Toti Dalmacion is known these days as the founder of Terno Recordings, but others know him from way back in the 90s as the man behind Groove Nation, the record store and DJ collective that gave birth to a subculture of record junkies and aficionados of the dance floor. Toti himself is an avid collector and has amassed more than 20,000 records (he hit 20,000 as of 1996) and counting. Today, he is sharing his carefully curated records to other vinyl junkies in his new record store, Thisispop!
"I'd like to think that it's really the only record store in Manila that offers options to those who are really adventurous and discerning when it comes to music," Toti shares with Bandwagon. "The store is definitely not mainstream yet not hipster as well . It's really more mature as far as overall understanding of non-mainstream material and unapologetically snobby, but fun and well curated, yet just a small, hole-in-the-wall community hub."
A Groove Nation revival of sorts, Thisispop! is not only a way for Toti to reconnect with customers from his old record store, it is also an introduction to new ones who are more discerning and adventurous in their musical choices. "It's a small market but big enough for my store's purpose—because as much as I want to share, I'm also selfish to just keep some stuff between my friends and customers," the Ternoman says about keeping his niche clientele.
Thisispop! is open today from 2 to 10 p.m. (loads of time for crate-digging!), will be closed on Tuesday, and open again on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets to Toe Live in Manila are also available there.
Thisispop! is located at Unit B, Ground Floor, Legaspi Towers 100 Bldg, 148 Legazpi St., Legaspi Village, Makati.