Filipino indie label Terno Recordings goes international

MANILA — Trailblazing Filipino independent record label Terno Recordings that has given Filipino music fans pop confectionary by Up Dharma Down, Orange and Lemons, Radioactive Sago Project, Paramita, Ang Bandang Shirley, and the Strange Creatures is taking the big step of going international.

Music impresario Toti Dalmacion, the man behind Terno Recordings, is excited with the new direction.

“The COVID-19 situation prompted me to move into a different direction but still in line with what I do,” explained Dalmacion. “I will release more on vinyl but not necessarily local artists.”

Dalmacion said he will be releasing the music of a pair of Brooklyn, New York independent artists Tenant from Zero and Julia Kwamya.

Tenant from Zero is the musical persona of Paul Darrah who describes his music form as “transforming affairs of the art into elegant pop songs” and in the vein of Roxy Music vocalist Bryan Ferry, David Sylvian of art rockers Japan, Everything But the Girl, and Blue Nile.

Julia Kwamya, the self-described “break-up specialist,” also hails from Brooklyn and is of Ghanaian and Ugandan heritage.

Tenant from Zero’s album titled, “Flight,” as well as Julia Kwamya’s effort titled “Feeling Good About Feeling Bad” will both hit the independent music stores in Tokyo, the US, Europe, and Dalmacion’s This is Pop shop in Makati this October.

Kwamya’s album is “the product of eight years of work and is about classic mid-20s angst following a break-up,” said the Brooklyn native who is influenced by Joao Gilberto, Kylie Minogue, and David Bowie.

Also expected from Terno Recordings is the debut album of noise and sludge rockers Kapitan Kulam.

Kapitan Kulam is that other band by media personality Lourd de Veyra, who along with drummer Jay Gapasin, are also with the Radioactive Sago Project; guitarist Kakoy Olavides, who also performs with art rockers Pastilan Dong; and bassist Eric Melendez.

While Kapitan Kulam’s music greatly differs from the usual Terno Recordings fare that is usually indie pop with some dream pop and shoezgaze artists thrown in, Dalmacion said he knows there is a segment of Filipino music fans who dig the heaviness of the band.

Kapitan Kulam released their self-titled EP online recently, but their full-vinyl release, according to Dalmacion, should be out early this 2022.

As for other local bands under Terno Recordings’ roster, Dalmacion said that only when they are ready with new recordings will they be lined up for release.

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