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Metro Manila, Philippines

Superstarlet XXX, Paul Jatayna, XX XX
How has Elephant played a role in your local community and music scene?

Elephant is mainly fashioned as a safe space for any soul who dances to the same tune. Manila is quite fortunate to have a couple of close-knit queer communities sprouting in different corners around the metro, but Elephant at XX XX provides the non-mainstream queers our own haven to dance, perform--do whatever we can think of against Manila's predominantly hetero clubbing community. It is to empower and be empowered by this visceral queer energy inhibited by Elephant regulars as we collectively move to the beat of our own drum on the dance floor.

What can we see, hear and experience at an Elephant event?

It depends on the night and the DJ playing, really. Whenever our trans sister Dignos plays, you can expect a lot of stomping beats and nerve-racking, soul-crunching body movements holding on to their precious water bottles and inhalers while keeping their curated outfits intact. Karlo and Hideki play a more eclectic sound for 'alt queerness spirit' with lack of better term, but I think you get it. On the other hand, our other trans sister Adrianne's house music sensibility is sexually driven that may or may not bust out to a Mariah Carey whistle sample. We also have some drag nights like Drag Disco, theme nights like Category Is..., the annual Evening Gown Competition, 80's Prom Night, Trans night special 'SIS, This Is What I Call Techno', BDSM Ball, and the list goes on. But usually, the most fun are the random nights with less people but the music is so fucking good.

Tell us some DJs / artists you’re digging at the moment?

Paul Jatayna, Elephant
"This COVID-19 quarantine, I found myself repeating Klaus Nomi's 'Wasting My Time' over and over."

Dignos, DJ
"Lately i’ve been inspired by 90’s rave pioneers like CJ Bolland, Frank De Wulf, Spectrum and Underground Resistance!"

Karlo, DJ
"DJs- Paramida, the Dekadenz crew, Kasra V, Pandora’s Jukebox"

Hideki Ito, DJ
"I guess local DJs mostly Karlo for dance music. Artists I’ve been listening to lately Laksa, Autechre, and Dada Munchamonkey. For DJs, Why Be, Ed Isar, Go Hiyama, and Asian PsilocybeFoundation."

Derek Tumala, Mvltiverse
"OMG I really like Pisitakun, a Thai sound artist that incorporates pro-democracy protest in his music. He just did a massive gig at the historical Democracy Monument in Bangkok in a huge rally against the monarchy. I really like him because he thinks of ways to move the art scene into the protest. Locally, I like Teya Logos, who I personally know of. She’s a teen trans girl working with recreating silly pop songs into mad electro beats, exploring transness and beyond. She’s fucking amazing, regardless of age or gender."

Isola, Trans Multi-disciplinary artist
"Artists are mostly Italian, like Fun Fun, Trans-X, Paul Lekakis, Sabrina, Lisa. From America, I like DIVINE, Stacey Q, Company B and SYLVESTER. Some are Japanese like Yoko Oginome and WINK. From UK I like The Flits. All falls under HI-NRG or 80s dance aerobics playlist."

Jon Olarte, Videographer / Protest Documentarist
"I love dengue dengue dengue. They’re from Peru and they reinvent or reprogram indigenous music into electronic dance beats"

Superstarlet XXX, Elephant
"Right now, my playlists on repeat are Oriental/Arabic techno and Russian post-punk/new wave. Right before lockdown started, it was a lot Glass Candy, iamamiwhoami, Todd Terje, and Dita Von Teese' Remix albums

Bruce Venida, Elephant
"Karlo and Dignos!"

Celeste Lapida, Trans Cinematographer / Drag artist
"Roisin Murphy"

Bohovee, Multi-disciplinary artist / Drag artist
"Spice Boys"

What do you think will become of the music industry & the underground music scene post-pandemic?

That's hard to decipher, and it probably differs per country. In the Philippines, it's impossible not to be pessimistic due to bad governance. However, I think Community Bread's platform is like looking through the future---don't you think?

October 2020

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