Celebrate dance music and vinyl records at this pop-up experience

Photos courtesy of Together We Design

If you’ve ever watched a DJ spin a set, you know the feeling of magic you get from that kind of show. The way they sequence their songs, transition from track to track, read and manage the energy of a crowd — within the space of their set, a DJ weaves new meanings and narratives from the rich tapestry of music and culture. What comes out of that miracle is a communal experience, a roomful of dancing bodies. That’s what transpires whether the dude is messing around on a laptop or spinning actual wax.

You can expect the authentic analog experience though, at Back2Mono, a vinyl pop-up experience created by Japanese DJ Shigeki Fukuda, who has been living in the country for a bit over a year. Fukuda, who was surprised by the observation that people in the Philippines “just stay in their own circles,” founded the event in the interest of bringing people together through a shared love of music. The first Back2Mono event celebrated the beauty of Japan-pressed records. This second instalment of Back2Mono, though, taking place at The Alley at Karrivin on April 14-15, will be kicking out the jams with a fascinating theme: the history of dance music.

To illustrate how that’ll go down, imagine a time machine field trip, a show that aims to take you through dance music from the 70s to the present day — most likely very little of it mainstream. “You’re not going to find your top 100 Billboard music here,” Shigeki says. Over the course of the event, you’ll be able to peruse a pop-up record store cobbled together from three prolific record collectors: Japanese audiophile Hiro “Chiga” Koneko, director of The Potato Head’s Music Room Johnny Hiller, and owner of Terno Recordings and This Is Pop Records, Toti Dalmacion. From 10 p.m. onwards, you’ll also be getting DJ sets from Shigeki, Johnny and Toti. Picture a seasoned collector on deck, how eclectic that set’s going to be.

Put your record on: The first Back2Mono event celebrated the beauty of Japan-pressed records. 

“I’m aiming for it to be more than just another vinyl record pop-up experience,” Shigeki says, emphasizing that Back2Mono as an event should not just entertain, but enrich our understanding of culture. “I want people to not just sell wares that vaguely resemble vinyl records, not know anything about the musician, the music, the culture, the narratives behind it. I want people to immerse themselves in it, to learn, engage, have fun, come empty, leave fulfilled.”

Shigeki is also collaborating with Together We Design to bring the look of the event together. John Tan of the TWD also sees Back2Mono as something that will nourish culture, and bring people together. “All of us have different tastes and preferences, but if we just allow ourselves to be a little bit open, a lot of things will get more interesting and beautiful.”

Back2Mono will also have food and drinks, and a music market where audiophiles can purchase both new and pre-loved musical equipment and event merchandise, so you can actually stay the whole day, if that jives with you. The whole point is to hang out and gather, and for people to jive with each other. As Shigeki would say, “That’s the thing about music: it exists as a mode of expression for things, emotions, events that can’t be shared in spoken or written language. And people coming to dance together, there’s something magical about that.”


Back2Mono vol.02 will be taking place at The Alley at Karrivin at Karrivin Plaza, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati. RSVP for Back2Mono here.

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