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CLONE in full swingCLONE: A Techno Revolution With Holiness & Hedonism
by Girl Chakra
from: www.PUNKSNOTDIE.com
August 19, 2000

While If there's one thing you can say about Clone, they're not as serious offstage as they are on.

Last July 29, 2000 at Mayric's, the techno trio (2 keyboardists with loads of gear and a vocalist) took the stage in-between two rock bands and after a lengthy set-up time, drowned us in a world of sexy soulful electronic music. And they played all originals. Weird-ass songs with real lyrics and verses and choruses, but with all those little squeaks and drums which bang around like mice in a dirty kitchen.
___ The band was a picture of sweat and determination. Their keyboards and equipment filled so much of the stage that their singer had to stay on the floor. Their faces were barely ever free from perspiration and grimace-wrinkles. Of course it could have been the heat. Ah but the sound. What a dire contrast to the buzzsaw guitars of the other bands that night.
___ Clone, made up of Lionel and Karlo on keyboards and samplers and Sheerin on vocals, plays a mixture of electronica, trip hop and jazz which they like to refer to as "Adult Contemporary Electronica." You know, mature stuff supposedly. And while they may take ages to start their set, the wait is worth it.
___ One of their songs starts off sounding like a menacing Massive Attack tune and when Sheerin comes into the verse, you realize she's singing about penance and longing... in the liturgical sense. Eh? Is there such a thing as Christian techno? And then in another trip hop tune, they sound like their self-professed idols, Moloko, and sing about "walking past your November... my savior can be no one but me."

Holiness and hedonism. Perfect description for the band.

Two of the members, Sheerin and Lionel used to be full-time active members of the Bukas Palad Music Ministry, a formerly Ateneo-based liturgical choir that propagated the mass songs of Fr.Manoling Francisco sj. They then went on to form a showband by the name of Anima and played covers till their noses bled. Lionel meanwhile had recorded an album of guitar-flute instrumentals called "Vespers". Karlo on the other hand, graduated from playing manic classical guitar in high school to fiddling with samplers and noise. He did a track on the Rivermaya-Remixed album called "Sunog (Lumang Eskuwela Mix)." All three got together in 1999 out of a common desire to push music that they enjoyed and that no one else could play. Enter CLONE.
___ They end their Mayric's set with a weirdly attractive number called "Nothing Yet" which swings around in different time signatures but never feels pretentious. When Sheerin veers off into a coda that goes "la la la la" in the middle of all the despairing harmonies, I suddenly know what music these guys grew up on.
___ New wave: Oblique lyrics, gothic themes. Love gone awry. Yearning and angst dressed in silky melodies.

CLONE at the controlsThus far, the band have no concrete plans or timetables. They work on music when they have time. All three are working, and are way past the age of high school garage bands, yet their stories of practices being interrupted by complaining neighbors reeks of adolescenece. All three have day jobs and responsibilities and personal goals. And somehow they find time to sneak in Clone.
___ What for? Why enter something that you know has (1) no audience (2) no venue for gigs and (3) no money?
___ "We're sick of cover songs," bandleader Lionel explains. "Back in Anima, we'd play 'Celebration' every freaking gig. That was awful."
___ Karlo, who shares none of that humiliating past adds: "We wanted to play music that mattered to us. So what if there's no audience yet? It's a matter of time."
___ Sheerin, the spiritual one, says: "We're doing this to give voice to our souls."

Back at Mayric's the audience applause trickles in. Clone has ended their set and the crowd is more baffled than appreciative. But does Clone care?
___ While lugging a keyboard case that looks more like the housing for a bazooka, Lionel breaks into a sweaty smile and utters the night's lesson: "Damn, that was fun!"

PART 2: The Interview with CLONE

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