EJ Flores, a DJ/Producer based out of Guam has been making some noise as he took the international music production scene by surprise this fall. Featured on the latest record titled “The Collab”, an Asnazzy Production, his song titled “Tragic Call” reached number #1 on the charts at mymusichouse.com. Shortly after this success he hit the top 100 charts at Tunes4djs.com and djsjop.de. Tragic Call is a fantastic example of true deep house and first class production work. His next release titled “City Lights” will be released December 8, 2014 on the label E.M.G. Recordings, preview City Lights below and be expecting more from this young talent pushing Guam’s own underground sound to the global dance music community.
Detroit techno icons, Derrick May and Jeff Mills, are set to take on the final Clash at Ageha of 2014 Saturday December 20th. The monthly underground series at Ageha will get a taste of Detroit Techno with heavy support by Japan’s electronic music kingpin Ken Ishii, Bass Work Recordings’ Sugiurumn, A.Mochi of Figure (Len Faki’s label), Q’hey of Reboot Japan, and more. Japan has been raking in top global house and techno artists all year long and next month’s Clash will put a nice touch to ending 2014 with something to remember for a very long time. Full event details can be found here.
Techno fans in Asia are in for a special one. The Berghain resident and Klockwork label head, Ben Klock, has announced four shows in Asia next month beginning with a set at Level 41 in Dubai on December 5th where support will be provided by Deian and Gabriel Floriani. The following night Klock heads to Taiwan for the 2nd birthday of Taipei club Korner which also features Ukranian label mate Etapp Kyle and local DJ Diskonnected, then he flies to Hong Kong on the 12th to play a Push party at Volar with residents Frankielam, AKW and Lukas. His final gig will be at Womb in Tokyo on December 13th where he’ll share the bill with Loco Dice.
Japanese based DJ/Producer and label boss, Sugiurumn, released his much anticipated full length album today titled, 20xx on Bass Works Recordings. The 12 track album which was completed in just 6 months time showcases the versatility and style that has influenced Sugiurumn over the past 15 years. Inspiration from this album is credited to the sounds of ENTER, where fellow Japanese industry colleague HITO has been a part of since 2012. The grooves of Music On, the first album of Drum Club plus the spirits of Detroit all played a major role in the completion of 20xx.
The release has gotten high praises from major Japanese publications such as Clubberia, Higher Frequency, and Resident Advisor. The entire 20xx album is available for preview below, be sure to snatch your copy today via Beatport. Music video for Seventy-Seven and Bike are also available for your viewing pleasures below.
Follow Sugiurumn & Bass Works Recordings
SHIFT at Time in Manila, a monthly gathering of Underground House & Techno lead by 6AM Group Asia resident Clyde Harris, continues this Friday with two special guests from Taiwan, J-Six and Dominik Hooker, both of them have been making impacts in Taipei’s electronic music scene since the 90s and early 2000s playing major local festivals and hosting some of the biggest acts in the industry all while holding down a long term residency at Taipei’s electronic music super club, Luxy. Their relentless efforts to push and showcase quality music in a country dominated by commercial club culture reminded us of the current situation being faced in the Philippines and we couldn’t have found a better fit as our special guests this month that understands the difficulty faced by some of these local DJs and promoters who simply just want quality beats. We hope through gatherings of like-minded individuals around Asia who share the same passion for electronic music will only strengthen the movement over time. A shift is needed for us to move forward, we hope to see you this Friday night at TIME along with Clyde Harris and Time resident Martin Lugtu, Rooftop sounds by Nomad Massive. Event Info | RSVP Link
Exclusive Q&A with J-Six and Dominik Hooker
Q: How did you first get involved with electronic music and who were some of your earlier influences?
J-Six: In 1990s, after my military service, I worked as label chief for almost 5 years, included SONY, BMG. I found that many good DJ/Producers have never been invited to perform in Taiwan. In 2001, I booked DJ Krush then Takkyu Ishino for their premium gig in Taiwan, it caused many good feedback, and I started to work as booker / DJ / event production till now. My favorite musicians are Depeche Mode, David Bowie, the Stone Roses, John Coltrane, and the Clash. Richie Hawtin, Sasha and John Digweed are the ones I learn from.
Dominik: I started off totally random throwing a birthday party with my gf and roommate some 14 years ago. The three of us had birthdays within 2 weeks of each other. We did a party on the beach, first electronic one as far as I know in bother Taiwan ever. went over very well. Didn’t look back since. My biggest influences were actually two friends that I threw parities with, DJ Saucey and DJ SL(aka Xuan). THose were some crazy days and their brand of deep, NY, West Coast House is what got me loving house music and start DJing.
Q: The scene in Asia seems to be going up and down like a roller coaster between the early 2000s til now. Where do you think the trend is going now for Taiwan as far as underground electronic music goes compared to places like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong where the scene is on the rise.
J: I think the creativity and originality is everything, since everybody these days can mix 2 tracks very easily through any application and then calls themselves a ‘DJ’. The scene should be promoting the real ‘artist’ to ‘DJ’, if not, it’s just a party to have fun without much substance to it. But it’s ok I guess, everybody just likes to party and be in that environment. The underground scene in my opinion will never die in Asia but it doesn’t seem like it will get any bigger either in the near future.
Q: Asides from strict law enforcements compromising parties that raises suspicion to them, what other challenges are local Taiwan promoters faced with by producing their own events?
J: The challenges we face is that Taiwan’s still has a very young scene both on the industry and event production level. Taiwan is an isolated tiny island in Asia so the market size can only get to a certain point before we hit capacity. The most exciting things these days in Taiwan for me are some of the more elite coffee shops where roasters hand pick unique coffees all in a very suitable decor. But I still enjoy Starbucks sometimes.
D: Lack of venues with good sound systems is definitely a big hurdle. The ones that have good systems usually play more pop oriented stuff.
Q: What year would you say was the peak of Electronic Music for Taiwan and what were some of the highlights during those times?
J: 2007, AvB on top of DJ mag poll for the second time, following Tiesto, then John Digweed. We could enjoy the golden years of lifting Trance while also sharing the love of quality deep shade. In Taiwan, the peak is definitely not right now I’m sorry to say.
D: I’m sure everyone remembers it differently but for me it was between 2002-2008. We had the big clubs playing good big house and we had our own crew throwing outrageous house parties. Nothing but great memories from those days.
Q: Have you ever been to the Philippines before? If so, what was your first experience like? If not, what are you looking most forward to and what expectations do you have for the country?
J: Never been to Philippines. It feels like it’s a mix-cultured country and plenty of sunshines. I’m looking forward to meeting new friends and enjoy the local lifestyle. SHIFT event opens till 8am, it’s usual for Taiwan so looking forward it. Sound like Ibiza.
D: I’ve been there quite a few times. Even DJ’d on Boracay once. But it’s a great country and I’m glad to have an opportunity to experience another side of it. I’m looking forward to throwing down some quality beats and getting people grooving and dancing.
Q: What can the people of Manila expect to hear during your set at SHIFT?
J: Thanks to 6AM group’s invite, I really like to share the deeper-tech music and bring back some good memories when they dance.
D: It will be a mutual effort. The more they give up in energy the more they can expect back. They can look forward to some big bass sounds, both house and techno in flavor, spiced up with some funky beats, deep grooves and some dirt for color.
Q: Asides from Japan, which Asian country do you think has the biggest potential for underground electronic music to seep through the market and truly develop? And why do you think that is?
J: Singapore, it’s more globalized than Taiwan, and there is F1, haha. I really like the lineup of ZoukOut this year, it’s always the best outdoor DJ event in Asia. Then maybe Hong Kong, if they win the game… there were good years in HK.
D: I’m not sure I have that much hope for Japan. Maybe with the reversal of the idiotic anti-dancing laws they can come back but on the last couple of visits I was quite disappointed. I think China has potential. With that many people there is a decent amount of people that are looking for something better. Some good things are happening in HK as well for a change. Taiwan is doing well, with number of local producers starting to make their mark on the international house scene.
While we stay in the hustle and grind of our own local scene, we often forget that music has no boundaries and that it spreads across the world and the beats we all enjoy and dance to are very much the same. In our first series of ‘Global Insight’ we feature Brendon Perera, a 25+ year veteran DJ born and raised in the bustling country of Singapore where in recent years has seen a major uprise on the growing trend of electronic music. We recently caught up with Brendon to discuss his insight.
How did you first get involved with Electronic Music and who were some of your earlier influences?
I supposed that happened when I heard Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn” in 1975. I was listening to a lot of Rock then and had just discovered, and was getting into a lot of jazz, funk and soul too. the radio here was horrid as they played mostly ballads and country music. I also didn’t get a huge allowance as a kid so I’d look through the sales shelves at record shops and buy stuff that was going for 3 to 5 bucks and just save up for the more costly new ones that I wanted badly. And there were 2 copies of “Autobahn” which was going for two bucks each, in the sales bin, so I decided that, hey, it wouldn’t hurt to just try it out, and I was pleasantly surprised. Of course I found it strange at first, and my parents must have found me even ‘stranger’ too, but, it kind of felt like a very different form of jazz to me, then, in many ways. Eventually, it all grew from there to buying more imports and 12 inch singles as better record shops, and a bigger allowance, eventually came to be. It all came to a point at the start of the 80’s when British and European synthpop artists and bands like Thomas Dolby, Gorgio Moroder, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Heaven 17, The Human League, Soft Cell, Visage, Yello and Alphaville came into play and made people take more notice of bands with no guitars. As time marched on, learning to DJ was the next step, and after my little holiday in New York in 1984, it was a nobrainer for me, after all that clubbing and watching dj’s working those dancefloors, that THIS was what I really wanted to do. Dancing (and going nuts) to Quando Quango’s ‘Love Tempo’ at Dancetaria pretty much made up my mind for me actually.
What was it like growing up in Singapore at a time when electronic music was not so widely accepted? Where did you find outlet to allow you and your fellow peers to push forward?
The really good stuff still isn’t to a large extent. And growing up here, liking electronic music, in those days meant you were pretty much ostracized by many people, employers and dj’s alike, who were still stuck playing records that were close to a decade, or two decades old, and not mixing them up with the new stuff. Club managers would reprimand us and tell us to just stick to the ‘hits’, so I can understand if some of the DJ’s who had families to feed just buckled down and lived with it or gave up entirely. I actually got tired of it and left DJ’ing at the end of 1991 to become a flight attendant, which I did for for 5 years, just so I could travel the world, hit the clubs and see if my perception of where electronic music was going, was correct. And buy heaps of records that the shops here weren’t bringing in too. Eventually, some of us likeminded folk, found a few leftfield places to play more forward thinking music out, parttime. Neo Pharaoh’s in 1996, a little like the Sound Factory bar in New York, was a good place then. In 1997, when left the airline to return to DJ’ing, NOX was probably one of the best clubs I’ve ever had the pleasure of working at. Zouk helped the scene, and other DJ’s like myself a lot actually, as their forward thinking policy and approach then, coupled with the fact that they had the financial capability to bring the more underground DJ’s like Sasha, Tenaglia, Francois K, Laurent Garnier, LTJ Bukem Adam Freeland etc, all playing different styles of electronica, all went a long way to create a greater awareness for the music here. Being a resident there for 9 years was also one of the high points of my career/ life too.
What are your current involvements with the local Singapore electronic music industry?
These days I’m content with working as a free lance DJ. Although I do have my set resident nights ay Kyo and Ku de Ta and my various monthly other nights, like BUZZ or some of the work that I do with the Midnight Shift, and my own little collective called DOOMPH which comprises of myself, Stephen Day, JeanBaptiste and Ashe Narayan, I’m really quite content and happy to work at different places, including festivals that maintain a quality and forward thinking identity and approach. I enjoy the variety, and learn quite a fair bit about a great many things.
Singapore is quickly emerging as a global destination for top artists to show case their talents and sound; what do you think attributes to the growth of electronic music for Singapore despite the country’s strict laws and regulations?
The common misconception that Law enforcement has always had with ‘electronic music’ or music per se, is that it and the drug scene go hand in hand. Drug use or abuse, is an individual and social problem and a battle, best fought in the schools or other institutions of higher learning (including the home). I’ve read reports of people who come from totally unrelated fields who have gone into addiction and eventually, rehabilitation. So it’s not altogether right to attach it’s ills to one particular thing. As for the growth of electronic music, I honestly think that a great part of it has to do with the awareness that Zouk and its popularity created circa 1998 to present day. Zoukout as well, over the course of the last decade or so, has seen a rise in the amount of people attending, not Just from Singapore but different parts of Asia as well. There are people who actually knew that Zouk was in Singapore, but never really quite knew where Singapore was geographically. Unless they’d been here. Singapore’s also a very ‘International’ city now and the increasing population, and demand for both the commercial and underground artists prompts more clubs and promoters to take the risk in bringing them over, and although there have been some nights and parties that weren’t so well attended, most of them fair rather well. I just DJ’ed in the smaller ‘Sideshow FREQ’s’ room at the FREQENDER festival over the recent Halloween weekend and was happy to see it that well attended. I was also pleasantly surprised at the reaction in the main room to artists like Doorly and Hot Chip. To me that was an indication that the balance is slowly shifting. There’s also a lot to be said for the fact that these concerts and festivals bring in heaps of tourist dollars too. Every time there’s a big festival on, or an event like the Formula One Night Race, and the heaps of concerts and events going on during that weekend alone. There’s a small other factor of the less progressive Asian cities, where people are actually starved of the exposure and experience and flock to Singapore to get it. There’s literally a guest DJ here at the clubs just about every weekend.
There seems to be a nice balance of Undeground and Upfront electronic music happening in Singapore based on the latest ZoukOut line up along with various clubs promoting both types of sound. Is there currently a divide in the local scene between the two dynamics? or are local and foreign clubbers generally more accepting to both? What is your stance between commercial music and underground?
Yes, I do like the balance in the Zoukout line up this year, I might even go, if I’m not DJ’ing on that day. I like having fun whether I’m DJ’ing or going out to party. But, I actually have to be honest here, I have a Zero tolerance policy when it comes to bad music. For me, it’s really simple, good music is good music, it doesn’t necessarily have to be radically ‘underground’. I remember Sasha playing the C&C Music Factory remix of Gloria Estafan’s “Live For Loving You” as his encore way back on one of his first few nights here at Zouk one time; can’t remember the exact year, but it was early in the 90’s. But I remember thinking to myself that this was a great remix and a great record. The divide, however, that exists anywhere in the world depends on the individuals themselves, those who yearn to learn, eventually grow out of the whole EDM/POP thing, and start appreciating better music, and, hopefully, becoming better people. I remember seeing a group of them move from Beyonce to Osunlade over the course of my Zouk/Velvet residency, and after that there was no stopping them from moving on to more quality based music. Some of them still come to my gigs these days, and thank me for it, but they did it all on their own really, my part to play was really very small. Most people, in general, who aren’t as clued up, probably really don’t care. They’re there because it’s cool, and the main objective is really to get totally trashed or laid. The one’s who come out to dance, don’t usually let anything stand in their way. Things are changing though, I know of a few EDM based clubs here that are trying to play better music or have more credible collectives host more quality nights within their respective venues. But it’ll take a while before Asia catches up with Europe as it’s still very influenced by what goes on in America. So the minute that starts to change, then we’ll see. There is a cultural divide that I’d love to see eclipsed and that is a greater balance of locals and foreigners enjoying themselves together, and not having to hold discriminate disdain to a venue because it’s got a greater population of foreigners that frequent it or vice versa. Don’t get me started on the KPop thing though……
Singapore has been getting a lot of attention on a global scale with IMS (International Music Summit) making its debut next month followed by the annual ZoukOUT festival; what do you think the impact will have on the overall scene in Asia and do you think more attention will be drawn towards this side of the region in the coming years?
International Summits and events like Zoukout etc do create job opportunities for many, and in all respects, thats a good thing as the economy here still isn’t as thriving as many may think. But that impact thus far, is transient. The festival comes and goes, as does the summit. If I may digress a tad, I hope that the government departments, both here and across Asia, will take an active part in the summits, and support it’s growth and, also take the impetus and be less strict in giving applying good bars and restaurants the required legal paperwork to have DJ’s or bands playing in them, that will create more long term job opportunities for more artists. It’s been really irritating to lose out on a gig at a great bar simply because, a raid by the relevant authorities reveal that they don’t have the right paperwork to allow DJ’s in their establishment and even more frustrating to watch these good places eventually close as a result of that. And watch everyone lose their jobs too. Any city with a thriving economy, has a thriving club/bar/festival scene. As for the ‘scene’ in Asia, the longer these cooler venues stay open, the greater impact will speak for itself. That having been said, this attention and awareness, is already starting to happen quite quickly.
What was it like being the resident at Zouk for 9 years? What were some of the highlights during your tenure at the legendary venue?
It was phenomenal, to say the most. I used to go dancing there since it first opened in 1991 and to be have been offered that residency was, needless to say, a great feeling at the time. Plus everyone knew each other so it made working there a joy. I spent most of my residency there in the Velvet Underground room which was more or less the ‘Body and Soul’ room. The people who came night after night really knew their stuff so, they kept you on your toes. There’s probably too many highlights over the course of my years there, but I’ll put it down to just meeting lots of great people, most of whom I’m still friends with today, dancers and DJ’s alike. Oh, and curating and mixing the Velvet edition of the Rhythm 2 CD compilation I once went to visit a friend in Kuching in Malaysia, just after it came out, and they were playing it in the cafe that we were in, and my friend Joni, looked at me with this coy little smile, and said, “should I tell them?” and we just laughed and enjoyed our coffee. Going to the Miami Winter Music Conference for Zouk in 2003, and playing at the Zouk/Pacha party at Opium Gardens was very memorable too. And all those Zoukout’s, as well.
When outsiders talk about SIngapore’s underground artists, the name Xhin usually comes to mind. What other local artists would you consider a talent that deserves more recognition?
Ha ha, yes, Xhin’s actually a good friend and he’s pretty damn good at what he does too. I’d like to see Eddie Niguel get some more props, he’s a really good producer and DJ. And I’ve just discovered this new DJ and producer named Aman who’s pretty damn good too. I’d like to see his stuff get on an international label at some point next year.
As we approach the end of 2014, what are some of the projects you’re currently working on and what can we expect from you and the clubs you’re involved with in the coming year?
It’ll be back to the studio for sure to work on some new ideas and finish a few unfinished things that have been sitting around saved on Cuebase. I do have a list of musicians I’d love to work with so it’s not going to be totally electronic. More DJ’ing of course as I’m very happy working with the team at Ku De Ta, really tight bunch there, and they’re moving on to bigger and better things in the new year, so that’s good to hear. They’ve just also won the best local nightspot award despite the stiff competition from kyo and Zouk, which was no easy feat considering Zouk’s won it heaps of times before, and kyo, given such a short time, has consistently proven to be well more than worthy in every respect. I do also hope to travel a bit next year as well. Hopefully to South America, as I’ve never been out there I hear the crowds there are mental.
Japan’s cabinet approved changes on Friday to a 66-year-old law that bans late-night dancing in clubs, a decision that will help businesses cash in on an expected influx of tourists ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Dancing at public venues is illegal in Japan and is only permitted until midnight under a special license, in a holdover from a 1948 law to stamp out prostitution linked to dance halls.
The police stiffened enforcement of the rule four years ago, however, after a student was killed in a brawl in Osaka, Japan’s second-largest metropolitan area, and worries grew about risks to young people against a backdrop of celebrity drug scandals.
“Visitors from overseas would come here to Japan and they’d wonder why they can’t dance, even though you can dance at night anywhere overseas,” said Kenji Kosaka, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and head of an alliance of lawmakers for the promotion of dance culture.
“The biggest thing that will change in this law is that you can now dance at night.”
The cabinet’s decision must be ratified by the Diet, but Kosaka said that should not be a problem as the LDP had a majority in both houses of Japan’s Diet.
The changes approved on Friday clear the way for a new category of clubs where people can dance all night, but added requirements for better interior lighting.
The lighting must now be brighter than 10 lux, or about as much as in a movie theater before a show starts, to discourage crimes and bad behavior.
“The actual standard was dancing. Now that is changing to the level of lighting,” said Takahiro Saito, a Tokyo-based lawyer who spearheaded a movement called “Let’s Dance”.
The easier rules should help bar owners such as Shuya Okino, who got rid of the dance floor at ‘The Room’ two years ago, after police stepped up crackdowns on Japan’s nightlife.
“Everything is in a gray zone,” said Okino. “It’s all illegal, but there are clubs that do operate.”
Television footage of police raids on clubs shows patrons being dragged out protesting they have done nothing wrong, while proprietors were charged with the crime of making people dance.
Police often used the existing law as a pretext to investigate problems such as boisterous clubbers, illegal drugs or suspected gangster involvement, so changing the rules may not end police intrusions into clubland.
Source: Japan Today
Earlier this year Resident Advisor touched on this topic through Japan’s local industry perspective in their video series, Real Scenes Tokyo, which details the challenges faced by club owners and promoters.
Singapore club kyō has announced a new mix CD series launching in November.
The venue has become one of the city’s key destinations for quality house and techno since it opened in March 2013, hosting acts like Darren Emerson, Huxley, Midland, Terrence Parker, Kenny Larkin, Francois K and more. For the launch of their mix CD series, kyō have selected Oxia to help capture the sound of their FORWARD parties held regularly on Saturday nights. The Frenchman has put together a 20-track disc featuring tracks and remixes from Robag Wruhme, Carl Craig, Nick Curly and Oxia himself. A launch party for the release will be held at the club later on in the year. kyō 001 mixed by Oxia is set to release on November 3rd, 2014.
01. Pohl – Throw Up
02. Pablo Bolivar – I Would Try to Make This (Deep Vision)
03. DJ Koze – Nices Wölkchen (Robag’s Bronky Frumu Rehand)
04. Philip Bader & David Squillace – Free The Visa
05. Mihai Popoviciu – Time
06. Wade & Artslaves – Promiscuous
07. Nick Curly – Headcount
08. Sebo K – It’s Alright
09. Matthias Tanzmann – Reframed
10. Oxia – Perception
11. Cristoph – Let Me Sleep
12. Huxley – Oil Spill
13. Moderat – Bad Kingdom (Robag Wruhme 4/4 Edit mit Xomlopp Rmx Schwanz)
14. Cuartero – Sweet In the Morning
15. Kiko & Spencer K – Rondo (Oxia Remix)
16. Mathias Schaffhauser – The Best Bad Idea – (Nicolas Masseyeff Remix)
17. Chaim – Blue Shadow (Guy Gerber’s Barkan Remix)
18. Ross Evans – Let It Go
19. Theo Parrish – Falling Up (Carl Craig Remix)
20. Sandrino & Frankey – Save
source: Resident Advisor
The International Music Summit (IMS) will be making its way to Asia-Pacific for the first time this year. The annual event held in Ibiza is scheduled to debut in Singapore Dec 11th, one day before the annual ZoukOut Festival. Pete Tong will be hosting the nine hour event at The W Singapore Sentosa Cove hotel with special guest speakers and key panels and an array of workshops, seminars, and tutorials. IMS is regarded as the premier platform for thought leaders in electronic music, the International Music Summit is where announcements for the season ahead are made and deals are confirmed. With talks by some of electronic dance music’s foremost DJs, their managers and owners of the most significant brands in dance music, it is a place for everyone who is anyone in the dance music industry – estimated in an IMS business report this year to be worth US$6.2 billion (S$7.9 billion) annually. The aim of IMS is to educate, inspire and motivate and is dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, electronic music – the artistry related to DJ-ing and all related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of summits and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of the genre to art and culture worldwide.
The inaugural Wonderfruit Festival produced by Scratch and Secret Productions recently added steam to their electronic music line up by confirming Jamie Jones of Hot Creations and Damian Lazarus of Crosstown rebels along with Francesca Lombard, Seth Troxler, Soul Clap, Subb-an, PillowTalk [live], Ali Love [live], Craig Richards and more. The 3 day festival will take place from Dec 19-21 in Chonburi, Thailand a 1.5 hour drive from Bangkok, the country’s capital.
The concept of Wonderfruit goes well beyond music as health and overall well being is the center point focus. Their mission to promote sustainable living, self-expression, and a nurturing environment for creative growth and inspiration. Wonderfruit promises to be different than the typical Asia festivals where attendees are merely spectators; they encourage participation, collaboration, celebration, and creation. For more information and tickets for Wonderfruit please check out their official website.