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.





jack of all trades and master of none.

30 08 2008

Yes, i wear many hats. I might be selling myself short though with the post title but it sounds good so it stays.

Recently, i revived my DJing career and the Groove Nation entity though it doesn’t mean i DJ every weekend. It’s whenever i feel like it. I’ve slowly learned to enjoy it again and play the other kinds of music I’ve championed from the start. There was a time when i couldn’t listen to HOUSE music be it Chicago, deep, tech, micro and TECHNO, from minimal, Detroit, dub and hardcore to electro, the way i would listen to it everyday before, not because i grew tired of it but more because of just about everyone here in Manila were DJs and each one tooting their own horns with proclamations of being “The No.1 DJ in the country”,”The Best Local DJ”, “The Most Exciting DJ”…something i’d give to anyone IF they backed it up with TALENT,SKILL and TASTE.

As it is though, most lack history and foundation in music or to be specific with Soul, Funk and Disco onto the “House” music that they play and it shows. Being a DJ doesn’t mean just because you learned to BPM mix from one record,cd,mp3 to another,then you’re already a DJ. Worst of all, if you just throw “anthems” one after another. The argument I’ve heard is that the DJ is an entertainer and should please his/her audience and i agree to some extent, especially if you’re a DJ in a bar or a club wherein you’re expected to play the hits or you have to have a more populist mindset but if you’re propping yourself up as THE DJ much like how the famous international ones are then you’re expected to guide and influence your audience to new ideas and sounds and not just give them what they have in their Ipods which they know inside out. If you’re going to promise me that cliche, “I’ll take you on a journey of valleys and peaks” then by all means i for one, expect you to push the envelope and not play what the 100 other DJs play day in day out in bars and pseudo-clubs around the metro. Back it up so to speak.

Now that’s not to say I’m the best in the land but one thing i can say is that i push the envelope and provide an option and to a point, educate that “Everafter” is not really a good representation of what House music really is or that this new rave/fidget scene is not the modern electronic dance music I’m referring to…to a local audience who mostly are uninformed and ill-informed or just plain apathetic. Sadly, in this country it’s more about schmoozing,partying,to see and be seen and the music is more background than anything so it doesn’t matter if they’re dancing or partying to crap dance music or something that’s played from TV variety shows to Alibangbang Beer Garden to Decades or Embassy.  Despite of that short rant, i have cooled down ,the bad taste has left my mouth and while the country is still overflowing with superstar and fake DJs who continue to disappoint and simply, just don’t get it, I’m feeling good about playing every now and then.

Groove Nation also has a new show on NU107 every Wednesday night 11-12midnight  called DEEP FRIED with an accompanying DEEP FRIED bi-monthly dance night at Sagujio. The first of which is to be held this Saturday the 6th of September. It’s obviously experimental being that Saguijo is really more of a rock venue and i really don’t know what to expect for Saturday but Angelo of Saguijo’s open with it so we’ll see how long we need to build this. It is perfect for its small size and somehow i know there are people out there who are really looking for a place where they can dance and have fun but cannot really see themselves going to the commercial chi-chi clubs.

It’s also about time to get rid of the “I only listen to rock music therefore i can’t dance and won’t listen to anything else” mentality. It is 2008 after all and if you’re a true music fan you would’ve heard of the late 80’s Summer Of Love, Manchester or how your favorite foreign bands have embraced the rave/electronic dance music culture. I’ve seen for myself how for example, Bobbie Gillespie and the rest of Primal Scream dance and party at various underground raves in the late 80s,early 90’s why can’t you?