F R X N S Divided by Eight Questions(an Interview)


I wrote about FRXNS a few days ago. This time let’s get to know the duo behind it. Yes, from musical group that can turn heads because of that distinctive sound? Why not?!  I have an imagery of this sonic tidal wave: a raging sheath of drums, bass, guitars around a vocal style that can sound a bit like Thurston Moore or the late  Ian Curtis. 

What’s the origin of your band name?

We we’re @ Karina Broce’s art show “Ashes to ashes dust to life” where she did installations of the remains of their ancestral house that burned down when we saw an interesting article on the wall written in coal. It goes something like “The fractions of a legacy…” we cannot recall exactly what it said but that was the jist. The word struck us as something positive – that you can create something beautiful out of fractions. The pseudonym FRXNS came to life when we realized Fractions was not a very smart choice on a digital marketing perspective. It’s funny cuz when you search “Frac/tions” youtube, math stuff comes up and who wants that? Haha.

Out of the five songs you wrote and recorded for the EP,  what’s the longest to complete?

I wrote and arranged all the songs on the EP years before it was recorded except for “Other Half” and “Now, Somehow” which was a collaborative work between me and Kara so those two took time to complete. Other half was the longest because we had to fill it in with different riffs to make it aptly sound like new wave.

How did you form the band together?

Music is the only thing Kara and I like doing. We have a lot of outside the box ideas that we want to materialize and perform so the decision to be in a band together was just automatic.

What are your top 5 bands today?

Top 5 bands today would be Fazerdaze… Uhhhh… This is a hard question, can’t think of any. We listen to a lot of new bands on Spotify. Their songs are good but nothing has really struck us to worship a whole album yet. But if you ask our top fave bands of all time that would be The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Morrissey, New Order, Joy Divison and, Rico Blanco.


Describe a typical frxns jam session.

We like having people over to our home, coffee, drink, jam… Old school. If it’s just Kara and I, we purposely put guitars on our bedside so we can just grab it incase a random tune comes up.

Where can fans get your EP?

We are out of physical copies but our EP is still available on digital format (Spotify, iTunes, Youtube etc) just type “FRXNS”.

Any future gig you want to promote?29133197_1895727777134891_8393799996985573376_n

We have a regular set at Tippy’s Bistro every last Saturdays of the month from 9pm – midnight. We play originals, new wave, alternative and indie covers. Everyone’s invited!

What’s next for the group musically?

We have a new song “Timeless” which we recorded with Nicolo Abadiano on Bass and Shaolin Javier on drums. We’ll put it up on Spotify soon. We are also working on 2 new songs. We tried to inject muffs/shoegaze/dream pop to our sound which is very melodic and melodramatic. The gameplan is always to keep playing. It’s all about the music.

There you have it folks. Be sure to like their Facebook band page for updates. 








Music Radar Alert: F R X N S

Been a fan of Joy Division, The Cure, The Smiths and New Order in my college days-Four bands that influenced Bacolod band FRXNS or sometimes referred to as Frac/tions. The artfully chosen band name will come to light soon when I get to interview one of the band members. But for now, let us marvel at the emotional intensity of their songs and the unique energy that they bring on stage during their gigs. I say that because I’ve been to few of their live shows.  The first thing you will notice is that they have a distinctive sound. It reminds me of early Smashing Pumpkins ( Siamese Dream era) though I never saw or read them referenced the band. But perhaps the Pumpkins are/were part of their fave music.

They have a new single out. This is also accompanied by a music video off their 5 track EP, which is also available on Spotify http://bit.ly/2j8Lnhe.

Other Half is the title of the single and the stunning music video is directed by EJ Guevarra. Needless to say I like his visual style because it is so minimalist and makes use of subtle lighting. The song laments the breakdown of a relationship. And if you are into that kind of thing/lyrics then you will have something for your exposition. But I am more into their music. Gossamer keyboard sounds caress full on shoegaze  guitar following a rather somber chord pattern.  I like it. It is so seductive in a Gothic way if you know what I mean. Main band members are  Kara and Jasper Borbajo. These two are also principal singer/songwriters and arrangers. So yeah do listen to the music of F R X N S of better yet go see their gigs. You will really enjoy it.

XNOVA And All That (Pop) Chops.


Weekend evening is all about partying and beautiful music for most people. But I am on a brief hiatus from all the cycling and partying. Instead, I am listening to XNOVA. They are a duo from Russia (consisting of Bogdan and Marat) and they play smooth pop music with a right amount of beats and beautiful melodies. There are five songs in their new EP and it’s titled Universe. The title track is a catchy tribute to one’s optimism in the midst of life’s challenges.

Their music has a superb production quality with strong RnB leanings. The loved up synths and sensual beats are enough to put you in the mood. I am certain that with this type of music, XNOVA  will get to see mainstream success. I see this happening with Once A Tree (a husband and wife duo from Canada) today. They are still establishing themselves but pretty soon we will get to hear more music from them!

Music is like a river. You don’t know how long the journey will lead you to the ocean. But passion and courting the right audience are essential tools in getting your art to a wider audience. And I think making music is like making medicine. You get to make people feel better when they are down. Just like the songs of XNOVA. Hear hear hear!


AKWUAR EP: A Blend of Classic Psychedelia and Dreamy Soundscapes.

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West Germany has created a musical artist who deserves an important space in contemporary music. Patrick Braun (who goes with the moniker AKWUAR) has released a 7-track EP early this year. A music video for the single Millions of Same Faces is also out and you can check it out via YouTube.

The EP is a self-produced consisting of seven songs. According to Braun, the music video has been produced by friends in Lisbon.  The full EP is available in vinyl and digital formats. Now what I like about this music is its quality of being simple and neat yet still manages to be rugged in a classic rock sense. It’s like listening to a Jazz album but only louder.

Braun has a good voice and I am curious what he will do with this instrument in years to come. I am also hooked to the guitar style especially in songs like Millions of Same Faces, Familie De Voyageurs and Superstar. Synths and drums shine in tracks like Do You Deserve my Mind and Garden.

Every song conjures colorful images. His music is predominantly visual even if you are not paying attention to the lyrics. I like this music and I am sure you will too!


Mary Fahl: A Complex Vocal History and Style

A colossal voice that manages to soar to the heavens, releases a new EP plus talks of an upcoming album!

When October Project hit the mainstream(due partly to being signed to a major label), people were stunned by the voice of the lead singer Mary Fahl. What is it? At that time, listeners thought she sounded like Enya’s sister Moya Brennan(of Clannad) or Annie Lennox. There’s that dark beauty behind the supple voice. Back then, I was still exploring various musical genres and I was not aware of singers like Sandy Denny or Annie Haslam for reference(she’s a huge fan of them). Thanks to Fahl I was able to explore them gradually.

I think what’s amazing about her singing is what she does to such a big voice. It can sound light and airy especially the upper register. But it can also be dark and commanding when she is singing in her lower and comfortable range-the fuller contralto part. With an amazing band to back her up, her singing touched the imagination of many.

Fast forward two decades later, Fahl is on her own. But it is in her solo career that she’s able to experiment so much with the voice. You got to give her high-five for releasing two EPs, Three full-length albums and a live record. Her songs are also in three compilations, two among them are movie soundtracks. There is a full-length album in the talks. But in order for that to come into fruition (with great production along with her band) she has to raise funds. And that’s why Four Songs came into being. According to her website www.maryfahl.com :

FOUR SONGS is a collection of Italian arias beautifully produced by John Lissauer. This limited edition, signed and personalized EP is a fundraiser to help me complete the full album. Each purchase enters you into a drawing to receive a free copy of the fully produced album. * Order 5 copies or more and receive a free Mary Fahl T-shirt. Order 10 copies or more and receive 2 complimentary tickets to a Mary Fahl show near you.

Looking back, I think Mary Fahl is meant to happen. There will always be people like me who will gravitate towards such voice. There is nothing like it. It is hard to describe but her singing touches something in me that’s both mystical and emotional. Perhaps it is because of my unique way of looking at the world that I find her unique art inspiring. Perhaps it is that sensitivity of the soul that longs for something that is like heaven, if heaven is indeed real.