Music & Culture
Music & Culture

A DJ’s Guide to Metro Manila

A DJ’s Guide to Metro Manila


Mynila Team December 28, 2019 Music & Culture

Ahead of their performances at Epizode (Vietnam), one of the world’s most exciting music and art festivals, we had a quick chat with Alinep, Herb Cabral and Mica and asked about their favourite spots in Metro Manila.

ALINEP

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This Is Pop Records, Big Bad Wolf, Topic Poblacion

What are you favorite spots in Metro Manila for:

Eating I like going to Banawe street, Q.C., there’s so many good affordable restaurants!

Drinking Big Bad Wolf (BGC) is a cool spot for drinking. They have a long list of concoctions and craft beers.

Dancing XXXX and TOPIC Poblacion.

Shopping 168 mall (Divisoria): you can find everything there!

Buying records I recommend This Is Pop Records owned by Toti Dalmacion and if I wanna get new records, I normally buy them online at Technique (Japan) or I buy them directly at the shops when I’m in Europe for gigs: Berlin has a lot of good shops like Hardwax.

Which area of Metro Manila do you like the most and why? I love Downtown Manila – you can see all the national monuments plus the magic of the sunset at the Manila Bay.

Who are some of your favourite artists from Manila? Breaking Silence for DnB and liquid, Caliph and Tarsius.

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About Alinep “Deepsomnia” by Alinep a word that not only defines his style and sound but also represents his true passion of the music he plays, by which he has succeeded in becoming a DJ, Producer, Label manager, Radio Host and a Promoter. With a truly talented musical background Alinep living, breathing, playing and producing music for many years. Having started off towards the path of becoming a DJ, playing at small bars and lounges before earning club residencies, gave him the knowledge and ability to push his passion for his music work and his unique style of music blend, to earn him recognition in the underground music community globally.

Alinep’s musical imprint in his DJ sets and music production are very poetic and is rooted from deep house to techno, minimal to techhouse, Detroit to Chicago and the beat goes on and on defining his own club space.

HERB CABRALDeepgroove Collective

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What are you favorite spots in Metro Manila for:

Eating Behrouz, middle eastern cuisine which opened in Manila in the mid-1980s.

DrinkinIf it is just drinking with friends, Benito’s in Tomas Morato QC is a good place to drink. Futur:ist is also a new good place to hang out.

Dancing TOPIC Poblacion: they got a solid wooden floor on the roof top of an old building. Nokal also on their house music nights.

Chilling Any small quaint coffeeshop around the Timog / Scout area in QC.

Shopping I don’t shop but when I need some things it is usually in Cubao.

Buying records I have friends who sells old records in their garage. I usually buy from them. For new ones it is usually online.

More and more Filipino artists from different backgrounds (Samantha Nicole, Caliph8, Red-I, CRWN, August Wahh just to name a few) are participating to International Festival all over the world, do you think Filipino artists are finally getting the recognition they deserve? 

Filipino artists have long been known in the Asian region for their musical talent. Not only as DJ’s but especially as musicians (solo or in a band) and singers.

In the specific field of electronic music, because the electronic sound is considered as world music — meaning the sub-culture of electronic music easily integrates across the music culture of any country, more and more Filipinos have been into this music in the last 10 years. And they have been using electronic music as a way to express their Filipino cultural influence. Manila among Asian Cities has one of those patches of musical communities that have embraced non-commercial electronic music – in the genre of techno, house music, disco, retro synth pop, underground hip-hop and reggae, etc.

Other Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan have their own small patches of independent, non-commerical electronic music culture. The culture is growing in Asia and I think recognition is just around the corner. Pinoy electronic artists just have to solidify more and support each other.

Who are some of your favourite artists from Manila? Silverfilter. Some of the artists of Buwan Buwan Collective, Debonaire Distict (Jazz). Of course Teenage Granny, Young Sleepyboi, and Chillig (Jazz). And my fellow artists in Asia Music in Manila – Mica, Alinep and Br3akingsilence. Jacy Sim.

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About HERB CABRAL Herb is associated with Manila’s underground house & techno community. He began his career as a DJ in the late 80s. In those times, Filipino dance music culture flourished with post-disco, synthpop, new wave and punk rock. This mix of genre paved the way to his inclination towards edgy house and techno. Today, his pursuit as a DJ & producer is to contribute his own stamp to the local (and eventually international) electronic dance music scene particularly in house music and techno.

His DJ career spans more than two decades and as it is going to its third, electronic music production has been the focal point of his musical career – where his rich musical history as a DJ has greatly influenced his current style of producing electronic music. As a regular fixture of one of Manila’s top underground clubs, Time In Manila, this has provided him the platform and inspiration to develop his music further — and has gained the attention of noteworthy independent house and techno record labels such as Asia Music (Southeast Asia), Funktrap Records (USA), Frameworkxx Records (The Netherlands) and Berlin After Dark (USA).

MICA, Elephant Chords, Love International, Rising Soul, Asia Music

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A jeepney in Divisoria, La Mesa Eco Park, Cosmic Restaurant

What are you favorite spots in Metro Manila for:

Eating Cosmic, really cant beat it, its an awesome vegan restaurant in Makati. Just wish it was bigger or they had more chains.

Drinking I love the Green Door, a lot more happenings there in 2020!

Dancing XX XX and TOPIC Poblacion.

Shopping Greenbelt or Divisoria where you can pretty much find everything possible but just be prepared with a bottle of water and a sweat towel!

Buying records Usually just individuals selling off their bulk vinyl they imported from Japan or I get my friends or my mother to buy in the UK and I wait for a big shipment or until I visit home to bring them back with me. But in Metro Manila This Is Pop Records in Makati.

Which area of Metro Manila do you like the most and why? I really enjoy my family days at Manila Bay watching the sunset, going to UP and up to La Mesa Eco Park.

Who are some of your favorite artists from Manila? I will always give my 100% support to my husband Alinep of course and the likes of Herb Cabral also signed on Asia Music Records. Other than that I love Similar Objects, been a fan of him since I arrived in Manila, Taken by Cars and I love Ryan Cayabayab who was awarded The National Artist of the Philippines as well as Tarsius, another favorite of many.

How is the music scene evolving in Metro Manila? What changed from the 90’s Malate scene to the contemporary Poblacion scene? 

Unfortunately I can’t do a comparison as I wasn’t around in the 90’s Malate scene, but I have certainly seen Poblacion grow into what it is today in such a short time of 4 years. The likes of Z Hostel and its amazing founders and team have made an amazing social community and are certainly an inspiration to Poblacion.

You also have the likes of B-Side productions who never stop working their magic in the music scene, bringing Fete De La Musique to Poblacion for many years just to name one of many of their projects, and we have seen a growth of music collectives pushing electronic music. I think with the growing support of sponsors has been a major factor in the growth of events especially with the rising fees of international acts. Many new places have opened also just in the past 1 or 2 years which has dispersed the crowd more but it also gives you so many choices so that your weekends don’t become repetitive.

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About MICA Mica a British DJ from the North, currently based in Manila. Her musical repertoire revolves mainly around house music, with a splash of disco and glitches of techno here and there, which has proven to lure punters to the dance floor all around Asia. Where she has shared the decks with the likes of John Acquaviva, Shaun Reeves, Gabriel I, Cinthie, Marco Effe, Robert James and many more. Since 2013, Mica has been involved with different organisations such as Good Boyz Production, Co-Founder of Phoenix Room now Phoenix Radio (China); rated one of the top radios on Pyro Music and now being one half of Rising Soul (Japan and Philippines), an online radio/ podcasting show on Scientific Sound Asia, featuring global artists in the underground music scene, as well as producing club events or pop up events.

She has built up a storm landing herself a residency for the leading underground club, Time In Manila for Fatale which gave her the stage to run a series of events called ‘Slaughterhouse’, highlighting the best local and regional DJs, as well as featuring at other clubs and bar nights across the country.

Bearing fruits from the studio, she saw her first release on Asia Music Record Label (Manila) in 2016, which led to a 2 track remix release of Impossible Quintets on Dub Temple Records (Australia), which was followed by “Fahren” Mica’s collaboration with Alinep for Asia Music’s 10th year anniversary compilation.
In 2017, Mica had the chance to do her version of Robert Miles’ “Children” which is still #1 on Love International along with her EP ‘The Funky Way’, also followed by a 3 track EP under Argentinian record label, Elephant Chords. Her latest EP ‘Waiting for You’ a collaboration with Alinep on Asia Music.

Since then, she has been balancing her new motherhood lifestyle with her music and is co-producing a series of events, ‘Footprints’ and ‘Deep Dark Dirty’ focused on house and techno, as well as ‘Rising Soul’ that mixes up her funky side with Funk, Soul, Disco and House music as well working on more musical goodness in the studio.

Catch Mica, Alinep & Herb tonight at the Egg stage at Epizode Festival, happening from 27th December to 7th January.