Electrolist, by Shanghai Ultra of the VOID crew, gives a regular lowdown on the Shanghai electronic music scene, with picks, tips, news, and other rumors.
This week Electrolist is carries a slightly more serious message than its usual irreverent tone. Many clubbers and fans were annoyed to read that The Shelter was to be shut down by the local authorities because of the Expo. Whilst this was an irritating inconvenience for those who like to goto that spot, spare a thought for promoters like Electrolist’s own crew, Void, who faced losing a substaintal amount of money, having already paid to bring an international guest DJ to Shanghai but suddenly had no venue to host the gig.
Thankfully, The Shelter will be open this weekend afterall since the authorities changed their minds about shutting the place down. So that means music lovers will have the chance to be treated to the rare talents of Glasgow’s Vince Watson as he performs a live show at The Shelter with Void tonight. If you ever thought electronic music lacked soul and emotion – just go and witness Vince’s uplifting and powerful set. At the very least, his show won’t be what you expected.
Listen to this live recording of his performance at Void last year. Make sure you switch on your VPN though – the censor threw yet another spanner in the works when the website Void uses for hosting its recordings and sets, was blocked in March – Archive.org, the Internet archive.
But an important point has to be made. Shanghai is a city which has spent billions on promoting itself as an international world centre with all the attractions and cultral trappings which go with that. However it is places like The Shelter, YYT and Logo which put on alternative music events which make a significant contribution to Shanghai’s character and generate unique culture. They are proof that there is more to Shanghai nightlife than swanky Bund bars, nightclubs with tables on the dancefloor and KTV. It’s all about giving Shanghai the variety of entertainment choices which any world-class city should be able to provide without question. But hassling these venues, especially during the Expo, only pushes Shanghai backwards.
The situation affects all promoters negatively. Those who rely on such events to make a living have their livelihoods threatened. For Void, the situation is a little different because we are one of the few promoters in town who pay substaintal amounts in DJ fees and flights to bring top-quality artists here, but make a loss almost every time we do so. We use parties where we have no international guest to subsidize bringing the bigger names. That means few bad turnouts or a forced cancellation like what almost happened could leave the Void lads severely out of personal pocket…simply because we tried to bring some great artists to Shanghai. Let’s hope by the time Expo is over, the powers that be understand better the positive role alternative promoters and venues play.
Anyway – the party is going off tonight. If electronic music is your bag then tonight is the night if you like it deep, melodic, groovy and dance-inducing. Vince Watson will perform with a variety of analogue gear including the classic 909 drum machine, so don’t miss his improvised funk.
Picture taken from the seminal Underground Resistance release, “Message to the Majors“.
TONIGHT: Void presents Vince Watson LIVE @ The Shelter, No. 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu 永福路5号，近复兴西路. 60 RMB on the door
Read more about music in Shanghai here.