Electrolist, by Shanghai Ultra of the VOID crew, gives the lowdown on the Shanghai electronic music scene each week, with picks, tips, news, and other rumors.
Electrolist doesn’t normally want to get into the underground/overground debate, but its just too hard to ignore this weekend. On one side, you’ve got two huge international names from the so-called Top-100 DJ list in town. Meanwhile, Electrolist’s own crew VOID, will continue their spirited rebellion against hype and fakery with their “Spectrum” party on Saturday night at Shelter.
Obviously Electrolist has strong opinions about marketing gimmicks like the “Top-100 DJ list.” To cut a long story short, it’s a list which is calculated only by readers of DJ magazine, who make up a tiny fraction of all electronic music fans worldwide. It measures how good DJs are at marketing themselves to the mainstream, it has little relation to technical ability or musical talent. As a barometer of the lowest common denominator in electronic music, and given how easily technology allows anyone with a computer to copy formulaic beats, that denominator can get pretty low. As DJ Bone told Shanghaiist on his first trip to the city “Popular does not equal good.” Words straight from the D which you can’t ignore.
So enough of that, what’s actually happening this weekend? Well, as alluded to above, Benny Benassi is at Bar Rogue tonight. Electrolist thinks his tunes are cheesy and contrived, electronic music at its most banal and souless, but we are not so crass as to ignore the fact he is in town. If you like that sort of Euro-pop music, go ahead and fill your boots. A party is a party at the end of the day.
On Saturday, the choice really becomes yours.
If you like to get busy on the dance floor, but prefer your dance music a bit less predictable than Armin Van Buuren’s saccharin-sweet trance tunes, then VOID’s “Spectrum” party at Shelter is the place to go. As you can see, the VOID propaganda department has been working round the clock with this indoctrination video – all the shots were filmed entirely by accident and were found lying around on the crew members’ hard drives.
If you look closely you can even see sped-up footage of July’s eclipse in Shanghai. Nat Alexander, Shanghai Ultra, and MHP bring you their inimitable Shanghai Sound and continue their contribution to making Shanghai the No.1 city in China for electronic music. It’s a mere 30RMB to get in tomorrow night.
To each their own though, Armin Van Buuren is playing at M2 if you really want to go. Tickets are 500 RMB tickets on the door – ouch. Presale tickets at 300 RMB if you have a look online you may find where to buy them. He doesn’t really do much DJing though, he just stands about waving to the crowd, who are mostly taking pictures of him rather than getting into his grooves. Is anyone actually there for the music? If you are lucky, they might even take some tables off the dancefloor. Don’t forget your glowsticks.
Elsewhere in the scene, local electronic artist B6 is currently in Berlin on tour, and co-incidentally just bought a load of Basic Channel vinyl at the famous Hardwax record store from DJ Pete, who just played VOID a month ago. Small world.
Cha Cha of Reggae and Dub crew Uprooted Sunshine could be looking at fame in a while, she’s just finished doing vocals over a unreleased 1982 version of the classic Clive Chin track “Rico’s Special”, originally recorded in the 60s. Check out this clip of it being played during Clive’s appearance at Shelter a couple of week’s back.
Finally, just to punish live music fans, almost all of whom will not have made it this far into the post, if they even read it all, Electrolist happens to know that negotiations to bring Sex Pistol Glen Matlock to perform a solo accoustic set, in support of Manchester band Puressence are underway, subject to official approval. They’d be appearing at Mao Livehouse in late April. Electrolist is all-seeing – you heard it here first.
TONIGHT: Benny Benassi @ Bar Rogue, 7/F, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, near Nanjing Dong Lu, 请带我去中山东一路18号7楼, 近南京东路, Pre-sale tickets 200RMB, 300RMB at the door
SATURDAY: Void presents SPECTRUM @ The Shelter, No. 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu 永福路5号，近复兴西路. 30 RMB on the door.
SATURDAY: Armin Van Buuren @ M2, 请带我去南京西路1266号 恒隆广场5楼，近陕西北路. Tickets 300 RMB pre-sale, 500 RMB on the door.