“It’s not EDM, it’s electronic music culture”

If you are tired of hearing the same songs played over and over again in the usual big-logo ridden EDM scenes, this place is for you.

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Photo from UNKNWN

The decade was the 90s.

In cities like London and New York, members of the Generation X would slither into warehouse parties guided only by a single number to call for directions. The location would remain unnamed until a week or a few days prior. There were no guest-lists or fake IDs. Not even hypemen. Just booze and some music.

Fast forward to 2016, the creative agency Third Culture Music brings the same concept to Manila with UNKNWN, a series of parties sharing the same anonymity, with social media totally changing the “hush-hush” game.

“We just want to clarify that we are not pushing for EDM, but rather electronic music culture which has existed long before the so called “EDM” hype,” explains Celine Ferros, one of the brains behind the event.

The individuals behind UNKNWN call themselves “Manila’s young taste makers,” who are all seeking to strengthen the capital’s electronic music community. The group takes in the likes of DJs Emel Rowe of The Palace Pool Club and Samantha Nicole who’s playing for Today x Future. They are partnering with Cosmopolitan Magazine’s former Beauty Editor Regina Belmonte and Ferros, the former publicist of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival.

Plunging into the UNKNWN

In an attempt to strengthen Manila’s electronic music community, the agency launched UNKNWN as a passion project, with series of parties to be launched over the next eight months. The twist? These parties are all happening in secret locations all over the metro.

Organizers have to keep their mouths sealed until locations are given labels and DJs are given names a week before the event.

Ferros pointed out that this concept has been happening all over cultural capitals of the world, including New York, London, and Los Angeles – places where house and techno music have a strong following.

With the sudden rise of rave parties and music festivals in the country, their group believes that Manila is now “ready for a new and refreshing concept.”

If you are tired of hearing the same songs played over and over again in the usual big-logo ridden EDM scenes, this place is for you. It’s a new avenue where partygoers can enjoy niche and more underground sounds. Hence, a more organic musical experience.

There are no fist-pumping and jumping all over the dance floor with one beer in hand. People who come to dance, literally dance.

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Jay Gapasin of Radio Active Sago Project. Photo from UNKNWN

Second of a series

After its launch on February 27 with a roofdeck party in Makati City’s City Grand Hotel, feedback from guests have been “incredible.”

“Many of our guests are tired or do not like the clubs that Manila is usually populated with – big, fancy, sparklers, bottle service, see and be seen places. But most of all it’s the music – there are lots of people, both locals and expats, that are seeking out this music because they do not like the commercial, mainstream EDM played in most venues. We are hoping to fill that void,” Ferros shares.

UNKNWN has already started its wheels turning with its second party installment last March 12, taking over hotspot Black Market in Makati with a jungle-themed event.

Three events were set inside to package DJs as much as six, international and local DJs combined. Headlining the event was established producer Trus’me, a label owner of Prime Numbers who hails from UK.

He was joined by local electronic duo Tarsius consisting of Diego Mapa from the band Pedicab who played an enthralling keyboard set, with Jay Gapasin of Radioactive Sago Project who manned the drums. Other local favorites who pumped the event high were Mulan who played an all vinyl set together with the soulful Badkiss. To top it off was the event’s resident DJ from Solaire and Pulse Radio Katrina Razon, more known by party denizens as Katsu.

“My sister and I find this place refreshing. People don’t care what you’re drinking or who you with or what you’re wearing. Everyone was just having fun,” adds Kathleen Rodriguez, one of the many party punters who came.

“No entitlements system”

While most clubs can ensure entry if you can get yourself in a guest list given that you’re wearing appropriate clothes, UNKNWN pushes for a “no entitlements system,” where everyone needs to RSVP.

Even the locations of the parties are set in venues with limited capacity, giving it a clandestine feel.

With the individuals’ collective experience from Berlin to London to New York, expect that UNKNWN will be “a music and event experience that is about enjoying quality electronic music with friends sharing the same passion.”

UNKNWN is the brainchild of DJ Katsu along with Mikhail Schemm of Pulse Radio and Miller + Peroni.

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My cousins and I during the UNKNWN party held in Black Market. Photo from UNKNWN

Wanna RSVP? Visit http://www.unknwn.asia

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