ABSOLUTE ZERO is all about songs, with words and music by guitarist-composer Johnny Alegre. As an indie band that distinguishes itself from the musical structures and styles identified with Alegre's previous work in Jazz and World Fusion, "ABSOLUTE ZERO: THE GROUP" is a fresh departure and attests to the vibrancy of the popular song form (in capable hands) as an enduring artistic expression. The group features Mia Tengco on vocals and rhythm guitar, Gareth Somers on bass, and Paolo Manuel on drums.
HISTORY: The band traces its origins to 2008 from the Johnny Alegre Trio (with bassist Dondi Ledesma and drummer Paolo Manuel) that played "free rock", mostly at Cafe SaGuijo (Sneakernet) and Cafe Ponticello (MusicLokal). Dondi Ledesma's terminal illness in February 2009 brought the group to a halt; until a reconstituted Johnny Alegre Group was assembled with the entry of bassist Gareth Somers, together with singer-songwriter-guitarist Kris Dancel, for the "TikTok" climate action advocacy concert (sponsored by Oxfam and Dakila Philippines) in late 2009. Then, in February of 2010, with singer-guitarist Mia Tengco taking her definitive place as the fourth member, mk-2 of the Johnny Alegre Group was premiered at the Philippine International Jazz Festival. In the short weeks that followed, with considerable performances lined up, the name ABSOLUTE ZERO: THE GROUP [or simply, "Absolute Zero"] surfaced, and the rest is the band's current events.
Mammals is a 3-piece band from Manila, Philippines, organized by guitarist Johnny Alegre and drummer Pat Sarabia, together with bass guitarist Allan dela Merced, for Japan Music Week 2010 (Tokyo). The three perform an eclectic mix of personal styles and, what Sarabia alludes to as, “a puzzle of genres”.
Johnny Alegre is a jazz instrumentalist-composer and recording artist with a formidable cachet, whose albums have been released by the UK-based Candid Records, as well as by MCA Music, and has promoted his music in prestigious venues both in England and the United States. Stepping out of his mainstream jazz and fusion environment for the Tokyo event, “Mammals Musik” is an experimental, post-modern vehicle undertaken by the composer with two young musicians hailing from the Noise Rock band, Wilderness, in a bid to make fresh sounding music for a new generation of listeners.
“Pushing the sonic boundaries of the human mind”, as Pat Sarabia and Allan Dela Merced both colorfully describe the effort, Mammals has independently issued a 5-song Extended Play (EP) recording of their repertoire for Japan Music Week 2010. The limited edition pressing is an aesthetic showcase of powerful Drum-and-Bass coupled by a pragmatic review of classic Jazz-Rock (with a contemporary “Free Rock” subtext) and illustrated by the visual artist, Sisa Lleses.
The music of Mammals is characterized by Sarabia’s explorative percussion solos and unconventional drumming; replete with Dela Merced’s fuzz bass patterns and off-tempo interplay; held together by Alegre’s linear guitar solos and reverberant chord-work. The trio collectively generates an intense musical atmosphere that aficionados have arguably depicted as a new take for Manila’s restless independent music community.