Friday, January 31, 2014

Bassilyo Releases Album "Klassik"

Bassilyo is known for his single, "Lord Patawad" and now part of his first album, Klassik; a nine-track release by MCA Music. Inc. I attended his launch at Timog ave., Quezon City for an informal interview. Bassilyo started out as an underground musician that hit mainstream.

Although he is now popular, he never forgets his underground roots that reflected in his music. He still has some songs that are socially relevant and one is included in this album. He became popular when he entered a rap contest at a noon time show.

Most of his tracks are reflection of his views and some of it he performed with his group Crazy Mixx. His name was derived from Rizal characters, Basilio just like his Crazy Mixx fellows(Sisa, Crispin) but was misspelled Bassilyo. He carried that name ever since.

Klassik by Bassilyo is now available at your nearest record bar and released by MCA Music. For more album releases, upcoming concerts, and exclusive interviews, visit and follow L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sponge Cola releases new album Ultrablessed

Album release

Diamond-recording band Sponge Cola’s newest album Ultrablessed reflects the band’s fun journey as musicians. Composed of 10 new songs, the album gives people a glimpse of the more than a decade of friendship between the members of the band.

Ultrablessed will be launched this January 31, 8 p.m., at the Eastwood Central Plaza. A bonus DVD of their last concert Maximum Capacity is also included in the album.

Composed of Yael on vocals, Armo on lead guitar, Gosh on bass and TedMark on drums, Sponge Cola considers this album as a celebration of years of blessings.

“We have been chillin’, doing the things we love to do all these years,” says Yael. “So, looking back, we are not just really blessed, but we are Ultrablessed.”

According to Yael, the album contains 10 new fun songs, but quickly clarified that, “basically, all the tracks in the album are ‘fun’ songs, but not necessarily happy. Some songs are sad, but they are fun.”

Yael further explains that the album has that fun vibe, which is a product of the band members’ current state of mind.

“When you are happy, of course, you come up with ‘fun’ songs,” he adds. “This album has that vibe in it, so I hope we can share this to everyone.”

The album’s first single Anting-Anting, which also features Gloc-9 and Denise Barbacena, talks about empowerment among victims of bullying. Its music video is set to premiere on MYX in a few days.

Ultrablessed also features the band’s collaboration with Yeng Constantino. Aptly called +63, the area code of the phillipines, the song talks about long distance love, a familiar theme in everyday Filipino life.

"Communication softens the blow of distance,” explains Yael. “Nothing beats the real thing, but distance forces us to make do with what little interaction we can have.”

For Yael, Ultrablessed is also special because, like the band’s earlier hits, his brother Yannyi Yuzon worked on the project as producer.

He adds, “Yanny, alongside Eric Perlas of tower of doom. It's a very similar setup to what we had with the first album with Jorel Corpus formerly of kjwan co-producing the band's first album Palabas.” 

Coincidentally, the band went on a quick workation in the United States with first album co-producer Jorel Corpus, now a Berkeley School of Music Graduate, to film a road tripping musical show called “This is How We Travel,” which will air on the band's youtube channel on February 15

"We've been touring nonstop,” states Yael. “So we wanted to unwind, but we had a camera with us so we filmed our quirky west coast roadtrip along with some performances as well."

Ultrablessed CD Track List
1. Hawla
2. Kailangan Kita
3. Anting-anting (feat. Gloc-9 and Denise Barbacena)
4. Iyong-Iyong-Iyo
5. 9 To Sawa
6. +63 (feat. yeng constantino)
7. Walk Away
8. R.I.C.E
9. Singapore Sling (Dahil Kilala Na Kita)
10. The Answer

Maximum Capacity Concert DVD
 Track List:
1. 22
3. Tuliro
4. Tambay - Ako Na Lang with Zia Quizon
5. Una
6. Jillian
7. Gemini
8. Ayt with Gary Valenciano
9. Puso
10. Neon
11. Jeepney
12. Dragonfly
13. XGF
14. Bitiw
15. Kay Tagal Kitang Hinintay
Follow Sponge Cola:
Facebook: spongecola
Twitter: @sponge_cola 
Instagram: @spongecolamusic
YouTube: spongecolamusic

For more updates about the new album releases,. like the LENS blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Online release

The 4th International Rondalla: Plucked String Music Festival begins with Kuwerdas ng Pagkakaisa: Philippine Rondalla Festival from February 12 to 16, 2014 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

            Presented by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)  through the Musicological Society of the Philippines (MSP) and the UP Center for Ethnomusicology, Kuwerdas Festival will highlight the genius of the Filipino in the plucked string tradition through performances at the CCP Little Theater, an exhibit on the History and the Development of the Philippine Rondalla, a Forum on Rondalla Instruments Development, and a Parangal, a tribute to the composers, conductors and dedicated rondalla teachers who have contributed greatly to the development of rondalla music in the country and abroad. 

            Kuwerdas, which launches the 4th International Rondalla/Plucked String Music Festival will be mounted in other countries where the plucked string tradition is practiced.  Kwerdas also celebrates the 10-year effort of the NCCA and MSP in promoting, sustaining and enhancing the rondalla that forms part of a shared plucked string tradition with countries such as Spain, Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Myanmar, India, Japan and Iran, among others.

            Dr. Ramon Santos, well-renowned composer and Festival Director of Kuwerdas, regards the rondalla as an emblem of Filipino cultural identity, which has principally contributed to the social and artistic life of the entire nation. Santos claims that today the Filipino Rondalla is continuously developing in the United States, Europe, Australia, and in some Asian countries.

            Performing a formidable repertoire that will provide Filipino audiences an exceptional rondalla musical experience are  seven (7) of the best rondalla ensembles in the country today that have passed the rigorous audition recently held in Manila, Davao City, Silay City and Dipolog. Concert repertoire includes classic and avant-garde compositions by Filipino composers, baroque pieces by Vivaldi, Bach, Corelli and Handel; overtures by Filipino and foreign composers.

            The Filipino groups featured are the Celso Espejo Rondalla, a family rondalla from Las Pinas City that has consistently won grand prizes in prestigious rondalla competitions; Dipolog Community Rondalla, a group that has won in the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA), national level category in 2010; Harmonya: The String Ensemble of the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna, which dedicates its existence to the pursuit of excellence in both classical or contemporary works; Kabataang Silay Rondalla Ensemble that has earned the title of “Young Cultural Ambassadors of Negros Occidental”; Lucban Pahiyas Community Rondalla, National Champion Rondalla A and Solo Competitions, NAMCYA 2012; Maco Heights Central School Rondalla of Davao del Norte, 3rd place winner, NAMCYA Rondalla category A 2011 and 2013; University of the Philippines Rondalla, a group that has represented the country in major music festivals and that promotes, preserves and explores the versatility of the rondalla. 

            Joining the best Philippine rondalla groups are the plucked string artists Fu-Shing Junior High School and NTNU Chinese Plucked Instruments Ensemble of Taiwan as well as plucked string ensembles from Vietnam and Indonesia.

            Performances are set at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. from February 13 to 15, and 4 p.m. on February 16

For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 8323704 or 8321125 local 1409/1406.  The Rondalla Exhibit at the second level of the CCP Main Lobby is open to the public and runs from February 16 to 28; Forum on Rondalla Instrument Development on February 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is also free to interested parties. Please call 9260028 to  pre-register. For details on the festival visit

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Morning Episodes collaborate with Solenn to create “Until The Sunrise”

Online release

After breaking through US Radio last year, The Morning Episodes kick off 2014 on a high with the release of “Until the Sunrise” -- a collaboration with actress / singer SolennHeussaff. The track is the official theme song of Solenn’s new movie “Mumbai Love”, which is hitting theaters this January. The film was directed by Benito Bautista, produced by Capestone Pictures in assoc. with Wanderlustproject Films and is being distributed by Solar Entertainment.

“Until the Sunrise” is a breath of fresh air to the local music scene with its unique elements, arrangement and delivery. According to band frontman Miguel Escueta most of the song was written using an iPad. “Its amazing how that square piece of technology can help you so much creatively”, he shares. “Solenn heard the demo more than a year ago through a common friend and she got in touch with me right away, saying that she wanted to work on it together. Her voice was just perfect for it and it turns out that the song sounded even better as a duet.”

In the early stages of filming “Mumbai Love” Solenn shared the song with director
Benito Bautista and producer Emma Francisco. They immediately fell in love with the track and, at that instant, knew that they had just found their theme song for the film. They shot the music video while filming the movie, in between all the takes in several locations. It can now be viewed online viaYoutube ( and it set to air on MYX this week.

“Until the Sunrise” is available exclusively via iTunes, released by MCA Music Inc.

In mid 2013, the Morning Episodes, in partnership with their LA based label SlydoggieProductions  and  Music PR Firm  The Planetary Group,  launched their first ever US College Radio Campaign.  Since then,  songs  from  the  band's current album "Never Felt So Alive" have been receiving airplay on 100 different college radio stations across all 50 states in America.

The album hit  the  Top 25 charts at three stations, with  peaks  at  WIPZ  in  Kenosha,  Wisconsin (#8), KRZA in Alamosa Colorado (#10) and  WVPH  in Piscataway, New Jersey (#25). Some of their songs were also featured on long time US Drama “The Young and The Restless” and TV Promos by the CBS Network.

The Morning Episodes' album Never Felt So Alive is available digitally via iTunes.  CDs are also available at Odyssey Music Stores. This release is done via MCA Music Inc. and brought to you by  VANS, Audio Technica, Police, Rayban, Deca Homes, Dental First and Southern Musician.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Noel Cabangon gives in to fans’ request in “Acoustic Noel”

Album release

Late last year, Noel Cabangon asked his fans on what songs they want the singer-songwriter to record for his new album. This new record, produced by Universal Records, contains Noel’s refreshing take on 12 modern classics.

Unlike his multi-platinum albums “Byahe” and “Tuloy Ang Byahe,” “Acoustic Noel” covers OPM classics from various decades.

The album opens with Noel’s take on Ogie Alcasid’s classic “Nandito Ako,” which is also the carrier single of the album. The singer-songwriter’s vocals soars in his rendition of Rivermaya’s “Himala.”

Noel turns sentimental in ballads like Basil Valdez’s “Araw, Gabi,” Aiza Seguerra’s and “Pagdating Ng Panahon.”

He also breathe new life to band hits like Parokya Ni Edgar’s “Harana,” Rizal Underground’s “Bilanggo,” and Eraserheads’ “Huwag Mo Nang Itanong.”

OPM classics also made it to the list – APO’s “Tuyo Nang Damdamin,” and Asin’s “Itanong Mo Sa Mga Bata.”

Noel’s previously-recorded songs, “Nag-iisa, Wala Ka Na” and “Awit ng Bahaghari,” have been given new versions in the album.

1. NANDITO AKO (originally popularized by Ogie Alcasid)
2. PAGDATING NG PANAHON (originally popularized by Aiza Seguerra)
3. HIMALA (originally popularized by Rivermaya)
4. ARAW GABI (originally popularized by Basil Valdez)
5. HARANA (originally popularized by Parokya Ni Edgar)
7. MAKITA KANG MULI (originally popularized by Sugarfree)
8. TUYO NA’NG DAMDAMIN (originally popularized by APO Hiking Society)
9. BILANGGO (originally popularized by Rizal Underground)
10. ITANONG MO SA MGA BATA (originally popularized by Asin)
11. HUWAG MO NANG ITANONG (originally popularized by Eraserheads)