WORLD DJ FESTIVAL, SEOUL
Author: Scott Pullen
Monday, 12 May 2008
Over the past few years, one thing in common for most DJs touring Asia is a stamp from Seoul Immigration. The city has joined the clubbing fraternity by bringing in marquis talent from around the globe. Last year Korea inaugurated its first dance music festival on the banks of the Han River. Seoul has emerged out of the ashes of its civil war and is a modern and dynamic metropolis.
This transformation has been dubbed the 'Miracle on the Han' and it is only appropriate that Korea's largest dance festival returned to its banks.
On Saturday night, we arrived to the venue via a web of expressways; cars were parked a couple of kilometres on its shoulder and the camping grounds had been sold out weeks in advance. Entering the park grounds, the sounds of the multi-zone beats bled into the car, and as we got closer, masses of partygoers were on the fringes of the main zone. With the Cornelius Group (Japan), Rabbit in the Moon (UK), DJ Kawasaki (Japan) and Marcus Intalex laying it down to thousands of alcohol-fuelled patrons, the tone was set.
Countless DJs will attest to the passion and energy the Korean crowds have and the inspiration they give back to any artist who has them in their grasp.
Witnessing the first night of the festival I could hardly wait to give them some Australian adrenaline. On the Sunday, I had the chance to take in some authentic Korean BBQ with one of the promoters and DJ Kai (Beijing), making his fourth appearance in Seoul. Listening to them tell stories about after-hour parties and clubs staying open 'til midday made me even more charged to unleash my set.
Sitting in our VIP tent, we listened to the nu-jazz/Latin beats of Raphael Sebbag (UFO) and a crew from Japan, VJ Superheadz. Then it was time for my set.
In front of a crowd of tens of thousands that were ready to explode, I dropped a mix of dirty, electro/tech grooves - they loved it.
There I was, out from behind the decks punching my fist in the air, [and] in the blink of an eye, it was over! I have rarely been on such a natural high as the one the crowd gave me in Korea. One of the promoters joked with me later saying that my drinks were still behind the decks. I realised that I had not even taken a sip my entire set.
I floated on my natural high back to the VIP tent. DJ Ricky Stone (UK/China) lay down his set of deep trance, and then it was time for the main act. DJ Dan and Donald Glaude (both Canadians) played a brilliant two-by-four set with four decks, two mixes, a sampler, synthesized percussion - very quirky, cutting edge! Phat electro/tech flavours with scratching, old school a cappellas [and] rhythmical intensity! Later in the morning, dnbheads were given their fix with a sunset performance by Adam F.
In the end, the atmosphere was nothing short of electric, with a sea of revellers focused on the main stage, screaming, clapping their hands in unison and totally going nuts! Put you hands up for Seoul - I love this city!
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