Up Dharma Down wins plum awards during NU107Rock Awards’09

17 11 2009

Vocalist of the Year(Armi Millare),Album of The Year(Bipolar) and Artist of The Year…much to the consternation of those who don’t “get” Up Dharma Down and are still stuck to the old sound of Pinoy Rock wherein it has to be typical or “rakrakan” template prompting one seemingly disappointed old hack to report “low key” band wins big at the rock awards and went on to enumerate others without much focus nor fanfare for the big winner.

Sorry to disappoint you but if you give it an open mind you will realize that Bipolar and future albums that break away from the mold help us move into the modern rock world where boundaries are gone and the rock stereotype has been shattered.

The majority though, seems to think it’s a well deserved win so i am a happy camper. Thank you to those who have moved on, you forward thinking music people who voted for the future, the fans and supporters, to the judges who stuck to their guns in recognizing change , embracing and appreciating it. Also to NU107 for having the guts to turn it around and make the Rock Awards, still, the only bonafide award giving body for excellence in music.


UDD nurockawards Csmall

thanks to Sherwin De Guzman for the pics.

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.



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?




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.



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.



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!


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…


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.
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? 🙂

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!


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

the first and the second coming

3 10 2008

UP DHARMA DOWN’s second on the 24th.

Ang Bandang Shirley’s first on the 25th.

punks vs.chongs

1 10 2008

I'm still looking for old pictures from that time when it wasn't odd to see some people in trench coats or leather jackets in the middle of the day(even summertime) but temporarily this will do,for now. A bit more general, with the preppy, pastel color galore 80's Menudo kind of look than the dour European New Wave visual. It does remind me of current trendy bands though, both local and international. mismatched Chucks, skinny jeans. Ahh, the cycle in music and fashion. What goes around comes around. Scary.

both noun and adjective
An 80’s term of endearment by local punks for new wavers.

Punk1-Huh?Pupunta kang party sa Corinthians? Puro Chongs doon no!

Punk2-di bale Positive Noise yung mobile, nagpapatugtog yon ng “Damaged Goods” at “Wild in The Streets”, pwede na rin!

If Britain had Mods versus Rockers, well then, here in the fabulous 80s there was the amusing Punks versus Chongs division. It wasn’t as bad as one would imagine though and wasn’t even close to the stupidity behind the Rock versus Hip Hop call for arms in the 90s. It was just a loving, slight derogatory term placed upon people who were into New Wave by the local Johnny Rottens and the Sid Vicious’ of the day like they were better because they listened to something harder,noisier, chaotic and rebellious.

I was actually both, a hybrid. I enjoyed Circle Jerks as much as i enjoyed The Lotus Eaters but being that i’m from a different background and didn’t sport a mohawk nor wore a dog collar with rusty nails protruding, i was definitely referred to as a “chong”.

It wasn’t something bad to me nor did i take offense to it. I’m not going to deny i was more into the cool demeanor of a Tim Butler(bass player and brother of Richard-Psychedelic Furs), Martin Fry of ABC, the quirky Mark Hollis of Talk Talk and moreover, the unabashed, fey swagger of David Sylvian (Japan). Heck, at one point i even sported Phil Oakey‘s(Human League) lopsided hairdo. This sense of style appealed more to me than having to put egg yolk on my hair to make it stay up and spikey though from time to time i would be caught wearing PVC trousers,(or something close to it), something narrow and plaid or something with loads of buckles and zippers tucked in a pair of U2 or The Alarm looking boots. Not just for the weekend mind you, but more for school, partnered with the school polo uniform, shirtjack style.

However, seeing Paul Weller in a white trenchcoat, Fred Perry sport shirt with drainpipe trousers and loafers seemed to connect with me more and that’s where the “mod” posturing came about. But to most i was a “chong”.

Still, the group of mobile friends i was with then and i were probably the only ones who could get away playing Hardcore/Ska and Punk/New Wave/Post-Punk altogether. Ex. D.O.A, The English Beat ,The Fall, Dead Kennedys, Seona Dancing (Ricky Gervais) and The Fire Engines etc., side by side for a Punks not Dead party or a trench coat wearing (96 degrees in the shade), allblack,eyelinerheavy,The Cure lookalike soiree. I’ve certainly had my fair share of beer bottles whizzing by, being spat at and given the finger by groups of Punks, and all this, while playing their favorite Minor Threat song or the never fail “Sex and Violence” by The Exploited.

But yeah, still in the configuration i was a considered a “chong” and i was, for the most part. But, was i really one in the Industry “State of The Nation” sense? Check for yourselves and decide whether i was a permanent fixture at the Corinthian club house or whether i have New Wave pedigree and an indie cred… from a sample of records in my arsenal. Click HERE

While the subject’s on New Wave here’s one of the best bands from the 80s in my book. Critically acclaimed yet criminally misunderstood by most.

Yes, you heard correctly. Mark Hollis was singing live over the minus one for this simple video directed by then wonder boy Tim Pope. There is another version of this video btw. The other two, Paul Webb and Lee Harris went on to form O’rang and if i’m not mistaken Paul Webb collaborated with Beth Gibbons under Rustin Man. Sadly, Mark Hollis, after putting out a wrist slasher of a solo effort in the same vein as the last two Talk Talk albums has retired completely from the music business. He should make a comeback. Their last two albums Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock are considered by many music fans and critics alike as the progenitor of “Post Rock”.

For another excellent Talk Talk video click HERE.

indie cred pt.2

29 09 2008

After the “indie cred” entry, i’ve had some requests to post some mp3s of the posted covers. Fret not as i will be posting mp3s soon but just not yet. I still have to devise a way wherein i can monitor who actually downloads them. I might have to really enforce membership for this blog but that’s not to happen that soon so relax. In place of that i post some more covers. This time, various album sleeves of 33 1/2 Long Playing vinyl albums part 1. click right HERE

my favourite shop

28 09 2008

Arguably,the closest place you can get stuff you normally can’t or won’t find here in Manila is HK and in HK there are places to get records, hard to find dvd titles, especially on music and (foreign,independent,avant- garde,cult) film. Not everyone knows where to find these small shops and i have several secret locations i’m not quite ready to disclose just yet but one of the best sources for indie and electronic music dvds had recently been shut down. I’m sure you can read between the lines why but it was good while it lasted. R.I.P

One man’s trash,another man’s treasure. a re-post.

25 09 2008

Years ago i contributed articles to Elan, the Philippine Daily Inquirer special supplement and one of the better features i’ve managed to put out is this little piece on collecting. I’m thinking it’s just the right time for a re-post after all, it is the simple yet complex world of The Collector. Just click and zoom in.

balancing act

23 09 2008

I mentioned a few entries before how i try to balance the material i mix with every episode of Deep Fried (the radio show). Meaning as much as possible i try to put in tracks that are more rock oriented, whether remixes or “new school” electro alongside the more pure house and/or techno as to not totally alienate the average rock listener on NU107.

After all i’m counting on the rock people to get into it (and dance at Deep Fried,the dance night) and for them to realize that the mickey mouse dance music they hear on the variety shows or in the many bars cum clubs all over the metro doesn’t represent the real thang.

I realize that it may not be enough in words though so just to give you a more concrete audio sample, here’s a free mp3 download of Deep Fried Episode 6. It’ll be hard to sustain every episode as i’m not exactly a big fan of most of the new rave/fidget stuff that’s all over the net but i’m being open minded about it and every now and then there’s some exceptional tracks or passable at least, so there should be a couple or two per episode. As for the unadulterated good House tracks, be it deep or tech etc., they’ll definitely make the bulk of the hour for people to get familiar and condition themselves to the more underground tracks.

Yes, and by that i don’t mean Chicane or Tiesto. Please, let’s keep it cheese free. If not, you might as well give me a gun so i can shoot myself. Enjoy.