After leaving OctoArts/EMI, hip-hop trio Kulay signed with Sony Music Entertainment Philippines and released Vibestation in 1997 on the Dance Pool label, which is operated out of Sony's European regional office in the U.K. Though Kulay's previous album (1996's Flavour of da Moment) was a fine effort, it wasn't up to the band's potential, and the change in labels seems to have recharged Kulay's creative energy. Simply said, Vibestation (which predominantly uses English) sets the standard for hip-hop in the Philippines. As before, Kulay explores numerous R&B styles, including rap, dance, soul, old-school R&B and funk, but this time the emphasis is on funk, resulting in more dance-inflected music. Kulay also ventures into techno, as heard on "Burn (Scorchin' Dust Remix)" and "Shout, a remake of the classic Isley Brothers hit. Kulay also samples Herbie Hancock's '60s instrumental hit, "Watermelon Man" for its "What's It All About." "Burn" is an outstanding song, a blistering mix of funk and old-school R&B, and features remixes by Judge Jules and Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim). Sadly, band member Jeannie Oakman died shortly after the Philippines release of Vibestation in 1997, and Kulay enlisted new member Angel Jones to play showcases in the U.K., Germany and Italy. The Philippines is not readily attuned to modern, adventurous music, and album sales did not meet label expectations, according to the label (there are no album sales charts or SoundScan in the Philippines). However, an album track, "Delicious," was issued in the U.K. in September 1998 and "Burn" was released in the U.S. in July 1999.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Gonzales