Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Tone Def Collection: Rock Revolution (Volumes 1 and 2)

"Isa kang Batang 90's kung may mga alam kang albums na produced ng Tone Def Records."

When we talk about revolution, we talk of a dramatic and wide-reaching change. So why would Ivory Records release a compilation album with “rock revolution” in its title? The answer is simple, the two-volume CD compilation is a collection of some of the best songs produced by Tone Def in the years 1994 to 1997.

For those who have already forgotten, Tone Def is one of the record labels which surfaced during the Nineties and supported the independent music scene. If your band that time is not that “pop”, you cannot make it to major recording companies catering to the mainstream audience. If you’re not pop, then you are the alternative. Hence, “alternative music” became a growing trend.

Outside the country, grunge is the music revolution happening at Seattle in the early 90's. At the same time, the local scene was also cooking up their own version which will later be known as “Pinoy Alternatib”. There were a lot of bands emerging and it was evident in their music that the Nineties is destined to become the Golden Age of Pinoy bands. Of course, we are still grateful to the roots that influenced them.

This collection is composed of bands who sprouted in the wake of Pinoy alternative music. Different genres such as rap metal, pop, blues, goth and punk became accepted by the masses because of the songs they released. 

Song list includes:

Volume One
1. Halik ni Hudas by Wolfgang
2. Taffic Na Naman by Erectus
3. Kasalanan by Orient Pearl
4. Kabanda by Gypsy Grind
5. Padre Damaso by Warlock
6. Flower God Anibughaw
7. Runnin’ by Gnash
8. Kapatiran ng Bakal at Apoy by Dahong Palay
9. Panaginip by Mariya’s Mistress
10. Yaman ng Mundo by Wuds
11. Sa Ihip ng Hangin by Snowblind
12. Sandali by Philippine Violators

Volume 2
1. Babaeng Sorbetes by Orient Pearl
2. Nakagapos by Erectus
3. Tigas ng Ulo by Gnash
4. Bayan ni Juan by Diwata
5. Drayb My BM by The End
6. We Take It Along by Philippine Violators
7. Ballad for Mary Jane by Anibughaw
8. Ermitanio by Gypsy Grind
9. Radio Friendly by Wuds
10. Utang by Kindred Spirits
11. Angel of Mercy by Dahong Palay
12. Arise by Wolfgang

The songs of our era are really different with the stuff written nowadays. Most of the pieces included here are patriotic in theme. The talents here are very good in terms of quality and musicality. No trashy song for the love of money as Wuds would take it in their song entitled “Radio Friendly”.

The pop song, “Babaeng Sorbetes “, contributed by Orient Pearl is a classic remake of “Ice Cream Girl”. I forgot the name of the foreign band who originally sang it but it was their first big hit played over the defunct LA105.9 radio airwaves. “Panaginip” by Mariya’s Mistress is another translated version of a popular song, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. There was a moment in Pinoy Alternative when most of the bands were translating foreign songs. Tone Def released an album entitled “Pinipinoy” during those times.

The funky blues from Anibughaw’s “Ballad for Mary Jane” would remind you of Kjwan while Gypsy Grind’s vocals on “Ermitanio” and “Kabanda” would remind you of their musical influence, Alanis Morisette. Our band, Demo From Mars, had several gigs with them and we’ve seen them do a lot of Alanis. In fact, she looks like her.

Philippine Violators is an icon in the punk scene together with Wuds. Their songs included here are from the album “Balanse” which is their first signed label. They used to produce DIY (do-it-yourself) albums.

During the Nineties, hip-hop and rap was not accepted in the underground scene but thanks to Erectus, rap-metal in the Philippines became a musical genre. Their style may not sound like RATM but they captured a wide crowd with the release of their first album which included the hits “Traffic na Naman” and “Nakagapos”.

Up until now, Wolfgang is alive and kicking. Before, many people thought they were a foreign act but to the surprise of many, Basti knows how to sing Tagalog! He may look like an American on mic but he sure knows how to complement the heavy guitar riffs on “Halik ni Hudas” with his native tongue.

All in all, the whole album is a great collection of songs that would make you reminisce the age of Pinoy Bandmania, the time when all kids want to learn the guitar and form their own band.

These compilations may not be the soundtrack we've been looking for but it surely is the definition of the underground music scene in the 90's.

Unfortunately, these CD’s did not become a hit at the record stores. People may have already forgotten the talents of these bands. Buy it while supplies last because this may be the last we will hear them on original CD.


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  3. meron ako yung self-titled ng Wolfgang, then yung LA-ROCK 105.9 The Album at LA Rock Trax.

    sa LA the Album - ang kukulit nung tatlo (The Ghost, The Doctor, DJ Carrrrlos), to the point na andami ring dirty jokes sa mga 'caller', "Bring balloons, bring condoms, bring a razor so you can shave your ------toot!!!------", tas yung "Remember our names, and the sizes of our ----toot!!!----".

    isama pa yung mga kalokohang komersyals in between, eto lang mga naalala ko:

    "PPA (Pulis Patola Academy) promotional advert"
    "AB-Normal 2 Lechong Manok" (parody of ABS-CBN 2 Sarimanok)
    "Tae-Moo Racist" (parody of DaeWoo Racer)
    "Gintong Agila Beer" (parody of Gold Eagle and lines from Beer na Beer)

    buti na lang nagagawa ko pang halughugin ang mga Vinyl Dump/Thrift Store. Sa Cubao Expo meron akong nakikitang ilan sa mga yan (albeit a rarity)


  4. Yo Music lovers! Check out indie band Radar from Manila,Philippines.