29 December 2021

Imagine the late, legendary American poet/writer Sylvia Plath fronting a noise-exploring band, creating a striking combination of spoken-word poetry and metallic soundscapes. That’s what THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA accomplish with their sonic art. The way they embed their acute and outspoken views on political and social issues in sound and vision is pretty special.

No wonder the duo’s – Daphne Ang and Andrea Papi – LP called
FULL SPECTRUM, is Turn Up The Volume‘s the debut album of 2021.

Want to learn more about this DIY tandem? Check out this interview. As usual,
we start a Q & A with music. Here comes one of their two singles ‘Count The Dead‘…

Your stunning debut album FULL SPECTRUM came out last February.
What was the experience like, then and now, of having made a first longplayer

“Thank you! It seems so long ago that we wrote and recorded the songs in Full Spectrum.
It has truly been a journey to remember. It was tough of course, being independent artists, we only have each other to count on to get the job done.

Whatever you hear, read, see, or watch, has been made entirely by the both of us, everything from designing graphics and cover artwork, making our own videos, copywriting, of course, the music and lyrics.

Of course, there have been ups and downs in this journey, but at least we didn’t
have to do it alone. Also very happy to have made so many friends along the way.”

Already working on a follow-up?

“Yes, in fact we started working on the songs in our second album, Trust No Leaders, about a month after we released Full Spectrum. We wrote and recorded the album between April and August this year. It is now mixed and mastered and due for release sometime in 2022.

It’s definitely much heavier, and darker than our first album, both musically and lyrically. Our first album was about the metaphysical and the existential. But the new album looks inwards into the human condition, often going into dark places.

The current crisis and the events of our time have made it necessary for us to analyse, investigate, and expose the issues in urgent need of systemic change and look inwards into the human condition. But despite its dark tone, overall it pushes for making a future that prioritises people and the environment. It is about the awakening of the collective human spirit. It is about what it means to be human.

They are similar in the way that the lyrics are both influenced by theatre and literature,
the first album drew from Ancient Greek theatre to Shakespearean drama, and the new
album tends to be more precise and structured, as it draws elements from Carl Jung’s works, Classical Persian poetry, Gnostic texts, theology, and modern theatre.”

You released also two new singles after the LP. What’s COUNT THE DEAD about?

Count the Dead actually continues the themes addressed in Love in the Time of Pestilence, and is the second installment of songs which address the ongoing pandemic.

We composed this song as a protest against world leaders, whose negligence and recklessness have resulted in one of the largest avoidable losses of lives in generations.

We wanted to draw attention to the social and economic injustices that plague society, and the violent health inequalities that have been further exacerbated by the global pandemic, which has now claimed more than 5 million lives worldwide.

At a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever before,
discourse has never been more important, and urgent.”

The video for the other single THE PROPHET is very impressive.
What’s the process of the construction of the clip like?

Andrea: “We usually have a clear script before the music composition.
Samara is the best to make it real in visual form.”

Daphne: “Thank you! I think it’s our best video so far. Andrea and I will first discuss the storyline and the scenes we want to present in the video. I then go away and construct them scene by scene to go with the music and lyrics. This usually involves several layers per scene. With every new video we make, I learn new techniques and tricks. But all you really need is imagination, patience…and several Adobe photo and video editing software programs!”

Your spoken word performances are a fundamental part of the whole TCOMAS sound, Daphne. Any intention to sing on a track(s) in the future?

Daphne: “There’s going to be surprises in the new album but I can’t say it right now. But definitely no plans to abandon this. It’s our form of expression. I feel that it allows for the use of phrases, metaphors and imagery in a way that standard lyrical songwriting does not.

It is powerful, cathartic, and moving, and when combined within music, has the power to connect with the personal and collective unconscious on a really deeper level and singing would.”

What are the consequences of BREXIT for musicians?

“BREXIT and COVID killed and destroyed the economy
in the UK and guess who’s gonna pay for it?”

Any future plans to play live?

“Yes, of course, we are dying to. We would really love to, but unfortunately, this pandemic has made us seriously consider the implications of what it will be to go back ‘to normal’ when obviously the time is still not ripe and until we can ensure the safety of all our fans, and everyone in attendance, we will have to hold it off until better days come for all of us.”

Which movie would you pick to visualize the TCOMAS sound?

Andrea: “It’s difficult to pinpoint as each song sounds like a movie on its own. But let’s try, shall we? For Full Spectrum, I would say From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by Quentin Tarantino as well Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) directed by Terry Gilliamould.

For the new album, Trust No Leaders, probably somewhere along the lines of Apocalypto (2006) meets American History X (1998) with a touch of Once Upon a Time in America (1984), with Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock as the director.”

Daphne: “Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), and Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain (2006). Film and the moving image play a big role in our music, not just in influencing the videos we make but also in the writing process as well. Being visual artists as well, image and sound always go hand in hand for us.”

Suppose you were asked to rewrite and put new music to the British Royal Anthem ‘God Save The Queen’. No restrictions whatsoever. What would be the outcome, in sound and vision?

“The Sex Pistols have already done it! We’d stick with their version, because it is epic and irreplaceable. Especially this event where they played God Save The Queen (‘we mean it man’) on The River Thames in London in 1977 on the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth IIbeneath
the bridges of London
‘…before they were stopped by the police.”

The best track you heard all year?

‘Us Against December Skies‘ by Harakiri for the Sky

THE Event – good or bad – of 2021?

The Good:

Andrea:”The good one is that we are still here rocking more than ever before!”

Daphne: “We are really proud that we released our debut album and also
managed to write and record our second album in one year…and also start
a side project business:TCOMAS Studio.”

The Bad:

Andrea: “The worst thing happened in 2021: The Holy See now cannot be sued for cases
of sexual abuse committed by priests of various countries — as decided by the European Court of Human Rights.”

Daphne: “Delta and Omicron.”

Are you fans of traditional Xmas carols? If so, which one is your favorite?

“No, not at all, sorry! But we love to share our culinary traditions with each other, so we will whip up a Christmas feast and probably play some non-Xmas Jazz. Okay, okay, if we were to choose, it would have to be sung by Frank Sinatra, and only Frank Sinatra.”

Suppose you were asked to a DJ set on 31st December.
Name 3 songs you would certainly play?

“The new year is always a time to reflect upon history through great music.

For that, can we get 4 each, please? Our playlist will be the following songs, in this order.

House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals (1964)

Blowin’ In The Wind by Bob Dylan

Volare by Domenico Modugno (1958)

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron (1971)

You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen (2016)

Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt (2002) by Trent Reznor (1995)

Lazarus by David Bowie (2015/2016)

Disturbed’s 2015 cover of Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel (1964)

Three things you really love to happen
in 2022 for Samara and Manimal

“We’d really like to go on a holiday!

A successful album launch

A Covid-free world (might be wishful thinking).”

Thank you for this interview, Daphne and Andrea.
May the road rise with The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara in 2022!

Back to the music.
Stream FULL SPECTRUM here…

TCOMAS: Facebook

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN – Turn Up The Volume’s 7 Best Albums First Trimester 2021

The 7 best albums Turn Up The Volume had on repeat the first 3 months of 2021.


Released: 26th February – debut LP

TUTV said: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation. A new laser light at the end of
a mythical tunnel where anything can happen. Imagine Sylvia Plath fronting a theatrical and mind-challenging psychedelic noise band. Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Compelling poetry exploring life, death, birth, past, present, and future embedded
in a titanic thunder and lighting symphony going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient. The final result is at times jaw-dropping, at times weirdly confusing, at times dumbfounding
but always flabbergasting and fascinating. When surreality becomes reality you know something is about to happen.

Key single: Psychopath’s Monologue…

Stream album here…

‘SURVIVORS’ by ONISM E (San Antonio / NYC)

Released: 19th February

TUTV wrote: Gusto, high-spiritedness and anxiety are the keywords here.
This warm-blooded record is a heart-rending reflection of the group’s state of
2021 mind. A galvanizing collection of cohesive poignant emo songs influenced by
the disturbing way our troubled world is handling human issues, once-in-a-lifetime
dramas, and the personal turmoil of frontwoman Chavez. Her soul-stirring and
powerful (Aretha Franklin / young Tina Turner) voice, weeping guitars, and the
electrical intensity are at times overwhelming and heartbreaking. Impressive!

Key track: Stay

Stream/buy album here…


Released: 12 March 2021 – second LP

TUTV wrote: “The essential message of this new powerhouse album is loud and clear:
noise-challenging turbo Pink Room is here to stay! Their tsunami energy is beyond any
decibel regulation. Again, loudmouth Bart Cocquyt leads the rip-roaring troops. As I said
before his vocal range is out-of-this-world. He easily could front a death metal band (Stay Black/Stay White) or a Nirvana reunion (Losing/Skin) or kick Ozzy Osbourne‘s ass (Hail Satan). Expect ear-shattering jackhammers, over-the-top frenzy, and an overall sonic lockdown paranoia.”

Key single: Losing

Stream album here…

‘IS 4 LOVERS’ by DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 (Canada)

Released: 26 March 2021 – 4th LP

TUTV wrote: “The masters of drone rock are back, and they’re getting better over the years. Gigantic fuzz and buzz jackhammers but also some softer – yes, since they became fathers they let their heart & soul speak/play more – stuff. This stunning work will end up on many end-of-the-year lists.”

Key single: One + One

Stream album here…

‘i became birds’ by home is where (florida, us)

Released: 5 March 2021

tutv wrote: “i’m damn sure this incredible punch-powered-punk-passion turbo was here before, about 40 years ago, inspiring bored kids like black flag , shellac, melvins, jello biafra, and other anarchist snotnoses, to leave home, steal guitars and drums in order to have some wild fun while scaring bad people with their deafening racket that’ll teach those old-fashioned adults watching all day long. so here they are back again, inspiring young social media junkies to steal guitars and drums instead of watching their phones all day long. home is where it all starts when you have no money to rent a smelly rehearsal room to rock your heads off. so you move into your own smelly basement and scream your poor lungs to pieces. listen up all you lost teenagers out there, play i became birds over and over again ’cause these hungry florida misfits can and will save your lives.”

Key track: sewn together from the membrane of the great sea cucumber

Stream/buy here…


Released: 25 February

TUTV wrote: “A mix of the romantic crooner and the haunting crooner. Growing with every spin. Compelling orchestrations, classical arrangements, with Ellis showing his musical skills once more. Can’t remember when Cave made an average album. Did he, actually? Okay, Carnage once again on my headphones.”

Key track: White Elephant

Stream album here…


Released: 15 January

TUTV wrote: “The rap and roll venom of Rage Against The Machine, the fuck-you-hypocrites grimness of Black Flag, the punky saxophone of X-Ray-Spex, the sharp poetic spit and sneer anarchy of Mark. E. Smith, the challenging spirit of an open-minded-plainspoken-asskicking-anti-establishement-and-other-scumbags force of doom and gloom. Sounds exactly like 2020/2021, like the end of the world as we know it, but also like an album that’s going
to be on my earphones for a long time.”

Title track: We… Are Doomed

Stream album here…



3 March 2021

Last week the debut longplayer FULL SPECTRUM
(finally) arrived. One of the best albums of 2021. Fact!

Turn Up The Volume wrote: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation. A new laser
light at the end of a mythical tunnel where anything can happen. Imagine Sylvia Plath fronting
a theatrical and mind-challenging psychedelic noise band. Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Compelling poetry exploring life, death, birth, past, present, and future embedded in a titanic thunder and lighting symphony going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient. The final result is at times jaw-dropping, at times weirdly confusing, at times dumbfounding but always flabbergasting and fascinating. When surreality becomes reality you know something is about to happen.

Today TUTV wants to add: “These two artists care intensely
about everything they do and create everything – lyrics, music,
artwork, video clips, promo – with heartfelt love and passion,
and an awe-inspiring level of quality. Amazing!”

We are pretty excited that the authors of this
remarkable record, Daphne & Andrea, will
guide us through the journey track by track.



Hello Daphne,
Hello Andrea,


Andrea: With Atoms I wanted to compress about 4.5 billion years into a 5 minute long track. This track represents to us the circle of life from the different eras. The music and the lyrics really scan the timeline from creation to evolution, till death, and on and on.

Daphne: I wanted to bring out Andrea’s vision for the music – which was to tell the
story of the creation of the universe. I wanted it to be a more balanced story of creation, so I decided to combine my own writing with extracts from the sacred texts of both the Eastern and Western religions. So I chose and adapted from texts the Vedas and Buddhust scriptures and contrasted this with Gnostic and Hermetic texts, and the story of Genesis as told by Dante.

The clip


Andrea: “I was at this techno rave party and I thought,
a fucking metal riff would be great with this kick!”

Daphne: I had been bombarding Andrea with really dark, hard, and heavy industrial techno tracks for a while…And then he came up with this track which completely blew
me away as it combined two of my music loves – [hard and dark] metal and techno.

This was actually the first recording we did together. It was totally impromptu, at least
for me. I remember Andrea sat me in front of the mic and pressed the record button,
and I froze. The magic happened when Andrea suggested that I should use some of my
old poems, so I pulled out an old manuscript with some of my old poems. My first instinct was to recite it – like a theatrical monologue, not to sing it. When I read the verses out
loud over the music, it fit so snugly within the music at the first take.

The lyrics are based on 7 sonnet poems that I wrote over a ten-year period. I kept a collection of poems in a notebook which I called the “Psychopath’s Monologue” – hence
the title of the song.

The clip


Daphne: We wanted to do something related to Greek Tragedy for this song. We decided
to base the song on the greatest tragedy of them all – Oedipus Rex, which was written by Sophocles and performed in Ancient Athens over two thousand years ago. I wanted the lyrics to be written and performed as it would have been in Ancient Greece, but also to keep the language accessible to a contemporary listener. So I had to do a lot of research on the structure of Greek lyrical poetry for this song.

Andrea: I wanted to add an extra nightmare on this one playing the Tar guitar with a Persian flavour because at the “premiere” of Sophocles play Oediupus Rex, which was performed in a theatre in Athens around 429 BC, the Greeks were facing an imminent attack from the Persian Empire.

The clip


Andrea: The first concept behind Mata Hari was: How I will see the world in 2080?
Fucking worse than it is now! So…what could we do to reverse this trend? I thought we should reverse our lifestyle first. So I’ve made some changes and reversed some sounds.

Daphne: Mata Hari’ was probably one of the two songs which was purely grounded in emotion and feelings. The song is actually based on one of my paintings titled, “Feelings ] – which we used as the cover artwork of the single.

In both the song and the artwork, I wanted to capture the intensity of the feelings and emotions that arise from love’s encounter – much like what ‘Mata Hari’ means in Malay – “the sun” or literally, ‘eye of the day” or “day star”.

The clip


Andrea: As a surfer, I’ve always had a silent but deep connection with mother nature, especially with the oceans and seas so this track has the tempo of nature. Sometimes nature takes 6 minutes to completely change the environment around you.

Daphne: The lyrics are actually based on a poem I wrote in 2004 right after the ‘Boxing
Day Tsunami
’ and earthquake which claimed 225,000 lives across Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives and Thailand. When it happened, it struck very close to where I was, so the sense of danger was very real to me. The last line of the lyrics “climbing trees to have a glimpse of the world, crumbling nevertheless”, I wrote after watching the news which showed footage of stranded survivors perched on treetops over flooded areas in the aftermath of the Tsunami. It is uncanny that something I had written years ago fit perfectly with the music and message of a song that Andrea wrote years later – this is synchronicity perhaps.

The clip


Andrea: We were watching the Game of Thrones series for
the fourth or fifth time, so this came out really organically.

Daphne: This was pretty much me acting out something from The Blackadder!
It was probably the easiest to record as it came very naturally to me.

It worked perfectly as an interlude for the album [much like in the old days of theatre], providing some comic relief before the album descended into the valley of the shadow
of death with the next song, “Love in The Time of Pestilence”.


Andrea: Definitely the most trickiest song for the album because I wanted the amplitude waveform view of this track to visualise the evolution and progression of the pandemic over the course of 2020. This song became our tribute and homage to all the healthcare professionals around the world, who have risked their lives to save the lives of others.

Daphne: This was definitely the most challenging song for me as well. We wanted “Love in the Time of Pestilence‘ to be a collective message, not just ours, so I decided to combine my own writings with some quotes that would document mankind’s experience of pandemics, plagues, and disease over the course of history. The lyrics include Latin proverbs and quotes from historical figures such as Aeschylus, Benjamin Franklin, and George Orwell.

This is to remind humanity that if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. I wanted the chorus of the song to be a warped version of Bob Marley’s anthem, “One Love”. But instead of “One Love, One Heart. Let’s get together and feel all right.”, ours would be, “One World. One People. One Disease. It’s in the air for you and me.” I guess the songs are similar in the sense that they are both a plea to mankind.

The cover artwork is based on one of my paintings titled, ‘Il Medico Della Peste’ or ‘The Plague Doctor’. [ ] It was originally meant to be an abstract painting but Andrea saw the figure of the ‘Medico della Peste’ – a beaked Venetian carnival mask representing the physicians who treated victims of the bubonic plague. I continued the painting to emphasise the figure more. So it was definitely a befitting cover artwork for the song.

The clip

8. TCOMAS S01 E01

Andrea: Samara bought me a keyboard for my birthday. She played it on the same day and this song was born. Without Samara’s gift, this album would definitely have sounded very different.

Daphne: Tcomas S01 E01 is a storytelling song which is based on our manga comic series, “The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara“. We developed the script and characters together, and I painted the comic book cover and made illustrations of Manimal and Samara – which we then used for the cover of our debut single “Atoms”. The story is about a schoolgirl who runs away into the jungle to escape from society and the modern world. “All grown up, but alone in the wilderness, she discovers someone who would change the course of her life forever…”

One day, I was editing the script and listening to the recording we made with me playing the piano at the same time. I started reading the script out loud and realised that it fit perfectly within the music!


Andrea: This is the only instrumental track in the album. A reminder that all technology is based on primitive needs. I wanted to evoke the experience of the unpredictability of life, our paths in life twisting and turning with every choice we make.


Daphne: We wanted this song to visualise the end of the world caused by human destruction, leaving mankind on a planet that is no longer able to sustain us. We wanted this so to bring attention to the damage human actions have brought onto to nature and our planet’s environment. But I didn’t want it to be your typical environmental activist song – so I wrote the lyrics to tell this message through a tragic love story of two lovers who bid farewell to each other on the last day on earth.

Andrea: This song has been inspired by a recent study by IPBES [Intergovernmental
Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
] which concluded that,

“Human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before.”
[ ] The message of the
song is that we all have to do our part as citizens of earth.

Also, did we mention that TCOMAS also paints together as ELKYMY?
[ ] We made sculptural 3D paintings inspired by
forms and flows in nature. We used a series of our paintings – also entitled
‘At The Worlds End’, as the cover artwork and title of this song.
[ ].

The clip


Daphne: I had finally finished writing the lyrics for ‘Love in the Time of Pestilence’. I had been putting this off for a long time as it was the most challenging for me. It was the last song we had to record to make our album complete. So it was a huge achievement and relief when this was done. Waving a freshly printed copy of the lyrics, I announced the great news to Andrea. He was so amused, we recorded it immediately.

Thank you very much, Daphne and Andrea, for guiding
us through Full Spectrum track by track…



26 February 2021

Who: London-based duo comprising Daphne Ang (Singapore) and Andrea Papi (Italy). Drawing inspiration from TOOL and Kraftwerk, as well as the poetry of Sylvia Plath,
Virginia Wool
f, and Jim Morrison, TCOMAS fills a gap in music by bringing literature,
art, and history together into a space where rock and metal meet electronic.

Album: FULL SPECTRUM – debut LP
Released: 26 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation. A new laser
light at the end of a mythical tunnel where anything can happen. Imagine Sylvia Plath fronting a theatrical and mind-challenging psychedelic noise band. Their debut album
is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Compelling poetry exploring life, death, birth, past, present, and future embedded in a titanic thunder and lighting symphony going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient. The final result is at times jaw-dropping, at times weirdly confusing, at times dumbfounding but always flabbergasting and fascinating. When surreality becomes reality you know something is about to happen.

Keep your eyes peeled. Next week Ag and Papi will tell you
the story behind each and every sonic trip on the album.

But here and now comes what Turn Up The Volume
is waiting for a long time: FULL SPECTRUM


Available via iTunes and Amazon


New longplayers in 2021…

26 December 2020

Who: London-based duo comprising Daphne Ang (Singapore) and Andrea Papi (Italy). They’re pioneers of a new form of expression through the performance of poetry in their genre-defying music. Drawing inspiration from TOOL and Kraftwerk, as well as the poetry
of Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, and Jim Morrison, TCOMAS continues to fill a gap in music by bringing literature, art, and history together into a space where rock and metal meets electronica

Spotify said: “The most innovative and forward thinking metal of today”.
TUTV calls it poetallica from now on.


Expect: One of the best albums of 2021. I know, it’s very early, but I repeat with conviction… FULL SPECTRUM will be one of the best albums of 2021 where poetry and metallic turbulence come together as one. Encounters of the third kind. Why do I know? Because 6 of the 11 tracks were released the past 12 months as singles and are already worth an album on its own. And I had the privilege to hear the other four gangbuster trips. So there you go. And TCOMAS deserve also five-stars for their videos and artwork. Ang and Papi care about their art.

Three of the sterling 2020 singles