Dragonfly Collector

Taken from The Dragonfly Collector Website

It was in the early 2000s, a time when OPM was in the thrall of the pogi rock movement, when this hitherto unknown band from Bulacan exploded onto the scene. When everyone was embracing their boy/girl next door persona, here comes this band in full 70s regalia, singing in faux British accents about love in the land of rubber shoes. Normally, the scene would dismiss them as novelty acts and would have ignored this band. Except they did not. The reason? The band was good, damn good. So good in fact that the band went on to win multiple awards from just about every OPM authority in the country.

That band was Orange and Lemons, and at 2007 at the height of their careers, the band broke up. Clem Castro, vocalist and lead guitarist, was kicked out of the band in rather public fashion. The usual accusations of being unprofessional and kind of being a douche were thrown around. To be honest,  I kind of got that vibe from Clem. There was a certain arrogance in the way he played and spoke, and it would not be a reach if all the accusations were true. The problem with axing Clem from the band is this – he was a genius. Though McCoy Fundales is the face of the band, Clem Castro was the mind, heart and soul of the music they created. In truth, genius seems to be associated with a certain arrogance. Ely Buendia was famously standoffish. Lennon was known to run his mouth every so often. Morrissey was a douchebag of epic proportions if the stories are to believed.

That is why Clem Castro is still relevant in today’s scene. This time he goes around by the name of Dragonfly Collector, which knowing Clem means it has some sort of meaning in it. To me it evokes images of a cranky old man keeping a case of preserved dragonflies, somewhat jealously guarding it from the world.

The music he creates is still steeped in nostalgia, a dreamier version of The Smiths. The songs sound like they come from a bygone era. His work is very referential, with nods to greats from the 70s and 80s. To get that nostalgic sound just right, the music is replete with dated instruments. You can hear strains of the rondalla here and there, and of course an acoustic bass guitar is also heard prominently on some tracks.

The end product is genius. A mad, self-assured genius that results in otherworldly, beautiful music.

There Is No Remaining in Place
Someday, Someday, Maybe
The World Is Your Oyster



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  1. ah siya pala tong kantang may Oyster ha ha. Ang ganda nung Someday, Someday, Maybe, parang sarap pakinggan habang nakahiga sa duyan kapag hapon

    well, yung kay Ely, sabi nila di naman daw sya suplado. mahiyain lang daw ha ha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I would never consider myself a genius, I am quite happy to know you think highly of my work. I have my selfish reasons for making music below the radar, and for the most part to please and challenge myself. I am highly introverted, sometimes complicated, and will not deny my arrogance especially with my principles and beliefs. But over the years, I have mellowed down. Making music now is more of a therapy, a means of expression more than (music) being entirely a job or a business. I’m still struggling to keep that balance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • In a way, that is how I am with being a writer. I write mainly because it pleases me.

      In any case, ONL had a profound effect on me when I was a kid. I remember driving home with SWTIH on repeat on my cd player. I remember interviewing you guys in the backlot of San Beda Alabang when you had a concert there as a cub reporter for the Herald. You guys were awesome. Then you guys broke up and I followed both Camerawalls and Kenyo, finally leading me here to Dragonfly Collector.

      Keep making beautiful music sir. You have a fan here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been a fan..even way before onl had an album.I dont know if clem still remembers but it was i believe late 99 when they ahad a gig at san fernando pampanga.They were fronting for the eheads during their natin99 tour. my bandmates and I were having drinks with them and talking ahout their unique sound.You sentiment dear blogger is the saas mine.He never sold out..and his music get so much better and better all the time.Not only the audio but even the lyrics are killers..from strike to moonlane to the emeperror..and now the story of a squirrel and a tree? Sinong gagawa noon..but he pulled it of and he pulls it off artistically.kudos sir clem..many more music to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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