Words by Ryanne Co Photos by Caitlene Lee Uy
Ridiculously long nights are best spent in Makati and in case you haven’t heard, Black Market is open for as long as the moon is out.
On Friday, MNL Online News was invited to Black Market for a gig by Dutch DJ San Holo. He’s known to be a connoisseur in the international EDM scene, garnering support from major artists like Skrillex and Diplo. He’s no joke and blowing up the music scene isn’t easy. But while his transition from Soundcloud artist to international DJ has been relatively quick (debuting his first EP just three years ago in 2014), San Holo has yet to be a household name here in the Philippines—the keyword here being yet.
The night had yet to unfold when the bouncers unhooked the velvet ropes from their chains and started letting people in. The crowd trickled slowly inside, lounging around Black Market’s leather chairs and taking sips from their vodka cranberries. From where we stood, we watched San Holo’s trademark inverted triangle flash against the bare wall as the projector blinked, hypnotizing us with flashing lights and swirling spirals.
Jayru and Pillowtalk warmed everyone up with remixes of Rihanna, Drake, and yes, even Justin Bieber.
At around 1:30 am, the party was in full swing. San Holo at the board, everyone else in the club. Of course, it wouldn’t be a San Holo gig without him playing “Light”, a song that has stayed for 20 weeks in Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs in 2016. “I just want to see the light / Even if it makes me blind.” People were pushed up against the stage, shining their flashlights on him, screaming and dancing. A pretty typical early morning scene in BM, but with a special guest brought over by Moonbeats Asia and bitbird.
San Holo, with his nearly four hundred thousand following on SoundCloud alone, does not disappoint. Partygoers, avid clubbers, and EDM enthusiasts find in him a refreshingly vibrant tune, upbeat and energetic.
In what I call a sweet compromise between mainstream pop and genuine electronic music (that isn’t focused on disc scratching alone), San Holo, with the wiry, birdlike voices that usually accompany his tracks is exactly what this generation is looking for. Enough of the usual repetitive beats of sugary sweet pop music, enough of the overrated angst of the 2007 Paramore era, enough of the basic 4-note beat of repetitive rhythm. This is a new underground music scene we know will stay until tomorrow morning.