduced Bob Aves to Reason software and at for the first gig we did at the CCP world music fest, we sat down
for 2 weeks before the rest of the band practised, to sequence the basic drums and pads for the tracks we were playing. I
learned a lot from Bob regarding how he thinks regarding sequencing and musical arrangement. He’s a genius. Grace Nono is
a very caring motherly figure to everyone she works with, but she demands a lot of time for practices. Full runthroughs are
common. But what a voice. Grabe. Namangha ako! In a later gig, when there was less to do, laptop-wise, I helped out by
playing percussion and singing back-up. Talagang dream gig for me. I’ve ALWAYS liked Grace and Bob’s music from that first
album back in 1992.

In Fete de la Musique, you were playing with a "we are the creative" vocal sample during the end part of your
performance as part of Clone. Was it a reactionary statement to anything?

That was Karlo’s sample. That sample has been our battlecry for years. “We are the music makers” I think was the actual
sample... It’s a statement about Live P.A. in general. Not anything specific. We are musicians first and foremost.

What is the status of Clone right now?

Clone has been on hiatus for a long time. See, everyone in the group is busy doing many other things. Day jobs, other
musical projects. But they’re always welcome to join us in the future. Right now, I’ve invited another vocalist to join us, so
expect CLONE to make a comeback to live band -style gigs in December 2003 or January 2004.

How would you compare the sound of Acid42 to the sound of Clone?

I have a very difficult time separating them. Because I do almost all of the music for both. And my tastes have always been
eclectic. But the most basic difference is: if it has vocals and sounds more trip hop or acid jazzy, then it’s CLONE, if its
instrumental, it’s Acid42. Teka. Marami instrumentals nga pala ang Clone. Patay. He he he he. No difference pala. Sorry!

What differentiates Lionel Valdellon from Acid42?

Acid42 is cool and has strange tastes in music. Lionel Valdellon is boring and has strange tastes in music.

How did you become a part of Electronica Manila Collective?

I got this strange email inviting me to join the mailing list and I said: “But there’s already ANOTHER mailing list dedicated to
electronica!” And I should know because I created the original list for my job back in 1999. When some of my friends started
emailing me saying how nice the community was in this new list, I gave in and haven’t looked back since!

What is your message to the Collective?

My message? Go out and gig more. But also make those tracks. And while you’re at it, you may as well sell CDs of your own
music! No one’s going to do it for you. If you say you like the music, go out and support it if you can!

What’s next for Acid42?

Well, first off, the Collaboration/remix album. Then a whole bunch of EPs in 2004. I'll price them at P50 and have like maybe
5 tracks each. That'd rock. I have a list of track titles that I can use. Strange how I think of the titles first sometimes.

Is there anything else that you would like to try other than writing, designing web pages, creating comic books
and composing music?

I always wanted to be a photographer. And in a way I am. But very informally. I bring my digicam most everywhere.

How about setting up an electronica label?

Already have one. Informally. I AM the label. hahaha! Oo nga ano? Why don't I make a nicer name for my label? Seriously,
the fact that I put up a webpage and am selling my albums through it, or at my gigs, or at informal meetings... it means I
am the artist, label and retail salesman all in one. I make the music, promote it to friends in the press and friends on mailing
lists, and then, actually sell it to strangers in gigs, or get-togethers with friends. Check my website out at:

Do you have plans to revive "Makinang Musika"? It would be great having such kind of net radio again.

Not really. Not unless another website is willing to offer server space and a modest fee. :P

The tracks in your "Yes I am a Soft Asian Enemy" are available for download in your soundclick page. What is
your perspective on downloading?

I’m all for downloading. I’m not making much money from selling my albums anyway. So it's not like I’ll be losing millions if
someone shares my album on Kazaa. In fact I'd probably be flattered. I actually want to start an online record label, offering
entire albums of free mp3s for download. Kahit EPs or MP3 singles. Take a look at,, and Idol ko yung mga gumawa nun! Problem is: I don't have money for server space or a domain name. I want it
free. So if you know of an alternative, tell me!

By the way, what does "Yes, I am the Soft Asian Enemy" mean?

It’s an idea I had regarding racial stereotyping, especially in foreign countries: I’m asian so I’m alien to them. And aren’t
aliens usually “the enemy”? I’m not fit so maybe people will think I’m soft. So, yes, I am all of that.

I understand that you are also a sci-fi aficionado? Was it also a gateway to electronica music?

My love for scifi helped me cultivate my imagination and a natural affinity for all things future-looking. Electronica is very
future-looking. It’s the music of tomorrow. It wasn't really a gateway, more of a parallele interest in things that are futuristic.

What kind of books are you into right now? Do you have any favorite authors? The list of books, which you are
disposing, is quite extensive.

I still return to Frank Herbert’s DUNE. And the Arthurian legends. Recently read The Postman by David Brin which they made
into a movie with Kevin Costner? The book rocks so much more than the movie. But what I’m addicted to right now?
Downloading e-books. Yes it’s illegal. It’s also free. If you can find them, go for the sci fi of Clifford Simak, an author who
wrote back in the 50s-60s. Fantastic work , way before Twilight Zone even started.

Thank you very much Acid42! It’s my pleasure. I wish you all the best! Do you like to add or explain anything?
Annoy anybody? The last words are yours.

I'd just like to say this: if you have the talent, use it. If you make music, record it, sell it, give it away for free online,
promote the hell out of it. Make your music everyday and don't ever think it isn't good. It is good. It is yours. And you have

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G A Z E - Z I N E electronica + experimental + etc. online music zine

every right to make it. No one else will make the music you make. And you are wasting your God-given talents by letting the
creative juices dry up unused. You are by nature a creative animal. Claim your right to express yourself. Alien? Alien.


Lionel Zivan S. Valdellon :::Acid42:::

mp3s:>> <>
email:>> acid42(at)

photo: courtesy of Acid42

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