Various Artists


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On 2001's Gimmicknation, Philippine independent label Neo records (which is under the umbrella of Viva Music Group) has compiled songs from albums released between 1997 and 2001 by artists in its roster. Neo records handles adventurous, modern music, which is in contrast to the easy listening music often heard in the Philippines, and the music on Gimmicknation features urban, electronica, hip-hop, rock, and drum'n'bass. One of the album's best offerings is the hip-hop-styled, urban-influenced "Good Love," performed by singer Maxine. Everything about this song is outstanding, from the songwriting to the seductive backing vocals, all fronted by the alluring vocals of Maxine, who could develop into one of the country's best artists. Also outstanding is First Degree's drum'n'bass electronica-laced "Friction," deceptively simple in its construction, but most enticing with its repeated, chant-like vocal line and the hypnotic electronic effects that ring the bottom-heavy foundation. The songs come from various genres but fit well together. Radioactive Sago Project's "Spaceship," a seemingly extraterrestrial musical excursion replete with dissonance and spoken-word vocals, shines next to another sparkler, rock band Imago's remixed version of the enchanting "Rainsong."

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