5 club DJs in Manila for a YOLO good time

Weekend in, weekend out we see party posters heralding names of DJs who’ve remained a mystery except to the hard-core clubber. Which is a shame. How can you tell if the party’s going to be good if all you see is a name on a poster? What do these DJs look like? What kind of music do they play? Coconuts Manila features these five must-hear DJs so you can party like you only live once. 

MAJOR CHIE
It took Major Chie, Chie Castaneda IRL, years before taking on the decks but thank heavens that he did. His tunage is an excellent mix of electro, funk, nudisco, and house often with a but he skillfully inserts alternative music too, often ending his sets with “a Blur or Oasis song if possible. I usually start my sets with downtempo beats and then build it up for there.” If you’re a fan of ’90s Britpop, you’ll enjoy Major Chi’s sets. Songs by Moloko/Roisin Murphy, The Stone Roses, and The Clash almost always find themselves in his sets.
Note the name: Major Chie. Though at times I use ‘Liquid Software’ when I play for The Strict Rules of Polite Society parties.
Best for: If you want to feel dangerous and naughty.
Find him at: Today x Future (7-T Gen Malvar St, Araneta Center, Cubao, QC; +63 928 5209102), Rocket Room (G/F Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Ave cor 30th Street, BGC, Taguig; +63 2 6213222), M Café (Ayala Museum Complex, Dela Rosa St, Legazipi Village, Makati; +63 2 7573000) and sometimes at Black Market (Warehouse 5, La Fuerza Compound 2, Sabio St, Pasong Tamo Ave Ext, Makati; +63 908 8135622) 
Set staples: Moloko/Roisin Murphy, The Stone Roses, The Clash. Lately, a lot of Disclosure, Maya Jane Coles. 
Any wishes for Manila’s party crowd? None, really. They can do whatever they want. I’m just grateful and blessed to play in places where people actually dance to good music, especially at Today x Future. Coconuts Manila is a first-hand witness. 
Hear: Major Chie’s Soundcloud

MARS MIRANDA
Especially if you’re into hip-hop and R&B, look for Mars Miranda’s name on a party poster, or better yet, swing by Republiq at Resorts World Manila in Pasay where he is a resident DJ. A favorite among the super club-going set, Mars Miranda has been at it since 2001, lending his sleek but steady vibe to Makati spots like — get ready for a heady throwback — Temple and Venezia. Apart from Republiq, he also plays regularly at Privé Luxury Club and Aracama at the Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. He’s seen the scene evolve from being an underground community to a more democratic party. “The great thing about the scene in Manila now is that you can go out from Monday to Sunday and you’ll find a packed club with the best DJs playing. You don’t have to wait for the weekend to let loose.”
Note the name: Mars Miranda
Best for: When in the mood for a “Best Night Ever!!!” Or craving a “This is my song!” moment. 
Find him at: Republiq (Unit 8, 2/F Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Pasay; +63 917 5508888), Aracama (Unit C-1 The Fort Entertainment Center, BGC, Taguig; +63 917 8612702) and Privé Luxury Club (Unit C The Fort Entertainment Center, BGC, Taguig; +63 917 8988181)
Set staples: “I’m lucky enough to still get gigs where they ask me to play hip-hop and R&B. It’s really a treat for me,” says Mars, whose favorite remains “Doo Wop” by Lauryn Hill. “It’s just so infectious that almost everyone appreciates it,” he exclaims.
Any wishes for Manila’s party crowd? I wish the Manila crowd would dance more. Oftentimes, you see people at the club waiting for someone else to start dancing before they do so themselves. Then when they dance, parang nagpipigil kasi nahihiya. Sana they would all let go and just dance the way they want to. It’s a two-way thing kasi. DJs feed off the crowd’s energy din. So we play better when the crowd responds to what we play.”
Know his schedule: Facebook. Twitter 

ERWIN EDRALIN
Despite the sad fact that Erwin Edralin has relocated to Boracay, no list of Metro Manila DJs will be complete without mentioning his name. A guitarist before he was a DJ, Erwin started taking on the vinyl at around 1996 but really turned serious a year later when ABG’s, his brother’s excellent party place, opened on Pasong Tamo Avenue. He’s gone on to play at those wild turn-of-the-millennium rave parties, holding residencies in Malate bars where he played everything “from house to tech to breaks to indie dance to techno. It was really a hedonistic period during that time, when everybody in the club/rave scene unconsciously started a sub-culture.” Erwin now can be found in Boracay where he paints them beach parties the color of fun.
Note the name: Erwin Edralin 
Best for: YOLO seekers. If you’re looking to approach a stranger or try something new that night, Erwin’s mixes are the aural equivalent to encouragement. 
Find him: In Boracay, mostly during Full Moon and Black Moon parties at Area 51, Sunday Brunch at While House, Sunset Sessions at Spidor House and special events In Manila, he usually plays at Rocket Room (G/F Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Ave cor 30th Street, BGC, Taguig; +63 2 6213222) and M Café (Ayala Museum Complex, Dela Rosa St, Legazipi Village, Makati; +63 2 7573000).
Set Staples: These days, partyphiles will get a whiff of “Sinner Winner” (green velvet remix) by Felix Da House Cat, “Hood Picture” by Sharam Jey & Sirus, “Latch” by Disclosure, “All We Got” Jack Fell Down feature Stee Downes, and “Finer” Ninetoes. 
Any wishes for Manila’s party crowd? Manila should explore more on club music, try to learn about other genres, discover, and be open to the sub-culture. People should keep it real and quit the pretense.
Hear: Sound Cloud

THE DIEGOS
The Diegos are Diego Mapa (of Pedicab and Tarsius) and Diego Castillo (best known as, among other things, the guitarist of Sandwich). These musicians moonlight as The Diegos, playing a wide range of parties from the uber high-end (like the Esquire Ball) to the super chill (like Tomato Kick). While they play new wave and electro, you can expect a more “organic” set of music from these two — music from instruments, yes? Like Funk, ’60s rock and pop, soul, and punk rock.
Note the name: The Diegos
Best for: When you’re feeling rock but still want to converse with your friends. 
Find them at: Today X Future (7-T Gen. Malvar St, Cubao X, Araneta Center, Cubao, QC; +63 928 5209102), B Side at Collective (7274 Malugay St, Bgy San Antonio, Makati), M Café (Ayala Museum Complex, Dela Rosa St, Legazipi Village, Makati; +63 2 7573000). Tomato Kick (3/F Po’s Building, Tomas Morato cor Sct. Madrinan Sts, QC; +63 917 8250338) and Black Market (Warehouse 5, La Fuerza Compound 2, Sabio St, Pasong Tamo Ave Ext, Makati; +63 908 8135622). 
Set staples: Recently, we mostly play Disclosure, there’s always a Daft Punk song in our set. LCP soundsystem, and anything from DFA Records. Diego C likes closing with Bee Gees’ “How Deep is Your Love.”
Any wishes for Manila’s party crowd? Don’t be shy. Keep an open mind. Let’s have fun!
Get updates: Facebook

CYRIL YARISANTOS
For the sophisticated music junkie, who likes discovering “new” old tunes, hearing unfamiliar but irresistible sounds, and experiencing supposedly different genres come together, Cyril Yarisantos is a name you must watch for. Apart from belonging to the Groove Nation family — you know, the group who threw incredible underground parties in the ’90s? — he also took care of MTV’s programming for a good five years. So you know that this guy knows music. He hardly DJs now, but on the occasion that he does — Halloween is your best bet — make sure you’re there.
Note the name: Cyril Yarisantos
Best for: When you’re feeling high-minded and adventurous. He doesn’t play the most popular tracks, instead presents old with the new, new with the old, giving you something to take-home! 
Find him at: Terno Halloween parties at TIME in Manila (7840 Makati Avenue, Makati City. Tel. No. +63 2 5198903) and the sporadic Deep Fried nights. Given that that’s hardly a schedule, swing by East End music where he broadcasts his podcasts.
Set staples: “It’s all about breaking new material,” Cyril says over email. “There are so many new tracks floating around that it just makes sense to push forward. That said, there are a couple of tracks I fall back on depending on the situation. One that still sounds Fresh to me to this day would be the Derrick Carter dub of Alexander East’s ‘Jest 4 Me.’ It’s an awesome tune and one that I’ve been known to play when I have a stubborn crowd. It gets them moving all the time.”
Any wishes for the Manila crowd: For the crowd in Manila to be more adventurous and less trendy. A certain “unknown track” may have a great groove, and may actually cause you to bob your head along but if Pinoys don’t know the track, they won’t dance. Conversely, you may thnk that the music of a certain DJ stinks but since s/he’s a celebrity, you end up dancing along to shitty music just as well. It’s ironic that we have so much access to information now but still end up going the bandwagon route and are not as discerning as could be.
Listen: Eastendmusic.net

Main photo from of Black Market Facebook page
This story first appeared on Coconuts Manila, a website about living in Metro Manila.

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