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rock in the fine city
'80s-'90s singapore independent music archives
Monday, July 31, 2017
The Seven Year Pitch (A Much Belated Update)

Greetings readers, I hope you've been well. It had been a good 7 years since my last update on "Rock In The Fine City". In the hiatus, I really intended to just let the blog rest on its laurels. This was fine, until two days ago, when I happened to surf this site again and was notified that all my files from Photobucket (the third party host for the images on this blog) had been removed. This was the state of blogging during early '00, on an archaic html only platform formerly known as Blogspot.com (now Blogger of course) with no image hostings. I then tried to find the stored images through Google Images and realized that there were drastically rendered into very low resolutions. Left with no other options, I've painstakingly salvaged the blog by replacing those old Photobucket images with pictures of my LPs and CDs I snapped on my iPhone over the past day or so.

Many of the original images on the blog, however cannot be found anymore. Most of the images (especially of band photos) were from my demo tapes and old magazines which were no longer in possession, and also some CDs (Band of Slaves, Kelvin Tan and the very forgettable Starfish N Coffee) were traded/given/sold away. Because of that, some of the reviews and sections (like the Unsung Heroes) no longer have image features. Some sections were even removed (like Sepia Memories and Hall of Fame) because they were too heavily reliant on images. I have also decided not to have small stock images on the blog anymore, because all the html codes were on template (an archaic system I said) and it is too troublesome to incorporate these images. As a result, the blog now has become a lot less graphic intensive.

To compensate that, I've created a "Singapore Music Gallery" section featuring many of the albums (and more) in their photographic glory. I believe this will be of great interest to many readers, who would like to have a look at some of the key albums from the scene. Also, nice photos of actual albums now adorn the reviews instead of some shoddy coverart image. In the process, I have also did a fair bit of minor edit on the reviews.

In case you're wondering what I've been up to for the past 7 years, I've actually done alot (writing books, etc). Instead of reviewing music, I've also made some music. Here are some of my works:

Drakar Taso     :     Modulus     :     Regulus

Unbeknownst to most readers here, I actually ran an alternate blog on another scene in Singapore: the Xinyao movement (新谣; Singaporean Chinese Folk Pop, predominantly in the '80s). This is really more of a gallery than a writeup of any sort, featuring rare vinyls, tapes and other material I used to have in my collection. The blog, like this one was equally as defunct in this time period. Please do check it out here: The Xinyao Gallery.

Seven years have passed; lots of positive things have happened to Singapore music (check out Bandcamp). "Rockinthefinecity" on the other hand will stay where it is, on a refurbished archaic platform in the far flung corner of the world wide web, archived and serve as a little info hub for those people who still care about the "Singapore music scene of '80s-'90s". That's about it, farewell. 

--sojourner at 1:14 AM

Singapore Music Gallery


Holy Grails of Singapore music from the late '60s-early '80s before the indie explosion. From top left clockwise: The Heritage LP, Class Acts compilation,  Zircon Lounge LP (all above 3 from WEA), and lastly, the Quests seminal "33rd Revolution" on Columbia/EMI.


The Oddfellows CDs. From top left clockwise: Teenage Head, Carnival, So Happy and Bugs and Hisses. 

Humpback Oak CDs. From top left clockwise: Oaksongs (333/500), Pain-Stained Morning 1994 Pony Canyon edition, Pain-Stained Morning Shock Records (Australia) edition, SideA SideB, Ghostfather.

New School Rock compilations from BigO.

The Observatory Collection.

Other projects by Leslie Low. From top clockwise: Lucifuguous LP w/ Vivian and X-Ho, Longing debut LP, No Such Thing as Ghosts LP, Worm CD, Volcanoes CD, Magus CD, the very excellent Arcn Templ CD and the Pan Gu LP.

Many of the compilations from the '90s. Some of the most notable are top left "Electroplasm", top right "Red Hot & Skin", and bottom right "Lion City Hardcore".

Lost black/death metal 12" vinyls. From top left clockwise: Impiety- Skullfucking Armageddon Picture Disc limited to 100 and signed, Abhorer/Necrophile split, Stukas demo compilation and Libation/Itnos split.

Lost black/death/hardcore 7" vinyls. From top left clockwise: Impiety/Sarcofago split (2/130! Signed), Libation demo reissue, Abhorer EP, Itnos C.M.B. (444/500!), Opposition Party, Impiety Salve the Goat (signed), Mutation (signed), War Torn Nation/EVOL split. 

New LPs that are excellent in my opinion. From top left clockwise: Piblokto LP, Yumi LP, One Man Nation LP (bizzaro) and The Psalms LP.

Modern Singaporean indie classics (although seemingly dated now) from the late '90s to early '00s that didn't seem to fit in the "Rockinthefinecity" timeline. From top left clockwise: Sherene's Closet, Livonia, B-Quartet, Serenade, Ronin and Plain Sunset.

This is the "miscellaneous" part of the collection. OK what I've found: Wah Lau Gang (this is like the "other" Kopi Kat Klan.. same Singlish comedy parody, etc), Ken Lim- Empyrean (you remember that grouchy judge from Singapore Idol who always criticize the contestants? now it's your turn for poetic justice) and lastly.. Yeow! "What I Require"!... omg. Ex-Zircon Lounge guy doing his Alex To posturing on the cover. This is a signed copy. Unfortunately, I do not have the Starfish n Coffee CD to complete this part of the collection anymore.

--sojourner at 12:13 AM

Album Reviews

Anesthesia- Anesthesia CD Astreal- Ouijablush CD AWOL- Midnight In June CD Band of Slaves- 45 MCD Bird Brains- Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich CD The Black Sun- The Black Sun CD The Boredphucks- Revolution 69 MCD The Boredphucks- Banned In Da Singapura CD Chris Ho- Nite Songs In Day-Glo CD Concave Scream- Concave Scream CD Concave Scream- Erratic CD Concave Scream- Three CD Daze- Sexy Little Boy MCD Do Not Ask- Just Play It! CD Edgar's Fault- Edgar's Fault CD Fection Dasche- Eternal Transgression CD Flying Pills- Flying Pills CD Force Vomit- The Furniture Goes Up CD Global Chaos- The Art of Listening CD Humpback Oak- Pain-stained Morning CD Humpback Oak- Ghostfather CD Humpback Oak- SideASideB CD Humpback Oak- Oaksongs Boxset Impiety- Asateerul Awaleen CD Kelvin Tan- The Bluest Silence CD Lilac Saints- Awake CD The Lizard's Convention- Here's a Funny Fish, Hurrah! CD The Mother- A Dark Trip On The Ill Tip CD Mutation- Void of Disharmony EP Neural Vibe- Mantra CD The Oddfellows- Teenage Head CD The Oddfellows- Carnival CD The Ordinary People- It's A Weird Existence CD The Padres- BigO Singles Club #1 MCD The Padres- What's Your Story MCD The Pagans- Stereokineticspiraldreams CD Radio Active- Eyes In The Attic CD Starfish n Coffee- Ghost MCD Stompin' Ground- Measured By The Richter Scale CD Stoned Revivals- Golden Lovesongs From The Evil Island of The Handsome Tropical Cannibals CD Sugarflies- And That's Why CD Watchmen- Democracy CD Watchmen- Love MCD Zircon Gov.Pawn Starz- Follywood CD Zircon Lounge- Regal Vigor LP Various Artists- +65 Indie Underground 3 CDs Set Various Artists- Left of The Dial CD Various Artists- The Substation 10 Years & Counting (Rock The Garden) CD Various Artists- 12 Storeys CD Various Artists- New School Rock MCD
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