Peso Movement are an Indie Rock band led by singer-guitarist Japs Sergio, the former bassist of Rivermaya. A supergroup in all but name, Peso Movement's lineup has included members from other Filipino bands like The Dawn and Soapdish.
In 2014 Peso Movement released their debut album The Gentle Sound of Chaos.
Peso Movement Album and Songlist
Peso Movement was launched by Sergio in 2011 as an alternative creative outlet for his songwrting. A compulsive recording artist with a sizable discography, Sergio's long membership with Rivermaya spanned several LPs.
A multi-instrumentalist and producer, Japs continues to work on for his other musical projects - his solo project Japsuki, and his other band Daydream Cycle which pops in and out of periods of hiatus.
Peso Movement, however, was a completely different endeavor. To complete the lineup, Sergio recruited two former members of The Dawn, Francis Reyes and Macky Macaventa. Macaventa is actually a sessionist for The Dawn and is known for his involvement with Milagros Dancehall. Kurt Floreska of Soapdish and Ruberpool filled in for drums.
According to Sergio, the true origins of Peso Movement are an unspecified date several years before their debut album was released. Visiting a music store, Sergio was torn between an expensive Moog synthesizer and a “lunchbox” guitar amp.
Buying the cheaper amp instead, Sergio was compelled to write songs on guitar, which didn't fit his synth-pop solo project Japsuki. He then used his personal network of friends and musicians to form a band, getting in touch with his lineup on the Internet.
The now completed lineup agreed with Sergio's vision for Peso Movement and the quartet were soon playing live around Metro Manila. Both Sergio and guitarist Reyes share a love for science fiction movies.
While working on their debut album, Peso Movement participated in a special project between the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and Rock Ed Philippines. Together with 10 other bands, Peso Movement was commisioned to write a song inspired by the life and legacy of national hero Andres Bonifacio. The result was “Aling Pag-ibig pa?” which became a bonus track on their forthcoming album.
In late 2013, Peso Movement performed on the third season of Tower Sessions, the episodic live band web series from Tower of Doom records.
Upon its release in mid-2014, The Gentle Sound of Chaos was received with positive reviews. A remarkable aspect of Peso Movement's debut is it was a 100% independent effort, released and promoted by the band members themselves with little distribution or logistical support from a record label. Physical copies of the album were sold via independent record stores while digital sales were available worldwide.
The band even devised their own marketing strategy with pre-orders done via Facebook along with instructions for buying their release.
This DIY process was actually shared by Sergio in a brief three-part web series for Radiorepublic.ph. In it, he showed how he arranged tracks using GarageBand. Completed songs from The Gentle Sound of Chaos were mixed and mastered by Juni Devecais, except "Aling Pag ibigi Pa?" which was mixed by Macoy Manuel of Tower of Doom Studios. In a music scene full of independent artists, the mileage their first album achieved is unprecedented, garnering a strong response from critics and revieiwers who often described Peso Movement in glowing terms.
Months later, Peso Movement released the music video for the single “Bawal Simangot,” their signature track. Sergio and Peso Movement already have plans for the follow up to their debut album.
With lyrics alternating between English and Tagalog, Sergio insists Peso Movement play a unique brand of “Dirty Rock,” a self-defined subgenre characterized by distorted guitars and idiosyncratic production values.
Sergio described Peso Movement as “Mr. Hyde to Japsuki's Dr. Jekyll.”  Guitarist Reyes also described what he appreciates in Peso Movement: “Dynamics, unpredictable shifts that sound natural and not contrived, inovative sounds.”
It's possible that Peso Movement fit their own niche while comfortably existing under the broader umbrella of Filipino Rock Music.
Francis “Brew” Reyes
Music Videos and Other Media
Official Music Videos
The Gentle Sound of Chaos
All photos sourced from: