Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Spinner

When Arrjae Puno and I were in our early twenties, our tireless selves used to be the poster boys of Orosa. At 1 am on a Saturday morning, we would walk the streets of Malate on our way to Bed. The scene then, littered with wasted, happy folks who want to be seen and get laid were hardly a distraction. We still yearn to get to our destination.

After paying the 200 pesos cover charge, we would force our bodies in spaces already packed with frenzied crowd. The club then was a narrow strip tightly squeezed between the New York Cafe and another resto-bar, whose name had already slipped my mind. Two bottles of beer empty, the sound of bass bouncing off the man-sized speakers; and with the sight of half-naked revelers sweating from the collective body heat; there is no way to hold back the euphoria. With eyes half-closed, arms floating in mid-air, and me giving up control with every pulse of the strobe lights, my body loosens and begins swaying to the beat.

I have no doubts that Arrjae had the same sweeping feeling as well. Given the nights we would mount the ledge, take off our shirts and occupy the spot the Gogo boys had just left. The experience never left. I still listen to Electronic Dance Music whenever I get hold of the sound. What I didn't know is that my dance partner had other aspirations. Seeing the spinner becoming the heart of the dance floor, he wanted to become the DJ himself.

Once, I showed up in one of his gigs. He was just an apprentice then, and the watering hole where he spun his music wasn't really the places he would like to show his craft. With a bottle of beer in hand, I leaned across the turntable and watched him as he smoothly transitioned an RnB track to another. Back then, the crowd hardly paid attention. Being a social gathering corner rather than a place to dance, he was merely a wallflower.

I remember that time, for I hardly followed his rise to stardom. He spun in some of the swankiest club in town until he landed on the very same place where we used to forget the weekends. I had retired from clubbing because of other aspirations, and him being the resident DJ of Bed hardly crossed my mind. But with the events happening around me lately, the only place I know - to start over again - is the place I used to run and forget.

The club.

It was Friday evening when I saw his invitation on my Facebook Wall. Arrjae was chosen as one of the five finalists who will compete for a chance to open for David Guetta this Friday And as part of the race, exposure counts when candidates play at clubs where the judges take residence. Not knowing what to do that night, I said I'll come to his event. High on House is one of the shows I listen on FM radio and since they were the ones who set the gig at Time, I knew where I'm getting at.

It was home.

So at three in the morning tipsy on alcohol and drunk on Electronic Dance Music, I took my place outside the DJ's booth as Arrjae flipped open his laptop. With the Apple icon glowing amidst the smoke-filled room, he introduced his set with a Trentemøller classic. The DJ said he would play disco, but he ended up electrifying everyone with a progressive house set. And there we were, the spinner and the dancer. One, living his dream, while the other reclaiming his old spot in the new order of things. I may not be that kid who used to mount the ledge and take off his shirt in Malate. But that night, as one of those who lead the crowd and got consumed by the music. 

I knew a part of me was awakened.

It was almost 5 in the morning when Arrjae ended his set. He left the booth amazed by his exceptional performance. The reception was insane, for despite being an outsider in the sea of straight crowd, we walked past the dance floor still packed with people gearing up for the night's climax. He had asked me to join him and his friends for breakfast. But having to work that afternoon, and with my strength already used up, it was time to go home.


I was reading Bien's blog when his EDM sampler put me on a party spin. The idea to grace the dance floor was his doing. And to return the favor, I will share my music. May these songs put you in good spirits the whole week.

These are for you too Tipzsta. Cheers! Let's celebrate, for you have found your one