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.
First up a brief review of last week’s big event. Predictably enough, Richie Hawtin was a huge let down. He played a rather boring safe and easy set of minimal, devoid of any real stand-out tracks, and it sounded rather like trance, with endless cheesy breakdowns and buildups. It was music without edge or without much emotion at all.
Rather than taking us on a rollercoaster, Richie strapped us in tightly and took us out for a Sunday afternoon cruise with Grandma. Most unfortunate, especially considering Mao Livehouse’s splendid sound system, lighting and general ambience. Infact it was a good night all round, except the music. Service at the bar moved at glacial pace however. So much so, that one Shanghai-based DJ, who was unsteady on his feet and had difficulty locating the venue at the start of the night, was later spotted smuggling in beers from outside. Electrolist was shocked and appalled.
Richie forgot that not everyone leads the life of a dance pop-star DJ – not getting up till the afternoon, prancing about wearing M_Nus earrings and kissing his DJ mates instead of going to work. Starting a Dj set at 1.30am on a school night, when the place was full by 11pm, was far too late. He aparently got harder and faster as they night went on, but Electrolist left at 2.30am, when things should have been in full-flow, especially with many in the crowd having to be at their desks around 6-and-a-half hours later. Electrolist is a self-confessed techno purist, and could thus be expected to turn up his snobby nose at such a dull set from Richie. But other normally more forgiving electronic music fans shared similar views. Local DJ Fish scolded Hawtin on his twitter, and Acupuncture Beijing’s Miao Wong said his Beijing show the following evening was also “dissapointing.”
Finally, the price of the gig, at 120 RMB for advance tickets and 200 RMB on the door, was simply a rip-off. A quick search on the net reveals that you could have seen Hawtin play the Arches in Glasgow, UK, a long-running techno club, for just 15 British pounds back in August. That’s around 165 RMB. But before anyone says anything, that ticket also would have enabled you to enjoy legendary electronic duo Slam, Matthew Dear (who records on Hawtin’s label M_nus) plus two other international acts, in addition to the fashion label owner. It doesn’t add up to anything other than Hawtin coming to Asia to coin it.
Richie, your credibility lies in tatters.
The highlights of the local scene offer far smaller names and much cheaper nights, but no less quality of entertainment. In a somewhat unplanned sequence of events, Shanghai Ultra, of Electrolist’s own VOID crew, finds himself behind the decks for the third weekend running. He appears with Dada resident Ben Thriller at, um, Dada Bar, tonight and is preparing to unleash a great many of his own electronic creations on unsuspecting drinkers. The bar is equipped with a dancefloor which will heat up after a while. Infact, a trouser-shaking dance bonanza is on the cards.
Saturday night sees psy-trance outfit Magic Garden return to G-Plus for the last time. No word on why they won’t be appearing at the Xintiandi spot again, but they will be continuing their colourful shenanigans elsewhere next year. Their guest tomorrow night is VishnuData from Finland who will be performing live as well as on the CDJs of steel. Expect energetic music as the crew bid farewell to their base of the past 18 months or so. Residents Solaris, Kodama, Yuta will be providing support backup on the decks.
Also on Saturday night, and again at Dada Bar, its ladies night, except the girls are behind the decks rather than dancing around their handbags on the floor. A real mix of music is on offer from Shanghai’s leading female DJs, Mia, Siesta, Yen, Kelly Rehab, and everyone’s favourite Manchurian, vocalist and MC ChaCha. Not only that, but VJ Hean Kim from Korea is womaning the visuals. A very tasty line-up worthy of closer inspection, they are also talented DJs .
That’s about it for this week. Shelter is closed for renovation until December 31 incase you are wondering why there is no such event highlighted there. On Shanghai’s long range radar for the coming months are Reggae / Dub / Techno act Rythym and Sound, and UK techno DJ Inigo Kennedy who is returning to storm the city once more.
TONIGHT: Shanghai Ultra & Ben Thriller @ Dada, 115 Xingfu Lu, near Fahuazhen Lu 请带我去幸福路115号. No cover.
SATURDAY: Lady Killer, also at Dada, free entry.
SATURDAY: Magic Garden presents VishnuData at Club GPlus, 5/F, South Block Plaza, Lane 123 Xingye Lu, 新天地南里广场5楼, 兴业路123 弄. Free entry.