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At a time when our club culture hit pause, electro musician LONER dropped an EP celebrating it.
But “Into Midnight” isn’t just a celebration of our late-night adventures at club strips around the metro. Through every sound wave and intricately measured tempos, the EP is a love letter to the community that club culture fosters.
LONER cements this with his music video “Catwalk.” Despite releasing the single outside this EP, it depicts the thrilling exploration of dressing up and the bonds of the LGBTQ+ community itself in these clubs that shatter gender roles every night.
For this young musician, clubs are more than late-night haunts. They are a statement of the times and it’s where youth culture thrives the most.
During this quarantine, we virtually kicked back with LONER and talked about his track rotations, creative process and the current status of Filipino house music.
How has quarantine affected your creative process and sound?
Being in quarantine has caused a lot of us to keep ourselves in check. I realigned my priorities and realized that I wanted to take my music seriously, and not just as a hobby anymore.
I educated myself regarding the music business and I watched a lot of tutorials and documentaries to achieve perfection for my craft. With the lack of things to do, being creative really kept me sane. I treated it like a day job, making sure that I’m working on music from nine to five, and that’s how I came up with the EP.
Which tracks or albums have been on your daily rotation recently?
“Sour Candy” – Lady Gaga feat. Blackpink
“I Don’t Care: – Park Hye Jin
“Who Am I (Toro y Moi remix)” – Channel Tres
“64 Ways (feat. Mayer Hawthorne)” – Detroit Swindle
What are your thoughts on the reception of Filipino house music? Do you think it’s an underrated facet of OPM?
Dance music is definitely still underrated, and I feel like it was because of the rise of EDM. When it became a huge thing in the Philippines, the other subgenres of dance music suddenly fell underground. It dominated the Philippines for a while and I understand why people got tired of it. People began to generalize all dance music as EDM when there’s actually so much more to it. I wish to be able to break that stereotype and open the eyes of more people to its beauty.
Are there any cyberspaces you’d recommend where people can find good Filipino dance music while clubs aren’t operating?
Manila Dance Music Association (@maniladance)
Manila Dance Music Association features a lot of local dance music artists. They provide a platform for these artists for hour-long mixes including their originals. They’re definitely one to look out for when it comes to the local dance music scene.
UNKNWN was one of my first introductions to the dance music scene. When we all weren’t affected by COVID yet, they would host these really crazy dance parties in places where you’d least expect it. They’ve shifted to online events for now where they feature a lot of local dance music artists too. Definitely worth checking out.
Transit Records (@transitrecords)
Transit Records is a Manila-based internet radio and label. They’ve been hosting a lot of online events that can take you back to a fun night out. Their current roster of DJs and their individual music tastes can really show you the beautiful variety of dance music.
Concatenate keeps us connected to the music by hosting online events featuring Filipino DJs as well. They’ve been raising a lot of funds to help the people who are most affected by COVID. Good music for a good cause.
Club Matryoshka (@clubmatryoshka)
Club Matryoshka is a virtual music club based in Manila hosted on a private Minecraft server. Imagine being in an actual gig – watching an artist perform while being surrounded by music enthusiasts. It definitely captures that feeling but in Minecraft form.’
Club Indoors (clubindoors.com)
Club Indoors is a stay-in night out on your desktop. It’s basically a club in website form. When you visit the website while there’s an ongoing event, there’s a DJ booth, a dance floor and some tables. Clicking on a certain area will put you in a group video call with other people that are also in that area. It’s a great way to feel the essence of being in a club, socializing and all.
Art by Jan Cardasto
Interview by Giselle Barrientos