VARIOUS ARTISTS What Noise Do You Wanna Make? (NAC)
Back in the prehistoric age (early 90s!), the powers-that-be were not interested in Singapore music. But thanks to Michael & Philip Cheah and Stephen Tan (the guys behind BigO Magazine), S-ROCK was given a chance to blossom and develop with exposure through free CDs, which were bundled together with magazine, viz. the New School Rock and the Singles Club series.
Notable bands such as the Oddfellows, the Padres, Opposition Party, AWOL, Shades, Livonia, Etc and Watchmen were all featured on CD for the 1st time by these means. In the latter half of the 90s, there were also various S-ROCK compilations from Odyssey/Tim Records (Left of the Dial) and Pony Canyon/Springroll Records (Flush After Use) as well as S-ROCK film soundtracks such as Mee Pok Man and 12 Storeys. Music For Good also had a couple of S-ROCK compilations in recent years. These compilations served a vital function in showcasing and promoting S-ROCK music.
However, of late, such compilations have become rare (apart from the recent +65 Indie Underground collection). Stepping into the gap somewhat is the Noise CD – collection of recordings of original songs from the Noise apprentices under The Apprenticeship Program (TAP). Notwithstanding the fact that I am a Noise mentor, I must in all objectivity highlight that this year’s CD is probably the best of the lot thus far and perhaps one of the best collections of up and coming S-ROCK music in some time.
In my humble opinion, there is no filler on this 12-track CD, the highlights being Crystal Goh’s dreamy Fall to Fly, Deborah Lee’s sophisticated The James Bond Song, Zahidah’s playful The Make Up Song, Cindy Teoh’s sweet Hard To Let You Go and Pervy Boy’s punchy Love Wonderland.
Of course, I am extremely proud of my two apprentices – Narisa Chan and Celina Foo. Narisa’s Valentine Day’s is pure sunshine pop evoking ELO quite nicely whilst Celina’s Cinderella is a pop-rock gem that recalls the femme angst of Alanis Morrisette and Jewel. Well done, girls!!
Overall, the great music on this CD is proof that TAP is moving in the right direction and whilst it provides a great platform for aspiring bands/artists, more must be done to ensure that the momentum is sustained to move the S-ROCK scene to the next level.
The CD may be obtained (free of charge) at the Noise Festival Showcase now on at the 3rd level Raffles City Shopping Centre till 10th March and also at the Noise Showcase this Friday to Sunday at the Esplanade Concourse and Outdoor Theatre starting from 7.15pm (Friday) and 5.15pm (Sat/Sun).
… and there’s more …