If there’s one thing Singapore has a lot of, it’s high-rise buildings.
With land scarcity, kiasu developers, a healthy set of coffers and an ‘upgrading’ approach to life- it’s inevitable. Our recreational spaces seem to be adapting in tandem, making the most of our landscape and exceptional views. This week, two new venues open their doors (or rather their roof-tops), offering you fresh dining, drinking and merry-making options.
Not quite gravity-defying but certainly high by Chinatown standards, Ying Yang, is the roof-top lounge on top of The Club Hotel at Ann Siang Road. Conceptualized by the Harry’s group and designed by the PR savvy peeps at Ministry of Design, this spot is currently all over the internet - check out pictures of the rooms on various design blogs when you hit search. Godwin Pereira, DJ, booker and nightlife veteran is on board as Ying Yang’s consultant so there should be no qualms about the music selection.
1-Altitude Galley & Bar opens on Friday July 30 and is set to be the tallest roof top hangout to date at a staggering 282m. Occupying three floors of OUB Centre Tower, 1-Altitude’s two other concepts, 282/ City Golf (61st floor) and Stellar (62nd floor), launched a few weeks ago. The latest venture by the 1-Rochester Group, it will definitely rival Marina Bay Sands’ SkyPark and soon to open Ku De Ta, for the best 360 views of the island.
Fans of Diesel and D-I-Y lovers should head to the store at Forum on Thursday July 29. Preview the FW10 collection from 7pm and get your hands dirty as Mojoko (www.mojoko.net) demonstrate the fine art of silk screening and give you a chance to make your own unique designs. RSVP on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=144635968885913
On Friday July 30, Singapore’s most charming bookstore, BooksActually hosts a launch for music label, TRIPPY FACTORY from 7.30pm – 9pm. Trippy Factory is the sole distributor of Labrador Records in Singapore, home to Swedish artistes like Club 8, Pelle Carlberg, Radio Dept., Sambassadeur and Acid House Kings; music that puts a smile to your face. Homegrown artist Inch Chua, launches her debut full length album, WallFlower at the Esplanade on the same night, 9.30pm. Backed by a troupe of musicians known as The Metric System, Inch will perform songs that meld her love for 60’s girl-groups, introspective folk and modern day electronica.
On Saturday July 31, ride the phenomenal K-Pop and J-Rock wave when Sundown Festival returns for its second installation. A music festival with an Asian perspective, the featured acts this year are Afterschool, F.Cuz, SuG, LM.C, and Tenko, the famed Japanese Taiko drumming group. Starting at 8pm at Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, tickets are S$118 at Sistic outlets.
Midnight Envy, by the team behind Mimolette and La Maison, takes place Saturday July 31 at their newest venue Kinki. It’s RSVP only, so to catch special guest Wei-Shen (Aust) send your names to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dress code: Black & Green, party chic.
Budding French electro house dj/producer Surkin rocks Readyset Glo at Zouk on the same night while Stereolab and Home Club celebrate their 1st and 5th Anniversaries respectively. Saying thank you with beer, the free flow at Stereolab runs from 10.30pm to 12 midnight as residents Stephen Day and Edward Ng work the decks.
Over at Home Club, doing what they do best - bringing the sounds of the underground to the forefront- DJ Marky (Innerground Records, BRAZIL) & Stamina MC (UK) represent. Supporting line-up, Kiat, Vortex (back for a short visit from the UK), Ming, MC Ross and Kane MC. Freeflow of Asahi Beer and Vodka Red Bull (42 Below) from 9pm-11pm ensures you’ll get there on time.
From 3 to 5 August, SINGfest 2010 returns to Fort Canning Park with big names from past and present, across diverse musical genres. California Girl Katy Perry, alternative band Smashing Pumpkins, rap artist Lupe Fiasco, soul croonsters Kool and the Gang and English musician Ian Brown to name just a few. Our world-acclaimed homegrown Tiger Beer, awarded Gold in the International Style Larger category at the 2010 World Beer Cup, is giving one lucky reader of this column an opportunity to enjoy this international showcase. To stand a chance to win a pair of one-day tickets to Singfest, send me a tweet @itstracyp with why you deserve to win the pair of passes. I’ll let you know if yours is the best answer. You need to be 18 and above to be eligible…. Log on to www.singfest.sg for updates to know who plays when.
On Wednesday August 4, scratch that Midweek Itch at La Maison when David 'Ramadanman' Kennedy makes his Singapore debut, supported by beat meisters Funk Bast*rd and Kiat. Experimental yet funky, Ramadanman’s productions find there way into the crates of house, techno and dubstep DJs alike. Definitely a mid week gig worth catching for fresh explorations in sound.
I’m away this weekend throwing the post party for the MTV World Stage event in KL at Sunway Lagoon. I’ll catch you next week with a list of the best parties for National Day break. Here’s an interview with the boys at Home Club, Roy, Kelvin and Ming on making it to 5.
Who are the key players behind Home Club and what are their roles?
Home operates somewhat like a family. There’s Roy, Kelvin, Chin and Ming who oversee all aspects of the club from marketing, programming right down to operations. In the true spirit of the underground, everything is built from the ground up. Together we all have our inputs into how the club is run and what happens in it. Aside from the daily matters of the club, the three residents Roy, Kelvin and Ming have their own nights ‘Flash’, ‘Loop’ and ‘+65’ respectively, which are in turn kept in check by Chin; sometimes we can get carried away!
Where do you find your inspiration?
In a weird way, Home Club is our baby. We’ve seen it grow up from its humble beginnings, and that is enough to inspire us to continue doing what we do. With our main focus on exposing quality music, we automatically share a common interest with everyone who walks through our doors. When we take a step back and look at what we’ve built, the smiles on people’s faces - moments of pure enjoyment, we feel proud and that drives us every week to improve and innovate.
Name the best party the club has seen since its inception.
When we had Kele Okereke from Bloc Party over we were probably the busiest we’ve ever been. But for us the best nights aren’t the one’s where its full house, although it certainly does bring a smile to the face, the best nights are when we put our utmost into promoting and we get to see all our hard work paid off.
The most memorable moment for us was during Goldie’s set when he played ‘Timeless’. The look on everyone’s face including his own, and the electricity in the air. Unforgettable.
What has been Home Club's greatest challenge in the last 5 years?
The competition within a local context has dramatically increased over the past few years. With a volley of new clubs opening, and a few that have closed down, the greatest challenge has been simply to survive and maintain the vision that the club was built upon.
What does the future hold for Home Club in the next few years?
At the moment we’re planning to bring Home Club outdoors for a day or two. Other than that it’s just building on what we’ve been doing for the past five years; nurturing local talents, be it bands or DJs or producers, and spreading our love of music.
About Tracy Phillips
An accomplished marketeer and trendspotter, Tracy Phillips has helped shape Singapore's nightlife, music and popular culture landscape for over a decade.
Instrumental in developing the local nightlife scene, she maintains a passionate soft spot for promoting artistic expression and channels this into creative pursuits for institutions, brands and artists via her consultancy, Present Purpose. Her latest project is Camp Pong, a pop up urban social club involving Ping Pong, music & good times at *Scape, which will be ending on 7 October.