Our next resident and also our music director for XX XX is Mikail. Over the years he has had experience in Europe working for Richie Hawtin’s Minus label, as a DJ he used to run warehouse parties in London and has played everywhere from the US to Berlin or Barcelona and Australia, in addition to having shared the decks with names such as Jamie xx, Stacey Pullen, Kerri Chandler or Nina Kraviz to name a few. Since being based in Manila, he is also a co-founder of the recently launched house and techno event series UNKNWN, and his drive and passion for pushing underground electronic music culture in the region has not yet fatigued.
He has a very distinct style behind the decks, not really paying attention too much to genre-boundaries, as his DJ sets can range from classic Chicago house to afro, broken techno, italo-disco or electro. We can definitely expect a good variety of track selection, brilliant mixing and a lot of vinyl.
Listen to Mikail’s exclusive XX XX mix and find out more about him in a short interview below.
What is your background with electronic music? How did you develop your passion for it?
Everything started pretty young, even before my teenage years. I was exposed to dance music through my mom’s workout music (90s cheesy stuff), and trips back here to the Philippines where my uncle Manolet Dario was one of the first proper house DJs. I would listen to his mix cd’s and it got me hooked. Then growing up in Italy it’s pretty normal to be surrounded by house or dance music as it was always in the charts there, more than rock or hip hop for example. I got my first decks when I was 17 and I guess that was it - I knew music would be a big part of my life!
Then living in London for university and work for 7 years obviously built my passion as it is a world hub for electronic music, a passion which I’m continuing to develop and hoping to translate to others here in Manila.
Who or what would you say are your main influences as a DJ?
As mentioned before being exposed early to my uncle’s music was a big influence, then I guess the passion and taste developed through research and older friends into the same music giving me cues. Living in London and Berlin obviously shaped my taste and deepened my knowledge, I got to see my favourite DJs such as Luciano or Ricardo Villalobos at the time, and discover new DJs every weekend and just go to all types of clubs and events.
People who have influenced me are definitely Richie Hawtin, whom I worked for when living in Berlin, not only in terms of DJing but also vision for electronic music and its culture. Other than that I have always been influenced by world, ethnic or tribal stuff hence I was really into Luciano and Villalobos as mentioned above. Other than that a big influence are my surroundings of course - the music I used to play in London is completely different to my style since I moved to Manila, the environment and people that surround me are always an influence.
What can we expect from you as a resident DJ at XX XX / 20:20?
I haven’t had a regular residency in years so I’m extremely excited for this! I have been “rediscovering” all my records here and will be shipping all my others back from Europe - hence you can expect a lot of vinyl in the new club, also because we have made sure that the sound, setup and equipment is all perfectly set up for it. In terms of music things will range from A to Z... as long as the people are smiling and dancing. I’ll be playing lots of more old school house as a lot of that has been popping up from my record collection, but obviously mixing it up with techno, newer house or disco on certain nights, and bringing in some world music and ethnic flavour!
As a club, what does XX XX represent to you and what are your hopes for it?
XX XX represents a very healthy and growing scene in Manila. Over the past year there have been increasingly more events and young DJs popping up, in addition to different music being played around the city. People are ready for another quality electronic music club to give more options away from the usual pretentious norm.
The club will hopefully add and help to raise Manila’s profile on the electronic music map, by trying to be in line with international standard night clubs, with our bookings, concept, ethos and music quality.
I also hope people start understanding that enjoying music and partying is about being in a no-worries environment - nobody judges you, not worrying about looking good in selfies, not having to think about what you’re wearing, it’s all about dancing, being silly and good times with the music you love together with old and new friends, the music and club experience being the facilitator. The biggest hope is for XX XX to be a facilitator like this.
Name 3 tracks that define you.
- Octave One - Blackwater
- Plastikman - Plasticine
- Joyce - Aldeia De Ogum