The Listening Room: The Comfortable Sound Of Dream FM

Next in the TLR series is about DWET-FM 106.7 Dream FM (now Energy FM), another radio station playing… smooth jazz, of course! This station, together with 105.1 Crossover and xFM 92.3 (as a smooth jazz station after ditching the station’s electronica/house/trip-hop format sometime in 2008), are the stations I listen to back in college.


It was 2010. Yes, I’ve been listening to Crossover and xFM for a while, but I rarely listen to radio nowadays. Besides, I started discovering a lot of smooth jazz music, as well as the online podcast “Quietstorm: The MVP Collection” (now inactive).

I decided to tune-in to Dream FM and I immediately fall in love with this station. The selection of songs ranges from the usual smooth jazz favorites to samba, pop, neo soul and R&B. And I often hear some great OPM songs as well. At times, they also feature some classic songs (via The Early Years), and a mix of soul, Motown, and R&B (Soul Candy).

Some of my observations from almost a year of listening to this station:

  • Most of the songs they play on this station are generally smooth jazz and easy listening, hence it was often referred to as “Manila’s Smooth Jazz Authority” and  “Your Comfortable Choice”.
  • Like Crossover, Dream FM also airs from 5:30 AM to 2:00 AM daily.
  • The station’s signal is much clearer than the other smooth jazz stations I already featured (considering I lived near the station’s studio and transmitter complex in Novaliches, QC).
  • I was amazed that this smooth jazz station was then owned by a major commercial broadcast network, ABC-5 (now TV5). Other radio stations owned by rival broadcast networks are of Hot AC/Top 40 format (often referred to as masa stations).
  • At times, there are DJs onboard, usually during weekdays.
  • They also played a handful of OPM songs, usually Boy Katindig and APO Hiking Society. Other OPM artists include Side A, Richard Tann, True Faith, Jacqui Magno, and Chad Borja.
  • Aside from The Early Years and Soul Candy, there’s also Saturday Spin (featuring house music), Totally Fresh (featuring the latest smooth jazz songs, aired during Monday nights), Different Takes (featuring different versions of a classic song), The Rhythms Of Rio (featuring samba and bossa nova music), and Standard Sessions.
  • At the top of the hour, before the station ident, you’ll hear the familiar message: “The Family Who Prays Together, Stays Together. Please Pray The Rosary”. Yes, it is the message from the Family Rosary Crusade. The same message was also aired on ABC-5 as well, years before the switch to its current branding, TV5.
  • The station used to air a syndicated program, The Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler. It is aired on Sundays, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. Since the station’s demise, it now airs on Boracay Beach Radio 97.3 (which is now the only remaining radio station under the Dream FM Network).

The Manila station ended its broadcast in June 2011, with the last song “Till We Meet Again” by Eric Benet (if I know correctly) played on the station. It was replaced by Energy FM, a Hot AC/Top 40 station. Of course, we jazz listeners are displaced by its departure. Well, that leaves Crossover as the sole radio station playing smooth jazz… or so I thought that time.

For now, the comfortable sound of Dream FM (as well as The Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler) can be heard on Boracay Beach Radio 97.3 (formerly DYKP-FM 97.3 Dream FM Boracay). Until then, we’ll be waiting for its return (hopefully) on the Manila airwaves…

##########

Here are some of the songs I heard on this station:

  • Al Jarreau – Distracted
  • Tom Grant – The Dog Park
  • Akira Jimbo – Our Sweet Melody
  • David Benoit – Stages
  • Mishka Adams – Where Do We Begin
  • Lee Ritenour – Bahia Funk
  • Hiroshima – Thousand Cranes
  • Kem – Golden Days
  • Boy Katindig – What I Feel
  • Basia & Matt Bianco – Ordinary Day
  • Pizzicato Five – Sweet Soul Revue (yes, I did hear this song on that station)
  • The Sax Pack – Fallin’ For You
  • Espirito – Canto De Orfeo
  • Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgettin’
  • Robin Thicke – It Starts With A Kiss
  • Matt Bianco – Hi-Fi Bossa Nova
  • Lisa Nilsson – Vad Du Ser Ar Vad Du Far (a Swedish pop song)
  • Sade – Soldier Of Love
  • Swing Out Sister – Breakout
  • David Benoit – You Never Love Me The Same Way Twice
  • Fourplay – I’ll Still Be Lovin’ You
  • The Jones Girls – The World Will Sing Our Song
  • El DeBarge – How Can You Love Me
  • Eric Benet – Feel Good
  • Angie Stone – No More Rain
  • Lee Ritenour feat. Djavan – Asa
  • Joe – Can’t Get Over You
  • Deodato feat. Al Jarreau – Double Face
  • Sergio Mendes – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing
  • Steely Dan – Deacon Blues
  • Torcuato Mariano – I Can’t Help It
  • Chad Borja – Let My Love Inside
  • Aquarela – Boracay
  • Stevie Wonder – Golden Lady
  • Madonna – Cherish
  • Kazu Matsui Project feat. Robben Ford – Standing On The Outside
  • Jeff Lorber Fusion – Pixel
Advertisements