my favorite year

31 12 2008

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2008, the year that was. My favorite, not quite. In fact, not at all. It was a year that  started off really well but went kinda downhill in terms of projects, financials etc. but there were some bright moments of course. I’m not going to do a recap or name what they were but you can guess on your own. If you follow the artists on Terno Recordings and the recently revived goings-on with Groove Nation you’ll come up with your own answers.

All i know is that the last Terno Inferno gig  at Saguijo for the year, ended with a BANG and as for DJing and the continuous push of quality House and Techno it also ended with a good  DEEP FRIED gig at Route 196 which  turned out to be  really promising.

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Cyril and i also did a gig for new promoters in town called Frequency a few days ago and it turned out ok. I’d like to think we did our job in getting the dancefloor packed without having to compromise our sound(i forgot ,we never compromise) and yes , originally, it was to be “minimal” re: the theme and sound but c’mon i don’t think the kiddies would understand and appreciate Minimal house/techno the whole night which the promoters realized after a meeting or two and an open House and Techno music policy was agreed upon. I did stumble upon a blog that said that the night was good, though not the usual “hard”(most likely prog and trance that most local kiddie “clubbers” are weaned on)  dance music they’re used to. Imagine how it would’ve been if we really went “minimal” in the strictest sense!

Thanks to Cyril who did a great job prepping and setting me up for my set which was more up than usual.  I mean, i normally like starting a set no matter what part of the night rather low and moody but this time it was extra strength tech-house 125BPM  right off the bat with the emphasis on funk as the main direction. Bulk of the set was that but i obviously got bored with it and went more house-y at the end.

the Frequency main guys followed us at 245am much to the delight of the remaining  young uns’ who wanted the  “hard” stuff. I wonder how they’ll react if we actually threw them bangin techno material from 6-8 yrs ago from  the likes of Ben Sims, Jeff Mills, Adam Beyer, Marco Carola,  etc. Would those be hard enough for them?

Just as well, it worked out well though i’m not quite sure it made sense as far as the techno awareness they originally wanted being that they played more “proggy” but good mixing on the 2 X 4 and like i said, the kids lapped it up. Congratulations to Frequency boys and thanks for having us.

Still on electronic dance music, a good friend of mine from Chicago, Robert M. arrived for the holidays with around 60 or so records, old and new, a healthy mix of techno/tech-house and deep and dubby house releases and wanted me to record a mix, which i did, squeezing in an hour or so in between Xmas last minute shopping and family obligations. The flow of the mix is not exactly that great but what can you expect with random picks and first time previews.

So goodbye 2008, and hello to 2009 which i hope will be way better despite  the projected  and predicted ugly economic aftershocks.

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I leave you with the 320 bitrate post X’Mas Mix that pretty much covers the diversity in Robert’s stash. Starts of deep and moody, even a dash of glitchy-ness and a somewhat uplifting ending ,all in its glorious outcome, mistakes and all. thanks Robert.

DOWNLOAD the 1 hour plus MIX right HERE.





dig deep down

17 12 2008

The 3rd Deep Fried post mortem.

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I must say this one by far, was such an improvement from the first two. By 11pm people were actually dancing inside Route 196. All sorts of people got down. It was dark. Sound system augmentation wasn’t as loud as i wanted it to be but we had to make do with the last minute small system replacement but it still rocked. Can’t get any more underground than this.

Could it be a geography issue? Are QC people more open and game to having a good time without hangups? Or is it slowly picking up? We shall see at the next Deep Fried night in Saguijo on Jan 17. All i know is that Route 196 management also made a lot of effort inviting people and that really helped in getting a good cross section of people on the dance floor so i thank them for that.

Much appreciation too for the regulars (you know who you are) with special mention of Swissy who effortlessly managed to get other people including strangers to loosen up and get them on the floor. Good set by Cyril, not so good set by yours truly as it was so dark i couldn’t find the records i wanted to play and spent more time worrying where the flashlight was, the flow got erratic.! A little oversight that can easily be corrected next time.

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picture: Jim P and Arthur DM on the decks and efx.

Overall, though t’was good and  people seem to have had fun and were all smiles that night. Good vibes indeed and hopefully the new faces i saw last Saturday will be at the next one January. Thanks as well to Arthur DM and Jim P for opening. Encouraging night. January 17 here we go.

photos courtesy of Cyril Y.





r.e.s.p.e.c.t

16 12 2008

Hats off to the ultimate record collector. If i had $3 Million i’d buy his collection in a heartbeat.

The records in that warehouse are worth more than what he’s asking for. They’re priceless. I can’t even imagine how he must feel having to let go of all those vinyl.

Those out there who want to throw out their old records gathering dust, i’d be more than happy to be your garbage can.





boing boom tschak

8 12 2008

KRAFTWERK Hong Kong 12/05/08

After  30+ long years, finally i’ve seen the masters live and even without the original Karl Bartos, (co-founder) Florian Schneider and Wolfgang Flur, last Friday’s Kraftwerk gig in HK was truly an experience. The present line up of Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert, Stefan Pfaffe and original member, co-founder  and vocalist Ralf Hutter performed extremely well, as expected. It’s amazing too how they showed so much charisma without uttering a single spiel in between songs.  Now, i can’t really say i’m their number one fan but i am definitely a huge fan of Kraftwerk and electronic music in general and i’m glad i can finally tick off “watch Kraftwerk” on my wishlist.

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Initially, as much as i already knew they would blow me away, i prepared myself to be a little jaded being that i pretty much know how their concert set up was from acquiring their most recent live DVD a couple of years ago, the larger than life visuals, the ultra clean sound(much like listening through an audiophile’s tube gear), the stage gear etc.  I was wrong and despite what i knew, it’s definitely different seeing and hearing Kraftwerk LIVE. My only complaint was that it wasn’t loud as i expected it to be. Kinda expected the bass to rattle people’s rib cages. It would’ve been good as the venue was packed to the gills( the size of two halls of our local World Trade combined) with young Hong Kong hipsters and music geeks, foreigners from everywhere and Germany of course plus us, the few “delegates” from the Philippines.

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I went with Mario S. and Dino A. to be joined at the gig itself  by Ean of Up dharma Down, his brother in law Chi and our very own original visual graphics guy and good friend Koro Fujiwara. Some of our other friends/djs within the Groove Nation circle couldnt make it due to schedule conflicts but i really was expecting “electronic” musicians and ahem, DJs from Manila to be there being that this is one of those once in a lifetime deals from an act that’s highly influential and deemed as one of the main progenitors of electronic music and a direct influence, especially to techno, electro and even hip hop. Before you can say,we were able to go because we had the funds to throw away, i’m sorry but that’s not the case, no, not at all. It’s something we had to work for and worked around on just to make it last weekend. It’s just simply too important to pass up. It really validates my observation that majority of the local electronic producers and superstar djs are merely in it more on the surface and have no foundation nor sense of history.

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It’s Kraftwerk for crying out loud, the very group who influenced the likes of Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Carl Craig , Richie Hawtin etc.!

Oh yeah, i forgot, in this country majority equate electronic music to Tiesto and Armin Van Buren. Talkin’bout “provincial disco”.

Totally related story HERE.





methods of dance

1 12 2008

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Deep Fried 2nd installment post mortem.

Ok. It wasn’t an improvement from the first, looking back in September, the first was way better than last night. Most people on the guest list did show up but unfortunately it doesn’t work when it’s in spurts. Some came early as suggested and some came at certain points but not in full force which leads me to assess that currently in order for this to work, spread and influence, the inner circle of friends and supporters should really make an effort to show up en masse and park on the dancefloor.

Now why is it that some of the original GN crew don’t really show up anymore? I would attribute it to age, different priorities, change of lifestyle etc much like the followers from as far back as 1995. It’s been more than 10 years ago and obviously people have changed and some have moved on.

Unlike the old days when it was new and really exciting, when you say 10pm, by the time you get there at 10pm, the place would already be half full of guys and gals with backpacks, surgical masks and dancing like hell. Of course those were the “rave” days and that’s toned down but it doesnt mean it can’t happen again in a more intimate setting which is really how it is now abroad…come to think of it… for quite some time now.

Now ,some have suggested that maybe  Saguijo isn’t really as inviting to “party” people who are into “dance music”. I think they’re MISSING the POINT of the experiment. If i wanted the party people or the “Tugs” as the rock people lovingly call them, i would’ve insisted on doing it in, say, Warehouse 135 or another club venue but as it is, most party people here in this city are either clueless of the music they’re dancing to or couldn’t care less because it’s the “party”  that they are there for and the people that that end up dancing or even tuning in to what’s being played are merely secondary, unless, they hear the anthems of course. Now that’s not to say they shouldn’t go but for the most part Deep Fried is about opening the ears and minds of people who have certain misconceptions about dance music and dancing in the local setting.

It’s also for the local minority of clued up people though i find it amusing that despite the usual complaints and rants that there are no places in the city to really go to in terms of underground dance music, something that’s already handed down to them in a silver platter, they don’t take advantage of.

Someone mentioned that another reason could be because of the Trance party last night but that has nothing to do with Deep Fried for the very fact that 1. we DO NOT play trance(never have,never will). 2. The  average ,clueless trendy kids and the party crowd that i’m referring to obviously would definitely go there while we on the other hand, are targetting the more hip and discerning ones, the adventuous kids and the main target of the experiment , the local rock crowd scenesters and movers who might just PICK UP on the CONNECTION of rock and electronic music the way most have accepted it outside.

So to insinuate that the Trance Alliance event was competition is completely off and a stab a creating intrigues. Sorry but i won’t bite into that. I’m very vocal about disliking trance but nothing personal. In fact, if you ask me, i’m glad as it should be helpful in weeding out party people who do not appreciate quality dance music and just want commercial dance anthems because that’s NOT the crowd we want .

One factor was obviously the long weekend, hence friends and people you count on in helping the cause have gone out of the city etc  along with the other reasons mentioned at the beginning of this post. Another could be that being bi-monthly, momentum’s lost but that’s about to change because of an alternating venue so it’s a monthly night from now on.

I do personally feel though that for the next ones, the core group should really support and be there. While i cannot force people to do so, some extra solid support would be much appreciated as it is such a daunting task to IMPROVE the state of things in this country, be it the arts, living standards, politics, you name it. I’m doing what i can to make it a little better and not just addressing the problems but doing something about it. Why do you think i’m called the man with the messianic complex?

There are several people who i have to THANK for their continuous, unconditional support like Jaime T. Swissy, Arthur, Ed C. and Jac V., UDD, Johnny B and wife, the staff of Saguijo and Angelo C., Mario Benipayo of Forerunner Technologies Inc. THanks as well to the people who were there last night and shook their butts like Marco, Bubu, JC, AJ,PG,Kevin and partner, Paul P and JIm P. Also to Ryan, Garovs,Marie and Sunshine who should really get over their shyness and dance by the way.

It’s just no.2 so far. It’s definitely not gonna happen overnight for sure. Some people probably feel we old fogeys should let go and pack up but i’m not one to give up that easily. See you on the 13th of December for the FIRST Deep Fried at Route 196.