Tiefschwarz (Zouk, 21 Jan 2006)

I must club to house music more often, it’s so refreshingly undemanding. Instead of staggering out after DJ Marky at 4 AM with jelly legs and money disintegrating in my trouser pocket because my entire body was so saturated with sweat, I skipped out after Tiefschwarz at 6 AM, barely sweaty and feeling fabulous. This is why I’m always inwardly amused by (some) Zoukers who talk about being the last people on the dancefloor with a certain self-satisfied air. Grow up, guys. It’s easy peasy.

This magisterial entry at Skykicking goes a long way towards explaining why I like Tiefschwarz as DJs to club to – their “essential crudity”. My preferences in live music, be it clubbing or gigs, always favour extremes of noise, abrasiveness, bombast and weirdness. Subtlety and moderation is for my headphones, and the quiet of my room.

So, hooray! I actually managed to have a good night at Zouk! I don’t have much of an opinion about the recent refurbishment. It still looks as insipid to me now as it did before (inward amusement point #2: when people say they preferred the old Zouk because it was “more gritty”; it’s not that I love clubbing in shitholes but “gritty” is just not a word I’d ever use to describe Zouk), but I must say the new sound system is excellent.

And since Kelly very kindly signed me in (thanks Kelly! And thanks Dom, for Alec!), I didn’t have to undergo the indignity of being age-checked (which never happens to me anywhere else, including cities like London where the average 16 year old does actually look much older than me) or risk the drink coupon debacle that pissed me off so much previously. An added plus was the fact that the club was apparently emptier than usual. It’s pretty typical that the only DJs I’ve wanted to see at Zouk in, say, the last 6 months, are the ones that didn’t draw a big crowd in Singapore. But hey, I’m not complaining. More space for my flailing!


  1. “This is why I’m always inwardly amused by (some) Zoukers who talk about being the last people on the dancefloor with a certain self-satisfied air. Grow up, guys. It’s easy peasy.”

    Ah Michelle, we aren’t all as crrrazy as you are, are we?

  2. And as I told you last night – try (hard) trance, and then let me know if that’s still how you feel. But of course, you don’t like trance, and I don’t like d ‘n’ b, so we can’t compare ever, can we? :P

  3. Kelly: Crrrazy? It’s not about being crrrazy at all, it’s just that aerobic fitness and the ability to stay awake at night are (in my mind anyway) REALLY irrelevant to a good clubbing experience.

    I get a good feeling about other clubbers simply when I see them dancing their hearts out and loving the music. It’s irrelevant to me how long they stay on the dancefloor!

    Some people stay till the end because they’re having such a great time. Wonderful! Others dance their hearts out for 2-3 hours but then leave around 3 because they’ve got stuff to do the next day. Totally makes sense! Others stay a long time but finally leave because of an uncontrollable need for roti prata :P . Totally understandable! All cool with me!

    What’s not cool is when people talk about their nights out and I detect overwhelming notes of “wow, I’m so HARD” self-satisfaction (you don’t just get this with talk about clubbing, people do it a lot about drinking as well), which makes the statement more about bigging up themselves than simply telling someone else that they had loads of fun. That’s what amuses me.

    Dominique: I clubbed regularly at Turnmills in our first year of uni. Would that be an appropriate basis of comparison?

  4. Oh, and to clarify – when I say house clubbing is “easy peasy”, I mean it’s “easy peasy for someone like me who does zero exercise and hasn’t clubbed in months.” Which would suggest that for someone who’s actually fit, it should be BEYOND easy peasy, so what’s the big deal about lasting till the end?

    Drum’n’bass, on the other hand, bloody kills me unless I do it regularly. So if anyone wants to come along to next weekend’s Old Skool drum’n’bass special at Home to help haul my limp carcass out halfway, please feel free.

  5. you mean tiefschwarz didn’t draw a big crowd?!?! geez… i’d expect a full turnout, but that’s just me….

    anyhow it seems like MoS is working it’s magic, Zouks been working overtime to bring in DJs, Sanchez, Sinclar, and now Tiefschwarz.

  6. Ivan: Yeah, there wasn’t a single moment from start to finish when I felt I needed more space! Quite astounding for DJs of their level of fame! But as I said, I’m not complaining.

    I hope you’re right about the effect of MOS. DXO hasn’t managed to make much of an effect on its own despite bringing in people like Boy George and Kid Koala (pity about Jeff Mills’ sudden bereavement, that would have been amazing), probably because it hasn’t managed to attract normal people who aren’t picky about music but just want to be out with friends.

    I do think the cumulative effect of DXO, Ministry and the damn admirable work of local collectives like Kinemat (I believe they brought Marky to DXO) is slowly making things better here though. In the meantime, a fair number of local DJs (Koflow, Rattle, various Subversive people) make for a pretty good night out too.

  7. tiefschwarz’s edgy electro was more accessible than i expected, and not as monotonous.. and they seemed happy to play on even when there were only 7 ppl left on the floor.

    and despite all the new clubs opening, zouk is still the only place where you can hope to see a dancefloor filled with ppl who are there for the music. not just because they can afford to bring in good djs but because they have a loyal crowd of members who know how to party. :)

    but what i’m really hoping for is for more massive events/festival happening outside of clubs. in the meantime who’s up for adam freeland?

  8. t: Yeah, I thought it was damn sweet of them to keep playing. It was funny when one of them came to the dancefloor and danced like he was a big fan of the one that stayed at the decks!

    About dancefloors filled with people who love music, I think most drum’n’bass nights have great atmosphere. The local drum’n’bass crowd give lots of enthusiastic support to the local DJs, and when international stars like Marky, Goldie or Fresh come they’re bloody ecstatic! I hardly ever know anyone else on the dancefloor at Home, but I always get a huge kick out of how happy everyone is.

    I’m up for Adam Freeland but am not too keen on the idea of queueing for hours to enter.

  9. Michelle: Not really sure as I haven’t really been to Turnmills. Just once and even then for two hours only. I guess it only counts if it’s music you really love and are willing to jump around screaming to for hours on end… and that’s what I’ve been more than willing to do for hard/tech trance for the past couple of years, not too sure if it’s still the case now!

  10. you’re right about the drum n bass scene.. 50 or so junglists sweating it out, literally, at some dark, dingy club with poor ventilation… it’s a tight scene with plenty of avid supporters and hardly any “incidentals”… might have something to do with its underground appeal… i like the scene but i can only keep up the fervour for a couple of hours. but some of my friends are into it like its the only kind of dance music that exists.

    as for adam freeland, i got the night sorted out… gonna head to esplanade first to watch mocca perform. chill out for a while then off to mos to queue and get stamped around 9.45(don’t think it’ll take more than an hour), then walk over to DYI 2, the party my friends are throwing at md sultan, get well sloshed and then back to mos. you’re more than welcome to join at any point. :)

  11. Dom: I don’t know what Turnmills plays any more, but around 1999/2000/2001 it was mostly people like Faithless, Anthony Pappa, Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk etc. I did have some good nights there, but eventually got quite bored of it and stopped going.

    Anyway, the reason I brought it up was just to mention that I did give clubbing to trance a try for about 2 years! It’s just that I then decided that I liked hip-hop, drum’n’bass, house and techno considerably more.

    t: Yes yes I’m totally going to DYI 2! It’s kind of a problem actually…once I’m there I may not want to leave!

  12. i think i might just go straight for DYI and take a “see how” stance on MOS.. i do wanna see adam freeland but MOS isn’t gonna be that much fun unless you have a big group… you’re probably staying too to get your dnb fix ;)

  13. “This is why I’m always inwardly amused by (some) Zoukers who talk about being the last people on the dancefloor with a certain self-satisfied air. Grow up, guys. It’s easy peasy.”

    Care to expound on this a bit?

  14. Singaporebitch: You’re free to draw whatever conclusions you want, there aren’t any thought police on this blog. *shrug* But I still don’t know what you want me to “expound on” that I didn’t already write about.

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