Hello to you all on a lovely Friday morning from my hotel room in Shanghai. I have been staying here since playing at my gig at the M2 Club last Saturday night, and soon I’ll be taking off to make my way towards tomorrow night’s event at the awesome Zouk nightclub in Singapore. The first weekend of the Asian tour is in the books, so let’s look back at the events that took place in Bangkok, Taipei, and last Saturday in Shanghai.
Thursday April 30th – Bangkok
I arrived in Bangkok after a 17 hour flight from Los Angeles (after a 5 hour flight from Miami to LA), early in the morning local time. As you can imagine I was really tired after the flight so I slept all day. When I woke up in the evening I was well rested and ready for a big night out. I was very excited to play Bangkok for the first time and as always making a good first impression is always important.
This was the second week of a 2 week festival. The first week they had Tiesto and the second week Ferry Corsten and I were headlining. First up though was dinner. I had a lovely dinner with Ferry and his wife Lia; as well as the guys that make up Bodyrocks. Of course as part of our dinner obligation, we each took turns doing media interviews and taking pictures with the sponsors of the event. The event took place on the very top floor of a huge building. I think we were on the 30th floor or something.
I remember looking out at the skyline during my set and thinking what an amazing view it was. Playing before me was a name some of you old school partiers may remember, Kimball Collins. He used to play all over the US in the late 90s and early 00s. He has since moved to Bangkok and is doing really well. He seemed very happy and at peace with himself; and it was really good to see him again. My set went very well. I was able to build the set with patience since I knew that Ferry was also going to bang it out after me. There really was no rush to open with a full gallop.
The fans were very enthusiastic and right with me with every track. I ended with the Lemon & Einar K Uplifting Remix of Daydream, with Inge (Lemon from Lemon & Einar K) standing by me and giving his approval. A very good beginning to this long tour.
After my set I hung out a bit to catch some of Ferry’s set and catch up with Kimball and Inge, who had been living out in Bangkok himself since the beginning of the year. I don’t know what it is, but so many people are moving to Bangkok.
Friday May 1st – Taipei
There was not much rest after the Bangkok gig. On to the airport and a flight to Taipei. As I boarded the plane, the flight attendants were all looking at me. Finally one came up to talk to me. I didn’t recognize her in her uniform at first, but it was then I realized that they were in the front row of the gig the night before and they were the Dutch group I was hanging out with and talking to after my set. During the flight they took turns taking pictures with me on the plane while the rest of the passengers all wondered who I was!
I landed in Taipei just as the sun set and fell asleep on the 1 hour drive from the airport to the city center. I woke up just long enough to check in, go to my room and sleep for 4 hours. I was really looking forward to this gig at Luxy since the first time I played here was such a huge success. I played at their 2F White Party last July. Incredible crowd, really up for it.
On this night, they were just as crazy as last time. The production and the dancers were amazing and the sound was rumbling. Highlight of the set was when I played Chinook. Everyone really went off to it. After my set I hung out in the VIP a bit and mingled with everyone. I can’t wait to go back. Taipei is a city that I have to make sure and hit on every Asian tour I do.
Saturday May 2nd – Shanghai
My flight to Shanghai did not leave until 4pm so I had the chance to sleep in and try to get on track with the Asian time zone. Once I woke up I had a late breakfast, answered some emails and headed back to the airport to make my way to Shanghai; where I was scheduled for 5 days off. I was looking forward to Shanghai not just for the downtime, but also because I would be playing with a Chinese DJ named Jasmin Li.
Let me tell you the story about how I met her. Last time I played in Shanghai, Jasmin was hanging out in the DJ booth for my whole set. I did not know why she was in the booth but she kept smiling at me and grooving with the tunes and I kept smiling back. When my set was over, I asked who was playing after me. Well Jasmin grabbed her headphones, plugged in and mixed out of my last track flawlessly and in key. She rocked the crowd and I stood there with my jaw on the ground. She has such an amazing stage personality and she just destroys the place after me. I was really eager to see her again, this time I was planning on staying the entire set to see if the first time was just a fluke.
My set went great. My good friend Spark Lam played before me. He runs Cool DJ Agency and takes care of me when I play at any Chinese gig. He has worked really hard over the past number of years to develop and push the scene in China, and just recently, he has taken on the added responsibility of being the editor for the Chinese edition of DJ Mag.
He was also celebrating his birthday on Saturday, so it only added to the fun of the evening. In the booth there was birthday cake flying and empty bottles of Vodka everywhere. The crowd was really close as well, so this was just a free for all. They kept passing me glasses of champiagne which I then passed on to the fans in the front of the booth. Like I said, amazing party.
Then it was time. My set was over and I was eager to hear Jasmin again. She did not disappoint. She rocked the place again. I am telling you, this girl is a star. I could just imagine her in front of 30,000 people at Trance Energy or at a Godskitchen event in Europe. You guys would love her. I think this year in DJ Mag when they ask me who my tip for breakout DJ is, I am going to mention Jasmin.
Midweek in Shanghai
With the weekend’s activities out of the way, my first task was to get well rested and properly adjusted to the Asian Time Zone. Normally when I am on the road, I am in a city for such a short period of time that I rarely have the opportunity to see outside my hotel room or the club, because you have to obey the sleep and rest demands that your body requires. However, because I was in Shanghai during the week, I decided to go out and explore the city, and shop.
There is a great vibe out here, and between the ambiance of the everyday commuters and workers, combined with how wonderful Saturday night was, I have been feeling musically inspired, again. With the Dakota album completed, my next initial project will be the forthcoming “Markus Schulz” single; which we are hoping to release at some point in the summer. Anytime I am out here in Asia I always imagine to myself that because of the size of the population, it is surely only a matter of time before there are a handful of producers that will be the next generation to grace Coldharbour and Global DJ Broadcast.
If you have been following me on Twitter, you will have noticed that I have upgraded to Ableton 8 on my laptop. A few pros and cons so far, but I think when I get used to it, I’ll be able to explore the new features and take advantage of them in being more creative.
Video Blog Feedback
I would like to say thanks to all you guys for checking out the video blog and posting your feedback over the past week. I had a lot of fun doing it – completely unrehearsed and unscripted, and I think it was the best way because it adds more of a personal touch. By the looks of things though, it seems that you all thought the real attraction of the video was my dog Star! I definitely miss her when I am on the road for a long stretch, just like now.
But as I said last week, please keep all your questions coming in for the next edition. I have taken a peek on the forums and there are some fascinating questions already, so if there is anything you would like to ask, that’s the place you need to post your requests.
This weekend – Singapore and India
On Saturday, I make my return to the great Zouk nightclub in Singapore, for the first time in over three years. The last time I played there I was blown away by the soundsystem. Zouk is one of those clubs, much like Ministry of Sound in London, where you can really go off. Actually, the DJ booth reminds me a lot of MOS and even Space in Miami; so I am really looking forward to this gig.
But what I’m really excited about is making my debut in India. What I love about visiting countries like these is that it makes your mind flash back to the development of trance in the US at the beginning of the decade.
The enthusiasm is there for all to see. Even when reading the Submerge Forums yesterday, which houses a lot of Indian-based fans, you can see they are definitely clued up on Global DJ Broadcast every week. That’s the beauty of how the internet has changed the landscape of DJing. I am very curious how these gigs in India will go.
And with that, it’s time for me to sign off and begin working on some music to get ready for Saturday. Hope you all have a nice weekend; and I’ll check in with you all next week, where I’ll be looking ahead to another Boombox high stage experience in Seoul. Eeek!
Oh and by the way, a belated Happy Birthday to Michelle (sweetcandy girl), who celebrated her birthday on Thursday. She has without doubt been one of my biggest supporters over the years. Wish I was able to celebrate with you and all my LA tranceaddicts.