Wednesday, January 6, 2010

khum mela band

Khumb Mela Band - 108 Music

Arguably one of the most underrated and poorly promoted Filipino Alternative Rock bands that emerged in the '80s was Khumb Mela Band. Although they began as a brainchild of the people behind the local shop Khumb Mela (in Harrison Plaza, Manila, and in Park Square One in Makati--which specialized in sports gear and other stuff including bootlegged and reproduced imported music albums--Khumb Mela Band proved to be a tight and style-conscious group.

I saw them live many times back in the late '80s, especially at a gig held in May 1987 at Atrium of Makati (Sneak Attack 2). Luckily my former band Half Life Half Death got to share bill with them in a few gigs in 1989 and in the ensuing years. Khumbmela Band used to cover songs like "I Don't Like Mondays" (Bob Geldof & the Boomtown Rats), "My Way" (The Sex Pistols), The Distance between Us" (Fra Lippo Lippi), and "Dancing with Myself" (Billy Idol).

I got to hang out with Allan, the bassist of Khumb Mela Band, in the early '90s, when he became a bandmate of my former bandmates Rozylyn Torres, Ramil Aznar, and Rain Paggao in a glam metal band (Haywire) that they formed in 1991 after Half Life Half Death became temporarily inactive.

Anyway, Khumb Mela Band was able to record an album, entitled 108 Music, in cassette-tape format, released independently in 1988 and sold exclusively at the Khumb Mela shops.

Lucky for Khumb Mela Band, they were among the first batch of Filipino bands that the Philippine FM radio station NU 107 gave regular airplay during the station's early days, in the late '80s. Songs I remember being played on NU 107 were "Questions," "Moving Away," and "Cosmic Journey."

Before, I never really paid attention to the musicality of Khumb Mela Band. All I knew was, they sounded New Wave because of the incorporation of keyboard sounds and synthesized guitar melodies.

In retrospect, only now when I had the chance to listen again to the album after obtaining a copy of the album from a fellow Multiplyer that I realized how ahead-of-its-time Khumb Mela band's music was--especially lyric-wise.

Khumb Mela Band's musical ideology predated that of the '90s-formed British Alternative Rock band Kula Shaker, which adopted Hinduism as the central theme of its music. Yes, now that I fully understand Khumb Mela Band's music, I realized that the central theme of their album was Hinduism, what with song titles like "Cosmic Journey," "Limited Pleasure," and "Govinda," which predated Kula Shaker's song of the same title written in the mid-'90s.

***credits to sir alfie and matryxide for a very wonderful upload.

Track Listing

Moving Away
Mistery Man
Cosmic Journey
Limited Pleasure
In The Holy Names
Planet Of Death
Song Of The Swanlike
After The Storm
Download Here


Post a Comment