If you've been living, drinking, and dance, dance, dancing in Shanghai a while, the club scene can get a little tiring. It doesn't take people long to figure out what they like and what they hate, and develop that repeating weekend of going to the same clubs over and over again.
But every now and then, the kids get together and try to cook up something different, which is what this "toyhouse
" party is on Saturday. Locally-based DJs Santo Chino and Alan Shanyinde have managed to hook up with a locally-based fashion designer with a warehouse space in the Jing'an district, and are doing a deep house and "moody disco" warehouse party.
Apart from the party itself, the actual space is really interesting as well. Apparently it used to be a "handkerchief factory" -- this must be the only place in Shanghai that didn't use to be an "opium warehouse" -- and currently it's being used as the workspace of a fashion designer, but he's also turned it into a shop and storage facility for collectables, toys, vintage Chinese kitsch, electronics, TVs, old record players, and stuff like that. He's kept the institutional feel of the place (note the turquoise paint strip on the wall), and, as the space also houses a bubble machine and dismembered mannequins, walking around the room kind of feels like taking a surreal stroll in the brain of a Chinese kid living in the mid '80s.
Some of the bric-a-brac is for sale
(I think the dude has some doubles he can afford to off-load), including t-shirts and bags and stuff.
Here's the party details: it starts at midnight. Anyone can go. There is no cover. Beers are 20rmb and mix drinks are 30rmb. They've got wine too, if that's how you roll, Mr. Classy. Address: No. 56, end of lane 767 Wanhangdu Lu, near Kangding Lu
Here's Santo Chino on the music:
"Music-wise, I guess you should listen to the sample mix
. It's not boom-boom party house music. It's kinda melancholic and slower than what you hear in clubs.
Every time I say 'disco' I feel like it's got to be distinguished from our parent's generation's association of flared pants, afro wigs, and lumpy, awkwardly twisting white people. It's not the kind of disco you can play at a wedding. It's good when you're drunk or stoned because the songs last for a while and are kinda repetitive.
On the flip side, (I think) they're totally hypnotic. That's maybe the link between the two styles [deep house and "moody disco"]. Search a little bit for Theo Parrish -- dude is a legend at this kind of stuff. He has a really raw aesthetic.
Songs are usually like 8 or 10 minutes long. The sound quality on them purposely sucks. They almost always ride the edge between boring and completely hypnotic. Roots are definitely disco but it's almost like the idea of the extended 12" taken to extreme.
This is probably getting too deep into it all.
What was my original point? It's not 'disco' and it's not your obvious dance party "house music". It's moody and hypnotic and Alan and I both love it, but don't often get a chance to play it."
A final tip: bring a jacket.
A note on finding the place
: the warehouse space is down an alley way located at 767 Wanhangdu Lu. Take your cab to Kangding Lu and Wanhangdu Lu, and walk south along Wanhangdu Lu towards Wuding Lu (it's in the middle of that block). There should be a blue balloon on the "767" address sign of the alleyway on the left side of the street, facing south.
Go into that alley way and walk about 70 feet down, and the space is in a building on your left. There should be someone there directing you and another blue balloon.
And depending on the time you show up, there should be at least seven police cruisers as well.