“In 1993 Stompin’ Ground’s e.p “We Set The Pace” sold more than 10,000 copies in Malaysia, more than any local underground or mainstream local acts have achieved under the Pony Canyon Singapore label.”
The name of a group that has built itself a household name in our local underground hardcore scene for 23 years performed their swansong show last year. The band has over two decades, for reasons that need not detain us now, proven to be especially powerful, appealing and influential. The group that primarily consists of Suhaimi Subandie, Syed Mahdzar Al Shahab, Mohammed Falmi Esman better known amongst his peers as Ayong “Al Sayf”, Mohammad Hafidz and Imran Wahid started an unassuming rich musical legacy that strongly played a major part in adopting/exposing hardcore music in Singapore and South East Asia when they formed in 1988. In an aesthetically or politically appealing historical moment, the release of the cassette demo version of GREY in 1990 ignited a whole new musical youth movement heroically named, Lion City Hardcore two years later in 1992. A style, depending on social background and geographical location boasts original and unique nuances. A defining birth of an idea through a subculture that grew out of teen gatherings at the Forum Galleria; one of many mall hangouts where hardcore kids/punks/skateboarders/skinheads gather in cliques. Stompin’ Ground experienced a step-by-step development on the emergent of cultural forms from the very beginning.
Thoroughly equipped with the rise of independent record labels along with the introductory of the DIY ethics in the late 80′s and early 90′s, they pioneered a pre-internet generation that was connected to the larger peninsular market by performing for shows and gigs that connects Singapore to the Malaysian cities of Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. These tours maintained a bigger regional fandom. Of course with the ban on ‘slam dancing’ after the Henry Rollins gig at the Singapore Labour Foundation gig in 1992, the band’s performances after were detailed with fake band names and a statement to Singapore’s authority with a cause to be reckoned with. The mosh pits got a lot bigger. It marked a rebellion movement with a new identity for the face of local music scene. By 1995, they released their first full-length album on Pony Canyon Singapore, “Measured By The Richter Scale.” At its peak, made history when it was listed no 2 in the Australian Metal/Rock Billboard Charts just behind Sepultura’s “Roots”. The story was made, the band continued on towards an illustrious musical career that bore originality and respectability in spearheading the underground music scene to what it is today. But what deeper impact that the band had was the social catharsis between the youths during that time. An important influence that marked the birth to various street/music subcultures amongst wayward teenagers especially for the Malay community. These kids were rallied and guided into positive and creative lifestyles and now even after the band has disbanded, the community still regards them of much importance. Stompin’ Ground has now belonged to the people. This retrospective exhibition is a visual representation of the band’s position in our society and culture. It traces the history of materials collected through the years as it presumes to bring distant memories into proximity and it also serves as an introduction for those who aren’t familiar with them. The multigenerational groups show will narrate artists from various disciplines, some of them who are friends with the band. One of the highlights will be the launch of the band’s 200 limited copies of We Set The Pace 7-inch vinyl by SlapBet Records. Along with the works of Daniel Yu, who will be showcasing Stompin’ Ground’s limited toy figurines. We also have a cartoonist, Xtrospectiv ArtCore will be gracing the event with his work.
Daniel Yu | Skope | Tiga Av | Kilas | Djohan Johari | Speak Cryptic | Lim Sin Thai | Ben Goerlach | Darren Lauchengco | Dhiya Md | SlapBet Records
Curated by Razi Razak
Opening night on the 23rd October 2012, 7pm. 23rd – 25th October 2012. Gallery opens from 12pm to 9pm
The Substation Gellery. 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936
Supported by The Substation, Home Club, Macbeth.