Multo, Footnote to Youth (EP)

Less than a year ago, Seattle resident and Portland native Allan Lumba, who writes and performs under the name “Multo,” arrived in Manila with an old ibook g4 laptop, a firebox interface, a drum machine, and a cheap acoustic guitar. Shortly after, he blew up the drum machine when he plugged it in without checking the voltage requirement. This was the inauspicious (and slightly comical) starting ground for Footnote to Youth, an infectious, bare-bones, rhythm-centered 4-track EP made in the absence of reliable equipment.

Working alone at his Quezon City apartment, Lumba created and recorded Footnote to Youth the hard way. He learned to program beats on Garageband using a mouse and to make do with whatever vocal and guitar effects he could use without crashing his aging computer. “I think I can get up to about 8 tracks before my laptop usually crashes,” says Lumba, “but this actually allowed me to work faster, instead of getting bogged down with too many tracks and bloated instruments.” As a result, the songs on Footnote to Youth take on a more minimalist approach than Multo’s earlier material. Rather than being set back by the technical limitations, Lumba found himself working with a more compact and streamlined sound which he plans on carrying over into future recordings.

More than technological constraints, however, what brings the four songs that make up Footnote to Youth together are themes of isolation, nostalgia, and foreignness.

Footnote to Youth
While Lumba wasn’t making a conscious effort to write music with a central idea, a sense of alienation cuts through the EP. “I think it definitely has to do with me living here for almost a year. I think being far away from family and friends back home, both geographically as well as the time difference really places one in isolation. Also, trying to maintain a long-distance relationship I think has made me reflect back on my past.” Luckily, Lumba has found a supportive community in the local music scene. “I’ve been excited by just how diverse and creative a lot of the bands are in Metro Manila,” he says. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to collaborate soon with local musicians who have inspired me.”


01 Every Other, Wholly Other
02 Several Chapters Ago
03 Casual Fridays
04 In Sum of the Sacred