Malaysia’s first-ever hardcore compilation album gets 25th anniversary remaster
Written by ABR on 13/12/2021
Malaysia’s first-ever hardcore compilation album has gotten a remaster and rerelease to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
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‘Visionville Hardcore Vol.1’ was rereleased by indie label Edy J Records last Friday (December 10) in a limited run on CD and cassette. The CD is priced at RM45, while the cassette can be picked up at RM20. Orders can be made while stocks last by contacting +60 17 770 6748.
First released in 1996, the compilation features four of the forerunners of Malaysia’s lively heavy music scene: Project AK, Chronic Mass, N.E.T. and Disaster Funhouse.
Originally compiled by Chronic Mass vocalist Nox under his label As It Is Records, the compilation has been remastered by CL Toh, owner of Mastering One Studios. His mastering credits include The Alleycat’s ‘2001’, Too Phat’s ‘Rebirth Into Reality’, and M. Nasir’s ‘Phoenix Bangkit’, among other landmark Malaysian releases.
According to Iman Tang, who produced and funded ‘Visionville Hardcore Vol.1’ back in 1996, the remaster had been in the works for a year and a half. But Edy J Records – where he is co-partners with Gerhana Skacinta trumpeter and vocalist Edy J. Herwan – decided to delay the release to 2021 to coincide with its 25th anniversary.
“We got all the bands who were involved in a WhatsApp group,” he said.”And while we weren’t able to [contact] Nox [of the band Chronic Mass] we had representatives from every band, and they were very excited to reissue the album because 25 years on, people still ask about the ‘missing compilation’ that is not on the market anymore.”
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Tang also revealed that vinyl pressings of the remastered compilation will be available next year for collectors to purchase, though Edy J Records will not be releasing the tracks individually as singles.
The four bands participating in the compilation have long disbanded, but are largely regarded as pioneers of Malaysian hardcore music, with Chronic Mass commonly given the distinction of the country’s first-ever hardcore band.
First formed in 1991 by a group of International Islamic University of Malaysia students, Nox, Shah, John, and Awang originally formed a thrash metal band called X before discovering their love for hardcore as Chronic Mass. They would go on to release their first demo tape, ‘Messed Chronically’ in 1992, citing Filthy Christians, Rollins Band and Fugazi as influences.
Chronic Mass disbanded in 2001, with a split tape with progressive hardcore band Basic Rights and the ‘Visionville Hardcore Vol.1’ compilation in 1996 being their last releases.
Edy J Records is also working on re-releasing another piece of Malaysian heavy music history: Infectious Maggots’ 1993 release, ‘Deep Within Our Grief Factory Milk Runs Red’, which was originally released on cassette and was never ported into other formats.
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