"the gift of gab" by HALF&HALF


Penny Tre Sean

“What the fuck are you on?”

97 gab

The year was 1996, just several months after their “highly acclaimed” (i.e. according to several music critics and most of their long time pals) album A SERIES OF LOW BLOWS was released.
(original cassette sleeve 1996)

The mofos got itchy (as always!) and try to dabble in what is known as worldbeat (apparently, a feat they failed when they tried it during The High Command sessions) peppered with orchestral, film scores, and jazz noodlings thrown in the mix (attributed to their fondness of music from Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, Brian Eno, Paul Simon, Philip Glass, dixieland jazz, et. al.). Bong started to record a bunch of instrumentals on his own as inspired by the pre-recorded musings (more like stream of conciousness ramblings which is just righteous) of the Philippines’ premiere Goth high priestess/writer/poet/pir8 queen Karen Kunawics, who earlier contributed on their LOW BLOWS track “The 6th. Sound” (w/c she also co-wrote the lyrics). Incidentally, her spoken word contribution was culled from the same 60 minute cassette she sent which the said track were “sampled” from. I’m using the word “sampled” sparingly, coz technically the band don’t have a real sampler at their disposal (up to now), but needless to say they’re massive fans of the said “art form” since the mid-80’s (they admitted in the past having worshipped in the altars of Big Audio Dynamite, PWEI, and Sigue Sigue Sputnik). It’s just right to say that this project is Bong’s brainchild from the onset, and it was only later when he asked James to sing in the “bebop-jazz” number, “B-boppin’ for Her”, which he did, in an impromptu (or what the hip hop peeps refer to as “freestylin’”) manner after being smashed on chemicals and shit, wherein he morphed into
Dean Martin complete with a cocktail in hand, and perhaps his cock in the other hand (no one can tell what these fuckers were up to then, and now). He also played the bass in a few other tracks, and so was their original guitarist Christian who played in a coupla’ tracks as well. As Bong said, “they’re the only mofos who could understand what the fuck it is I’m trying to do musically, and they’re cheap bastards, they’ll work for food and booze”.
half 97.2
Ironically, despite this being his baby, Bong didn’t sing a single word in the album.
When asked why, he said “I can’t sing and play music at the same time”, hmm…fair enough I guess?!
Apparently, their non-rock pretensions came into fruition on this project, which only resurfaced a decade later with their single COMMUNIQUE (released last year, and became a local radio indie smash, peaking at #2, and #3 as of this writing).
You can also hear strains of this album, on such recent fs&c works, specifically ANOTHER YEAR IS HERE (from MIXIFIED), and DUNGEONS & DRUGWHORES (from DRUGSTAR)
Asked if he would consider resurrecting this project, Bong said: “why the hell not? But I’d have to ask Karen to send in new material, or else it wouldn’t be Half and Half at all, it’ll just be me playing with my organ, now who would want that? Unless you wanna play with my trumpet? How ‘bout my flute? C’mon! huh?” Now, that’s my cue to leave him to his own devices.



01. mortal thoughts (his version)
02. mortal thoughts (her version)
03. b-boppin for her
04. once again
05. her part
06. atomic joint
07. his lament (prologue)
08. dub dis to hell
09. her lament (epilogue)
10. kissin ass
11. fox and dana's theme (bonus track) +
12. the 6th sound by foodshelterandclothing (bonus track) +

(+) Not included in the original cassette album

Cast of Characters

Bong: synthesizers, bass & drum programming,
guitar on track 6, percussions, tape samples,
lead vocals and additional lyrics on track 12
Karen Kunawicz: spoken word/ lyrics on tracks 2 to 4, 12
Jem: lead vocals/ lyrics on track 3, bass on tracks 6 to 9, 12
Christian: guitar on tracks 4, 5, 8, 10, 12

All songs written, arranged, and produced by half&half,
except track 11 composed by mark snow,
and track 12 by fs&c and Karen Kunawicz
1996 to 1997 DIY TAPES P & C
Remastered by D’ Joint from the original 2 track cassette masters as archived by Christian del Castillo, at the Beaten Black and Blue studio, Brgy. Sum-ag, Bacolod city,
Neg. Occ., Phils. Feb. 2009

DOWNLOAD hi quality mp3 (192 kbps vbr/ .zip file) here


HALF AND HALF - the gift of gab (remastered album)

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