underground resistance

20 01 2009

DEEP FRIED 4 post-mortem.

the-menu B & W photos courtesy of Ian Magbanua

The 4th overall. The 3rd at Saguijo. Definitely an improvement from the first 2 Saguijo gigs and even better than the last one at Route 196, so i guess i can say that the experiment is proving to be on the right track. As more and more people get to experience the music and the vibe, they enjoy themselves and come back for more. They also bring friends and that definitely speeds things up.

Come to think of it, i shouldn’t really be so concerned. After all ,it has only been the fourth Deep Fried night and it’s improved immensely. More people and to be more specific, more people DANCING and taking in the music.

early bird

early birds

From observation, the  eye opener to last Saturday’s Deep Fried is that until the time that more people discover or hear about it through the grapevine and the space gets jampacked, we really have to contend with people still having to go out and staying outside to chit chat. Don’t get me wrong, they do and did go back to the floor at intervals and throughout my set and Cyril’s(smokin’ hot set btw)  but it just baffles me why other people go to a “Dance” night but don’t dance and will just talk. As much as i know that not everyone who goes to such things are hardcore dancing types nor ravers, i think it’s already spelled out that it’s an activity that pertains to dancing or even just nodding your head to modern electronic dance music…INSIDE.

f*ck art let's dance

f*ck art let's dance

I appreciate the gesture of support by showing up but in all honesty i’d much rather not have this because i don’t want you to waste your time. What’s needed right now is support in terms of really being INSIDE the venue…even if you don’t dance. We Pinoys have this thing about needing to see the place wall to wall with people and leave when there’s elbow room. So next time, for those people who are to shy to dance or have no plans of dancing but go for whatever reason, do stay inside then  so at least the  “walk ins” or curious people would probably end up staying themselves and you people contribute to making the night a success. It’s about dancing and electronic dance music folks , not a class reunion nor is it an afternoon barbeque.

cyril

cyril

Obviously, everyone needs to take a breather every now and then but you know what i’m talking about. Maybe it’s just me but when i used to go to the raves or went clubbing, we sure stayed inside and danced or at the very least watched people during downtime but not pay$20-$30 bucks to talk outside. Why am i even surprised?  Here, being on the guestlist and a P150 peso door charge aren’t much to think about. Nothing to lose. But really, why waste your time? Might as well just stay in or go to a Starbucks and talk the night away.  It’s not an afternoon tea party nor a convention. You don’t go to the cinema to watch a movie and just stay outside most of the time to talk, do you?

caliph

caliph

p1030795

pasta groove

Every Deep Fried night, we set the gear up early on then I would dance to the guest djs and dj myself for 2-3 hours then dance again to the next dj, not just because i’m diggin’ the music and they’re making me dance but also to show real SUPPORT so when i’m given excuses by people that they’re tired or don’t really feel well, it’s hard for me to fathom because at my age and physical state, i should be the one saying those things.  Bottom line is, i’m more offended that one would go just for the sake of going or because they felt obliged.  I’m just doing my part to share the experience and provide options but i certainly wouldn’t want to twist people’s arms about it.  I want people to go check it out , have a good time dancing and embracing the music that we’re pushing but i don’t want people to go if they’re just forced to for some reason.

bea

bea

colored pics courtesy of Cyril

I know i sound pissed when i should be happy with the turnout and outcome of the night but it’s just a glaring observation. Overall, I truly am SATISFIED with the way things are working out as far as the experiment going in the right direction, the  way i envisioned it to be as far as creating a new following from the ground up. It’s a struggle but seems to be well on its way to paying off and last Saturday was very good! Pasta Groove and Caliph8 provided a good starting point for the night. I had a good time, playing a more housey set at the start, Cyril got Derrick Carter-ish and the people dancing inside provided the right vibe and energy. It’s been awhile since i last dropped Giorgio Moroder’s The Chase followed by Donna Summer’s “I feel Love” into Derrick May’s “Strings of Life”(which seemed to have gotten the best response yet with people clapping and shouting) and it was quite rewarding.

caliph

caliph

We wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of friends, you know who you are, but more specifically the regular punters like Swissy, Jaime,Dara, Arthur, Ed and his friends etc whom we get our strength and energy from. Big thanks  to Pasta Groove and Caliph 8 for the great funky sets and for groovin’ to our (Cyril and I) beats… thanks as well as everyone else like Doy S., JC, Bea, Erin, Kevin G., Mark L, Sherwin, Mica, Mayee and Co. Ean,  Mario C and Trisha, Abe & Co. Ian M(thanks for the pics) for movin’on the floor.  Also to Angelo and the great staff of Saguijo.

Special thanks to Mario Benipayo of Forerunner Technologies for the RCF sub,full range, strobe and fog machine. Yes, it’s deliberately minimal and dark just like the way we want it.  Should any of you be inspired to be a DJ, producer or a promoter, Mario and Forerunner Technologies, distributor of many fine brands like KRK, Numark, Ableton, Protools etc  will hook you up with just about everything. Contact num: (632) 928 2821

See you on Feb 7 for the next Deep Fried at Route 196!

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open up your mind and let me in

15 10 2008

While the majority of the youth and Filipinos in general are continuously getting derailed in terms of electronic dance music, there is still hope for some of the young uns who refuse to conform, who think and decide for themselves and are open to new sounds, new ideas, new experiences.

I post here a blog entry i stumbled upon from a young, bright lass named Jaja who went to the first DEEP FRIED night last Sept.6. and while she mistook everything played the whole night as all techno ,(actually, it was a combo of deep and tech house and techno), she’s excused. Not bad for a newbie and better than mistaking it for Trance! Kidding…

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First Techno, First Balut    Sep 7, ’08 6:18 AM

I went to Saguijo for the first time last night and was introduced to TECHNO (although it became more house-y towards the latter part of the night, er, dawn) at Deep Fried by Groove Nation with Mr. Toti Dalmacion on the decks. It’s definitely not your like your garden-grade exclusive though. That’s for sure.

the place
reminded me of a much cleaner version of xaymaca. hehehe.
lots of posters and murals. baul saguijo -where i bought silver and gold wire bangles (a steal!) was upstairs. small but efficient and well-stocked bar. wood floors. definitely homey. only one bathroom but very clean. and they never ran out of toilet paper! the flush was working. no liquid soap but the water pressure was strong. the walls were a different much more pleasant version of your public washroom vandal. my personal favorite scribble was “god is coming. look busy.” 🙂

the outfits
I haven’t been out to a party party in the longest time and i’ve never been to saguijo, so i wasn’t sure about what i was supposed to wear. i shouldn’t have worried – at all. i could’ve been wearing a baby blue shirt, tiny tiny green pekpek shorts, fuschia tights and sneakers and nobody would’ve even noticed or cared. and yes, someone was actually wearing that – complete with a tiny white shoulder-purse and hair ponytailed  in a matching pink scrunchie. there were people wearing flipflops, stilettos, ruffles, tank tops, leather belts, good ol’ t-shirts, blouses, onepiece safari-type  shorts ensemble, skin-tight jeans, square-legged bottoms, jerseys, dresses, skirts, jackets, scarves, boleros, sweaters, chucks, boots – all heights, too.

I loved it.

the people
all ages and sizes were there. mixed breeds too. drinking water, redhorse, pale pilsen, smlight, cocktails. i was personally enjoying my favorite malibu rhum and coke.

the dancing
i’ve never seen anything like it. people weren’t dancing with each other at all. everyone was facing the dj, doing their own moves. and by own moves, i mean their Own Moves. rocking side to side. rocking front to back, back to front. stomping. clapping. hopping (for lack of a better verb). crazy footwork. swaying. jumping. hands up in the air. hands down by their sides. hands everywhere. no gyrating bodies humping each other like agogo dancers. there was no one common dance step that the entire room would do at a particular part of a song.

It was new. I Liked it.

the music
came from a turntable, a mac book and other contraptions i’m not familiar with. i’m not sure if toti uses discs but i did see vinyl being pulled out and placed back in their case on almost regular intervals. very little lyrics. mostly beats and other stuff i can’t really explain.
let me just say that now, i truly understand the power of a dj – how s/he can make an entire room move. He alone controlled the pace and brought us to different levels -up and manic, steadily rising, steadily falling, slowing, calm, then rise again.
astig.
the music was something that would move your feet and pulse through your groin even if you’re sitting at one corner of the room people-watching.
astig talaga.

it was very much different from the dance music i was used to. i still think nothing beats dancing with someone else – may it be one person or two or ten, and singing along to a song you just love. but last night’s environment was a new and refreshing and welcome change.

would i go back? oh yeah. and maybe bring some girlfriends along so i have pretty lady friends to dance and share the experience with.

are you game? 🙂

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p.s.  i ate balut for the first time last night too.
i think the yuckiness hype it’s been given is overrated. it’s not that bad at all.
and hella Delish!

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Now this is the kind of attitude we’re looking for. Bravo and kudos to you Jaja. May there be more of you to balance the future of this country!





dance with me

7 10 2008

…or just by yourself or with other people. Whatever. The point is to take it all in and celebrate life through music and dancing. This is an advance warning for the second installment of Deep Fried on November 29. I know ya’ll do the right thing. Be there early. Saguijo neighbors complain around 2-3am so make the most of it that by 10pm you should be on the floor warming up and preparing yourself to surrender to the gorgeous grooves and relentless beats.

Help build this new community of discerning electronic fans and dance aficionados together from the ground up just like how it was built back then. Be a part of the quality,underground dance set. See ya on November 29!

your soon to be monthly electronic fix

your soon to be monthly electronic fix





and the results of the experiment…

8 09 2008

Ok. As for last Saturday… it was both good and bad.

Good because it was actually a fun night and i had a great time spinning. The vibe was good from the people who went and from friends who gave their support. It didn’t have the numbers but sometimes it does not have to be packed to the gills for it to have a great vibe.

Bad because it clearly shows how narrow or close minded most “rock” people are about dancing and for the most part listening to electronic dance music.  Just as expected, the local rock majority still has problems with it. How did i come up with this conclusion? Simple. The venue is a known place for bands and the radio plugs, even though bombarded by NU107 just reached local rock’s ears and despite Deep Fried the radio show airing every Wednesday, it really just started so still, the general rock audience definitely stayed clear last Saturday. Maybe it’s too simplistic an analysis but i think it’s accurate. Now, we’re not forcing it down your throats, it’s just an observation that’s quite an eye-opener, at least for me. It’s the opposite of what i experienced abroad where people from all sorts of background and music tastes actually do get down together in underground clubs and raves. Here, there’s obviously a division. The rock people go to rock events and gigs, the hip hop people go to hip hop parties and the “Tugs” go to the commercial clubs, raves and to gigs like Deep Fried last Saturday.  Yes, i know there are tribes but they do crossover abroad. Not here for the most part.  A bit sad but well, with the radio show, some will probably warm up to it and appreciate something new to their ears and eventually go to the next one. I’m counting on the rock community to be the ones to embrace it and make a real underground scene different from the average “party person” or the “Tugs” as they call them. Yeah, I’m still optimistic.

But No, we’re not going to change the venue as that’s precisely the point why Angelo (Saguijo) and us (Groove Nation) chose to do this. To get people who don’t normally go to clubs in the metro to enjoy electronic dance music and dance in a non official club environment wherein you don’t have to be dressed to the nines or rub elbows with social climbers. It’s purely for the music, the vibe and dancing in an intimate, small setting.

What makes it underground? Well, first and foremost, the music. It’s what sets it apart from the clubs who claim they play underground dance music. I don’t think i have to justify that. Those who go to Consortium or any of the parties before or just last Saturday can attest to it. No anthems, no trance, no proghouse, no cutesy stuff (Sorry but we’re purists). Just quality underground house and techno,the way we dish it out. Secondly, the atmosphere and feel of the place. Lastly,the type of people who did check it out last Saturday.

If there’s another thing good about this Deep Fried experiment is that last Saturday, we more or less got a sample of people who are really into it and they will be essential in influencing their friends that for November, the number doubles and so forth and so on. Congratulations and hats off to these people who can say they were there from the  very start.  Much appreciation also given to those who normally don’t dance but let their hair down last Saturday and participated in this electronic revolution. Same goes to the loyal GN followers, friends and some Terno bands like Up Dharma Down, Swissy, who gave support and participated in  the experiment.

We’re already bringing it to you people. Giving you an option from what’s the usual in this city. It’s up to you now to open your minds,ears and embrace it.

Next one’s November 29. You have more than a month to overcome your inhibitions and really, just have FUN and DANCE but with really GOOD dance music.

SPECIAL THANKS to Mario Benipayo of Forerunner Technologies for the RCF ART-325A and the new Cerwin Vega CVA-21 subs last Saturday. Thanks also to Audio Technica for our amazing ATH-M50 headphones.

Pics courtesy of Chico Limjap.





Deep Fried

5 09 2008

Tomorrow Saturday, we launch Deep Fried, the only dance night at Saguijo. Perfect size for a more intimate, underground feel. It’s an experiment, a bold one if i may say so. As everyone knows, Saguijo is a venue mostly for bands, all sorts of bands, the past 4 years or so. I really don’t know what to expect but I’m hoping it’ll be good enough as far as response and participation.

I still think that the average fan of rock music here in Manila has certain perceptions and misconceptions about modern electronic dance music and that age old mentality that it’s taboo to dance or listen to other non-rock music, all the more dance music. In a way, i don’t blame them because they’re only, mostly exposed to the crap kind of dance music they hear in variety shows, in between band set up during gigs etc. Either that or some really overplayed, commercial dance drivel or worse, Trance.

I guess, what i would want is for people to open their minds and go beyond the four on the floor or the “tugs tugs” (If you just listen to the 4/4 kick, it could be anything from Disco to Gabba so it’s a generalization being made by those who use “tugs” ) as most local rock people refer to it . In fact, they do to a degree without them realizing it. If it’s something that’s closer to rock like electroclash, locally referred to as, uhm, dance punk then it’s OK but ironically, when it’s real House music and Techno, be it Deep, Minimal,Tech, Chicago, Garage, they close their minds to it. Also, i have to point out that nowadays, just about every bar, radio station (with mix shows) and DJ whether fake,amateur,club,professional,superstar claim to play HOUSE music. Sure. Ok, I’ll give them that even though some used to proclaim “trance is the way” but now all espouse House this, House that but really, 90%  just play the anthems, hits and what’s on every Hed Kandi compilation.

Well, actually, most people can’t tell the difference and that’s precisely my point, If they would only listen and not just focus on the 4/4 beat they would. Slowly but in time it’ll be more apparent. As for tomorrow, I’d be happy already if 10-30 people are actually dancing or swaying to the beats and there are new converts.

Tomorrow the 6th of September, is the time to celebrate life through dancing and  QUALITY electronic dance music, served… DEEP FRIED.