Around the early to mid-90s, when electronic music culture had just reached the Philippines, a collective called Groove Nation founded by Toti Dalmacion started sparking up the electronic music scene in Manila. It was 1993 and Toti had just gotten back from Los Angeles, where he’d come up with local legend Doc Martin.Toti first opened a small indiepop/rock record store in Makati, but stoon started organizing events in the so-called “Consortium”. Even though other small groups were pushing for house music in the capital, Groove Nation’s goal was to push further and to bring the innovators and idol’s of the global techno and house scene to Manila.

Artists such as Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Stacey Pullen, Laurent Garnier, Josh Wink, Ken Ishii, Chez Daimler, Alec Empire, Marques Wyatt, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Terry Francis, Jamie Bissmire and Derrick Carter all graced the decks at Consortium's famous parties of the 90s. For outside projects and corporate events, Groove Nation even booked massive acts like Richie Hawtin, Kevin Saunderson, Jürgen of Jazzanova and many more.

The echoes of those wild nights at Consortium ring on in the local scene, and while little documentation is present today, we dug up some rare old photos from the flourishing underground scene in Manila from Groove Nation’s heyday.


"The one and only John Glenn of Blue Cafe and friends were regulars at Consortium. In fact the experiment, that is Consortium was first held at Blue Cafe when Malate was about to get really hot."

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"Jamie Bissmire of Space DJz. All around great guy. Rode with me on my Vespa after the gig on the way to after gig breakfast shouting "We are the mods,we are the mods" in reference to Quadrophenia of course. A mod/b-boy/ techno DJ."

Karl Roy

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Doc Martin at Consortium

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"The fashionable set were definitely also represented at Consortium."

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"Detroit techno innovator Derrick May gracing the decks at Consortium."

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"We said goodbye to bars like Pep’s and clubs like Euphoria to go to raves done by Groove Nation aptly called the Consortium. We learned and enjoyed the Malate scene."

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 "The late 90’s to early 2000’s was a ground breaking period for Philippines youth fashion."

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 "Overnight Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts and you’re run of the mill designer jeans from stores like Linea Italia became obsolete."

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"Cecile Z. A regular at the Consortium parties. Grocery, her store then, was part of Consortium,selling clothes for the 90's local rave generation."

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Inside 'grocery'

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"The rockers (Krishna M and Nathan-then with Rivermaya)" 

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 Noel, db and Rod. T

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Consortium residents Cocoy P. and Toti Dalmacion

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"The preppy teens retired their pastel colored apparel in the darkest corner of their closets." 

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"The youth culture changed in a flash. We suddenly felt that being different was not at all bad but rather more fun."

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"Street Fashion became the voice of every Filipino youth dying to break the stereo type. In that brief period, we became exposed to a new lifestyle that changed our music, style, and way of life forever." 

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"I have no idea who he is but he looks fierce and has a nice Consortium shirt on. There were probably a hundred or so of this printed for a crowd of 3,000 so it's a rare item and anyone who still have theirs in good condition might want to get in touch with me." 

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"Design staples like Havoc Street Couture by Adam De Lumen became the uniform of young and hip Filipinos."

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Groove Nation, circa 1998 as seated in front from L-R: Cocoy Puyat, Isabelle Ramos, Toti Dalmacion, Doy Santos, Desiree Campos, Edge Pamute, and in the rear from L-R: Malek Lopez, Felissa Lacuesta, Noel de Brakinghe, Karlo Samson and Agu Paiso (photographed by Dakila Angeles for Preview Magazine at 2C Michel Apartments, 1020 Mabini St, Malate, Manila, Philippines).


Photo's and quotes taken from (Photos by Eddie Boy Escudero) (Photo by Dakila Angeles)