This is Music 4th Anniversary Party

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Aug 15
 

Ahead of This is Music’s fourth anniversary celebration at Love Da Café, Anderson Muth speaks with co-founder Jeremy Cheung about his homegrown crew 

Hong Kong has no shortage of electronic music promoters in the city continue to ride the wave of popular EDM. Combatting the increasingly disparaged mainstream sounds, This is Music has been pushing a range of banging techno and house beats in the territory since 2011. Spearheading the movement are three DJs: Jai Kong, Jeremy Cheung and B Sweep.

All three were longstanding friends prior to joining forces and collaborating as party promoters. Cheung reminisces that ‘well before our first gig, a few of us that really liked to party a lot were doing home gatherings for long hours’. Originally, This is Music intended to promote a handful of infrequent public events only. The excitement and allure was apparently too much, since ‘after the third one… we decided to do it once a month!’ So began four years of regular gigs, promoting many styles of ‘underground house and techno – but not tech-house,’ Cheung simultaneously enthuses and emphasizes.

As a strictly local crew in a city whose music scene is often seemingly dominated by expats and a conveyor belt of visiting foreign talent, Cheung shrugs off any divisive thinking. “For me [it’s] no big deal… It’s just coincidence the three of us are Chinese – for our nights I’ll always welcome people of different races.” That said, Cheung feels that This is Music nights are able to put a distinctive Hong Kong spin on an ostensibly foreign music genre as originally ‘this dance music thing is not from Asia, it’s from the West’.

That line of thinking has led to the booking of a pair of top-notch guests from opposite ends of the continent for this fourth anniversary celebration. Top of the bill is Japanese techno pioneer Q’hey – a stalwart of the Japanese club scene with over 25 years spent producing and performing – whose heavier industrial style should pair well with DJ Nikki from Malaysia. ‘[She’s] from a techno background and is a Juice Magazine competition champion’ points out Cheung.

Talented guests aside, the three core members remain strongly grounded in the realities of Hong Kong. Cheung reveals that they ‘all have day jobs – and can only sacrifice our weekends. It’s progressing. Not too fast, but still, the whole thing is growing’. Part of that evolution, of course, relates to their music selections and style. Cheung says that his ‘other two partners are into dark and banging techno [while he] always includes more house stuff’.

Regarding the chosen venue – San Po Kong warehouse space Love Da Café – Cheung is quick to credit owner Tommy Chan. “We’re lucky to have Tommy as well [as he’s] very supportive.” A backer of the city’s underground scene, Chan went to great lengths for a recent upgrade to the sound system. The relatively hidden spot, deep within an industrial neighbourhood, seems quite appropriate for the celebration of a local success story.

“The scene in Hong Kong is actually quite healthy – [we’re] all good friends and still keeping it alive. I’m actually quite satisfied,” Cheung says with confidence. Such optimism bodes well as This is Music moves forward into its fifth year, with Cheung announcing they’re ‘planning overseas gigs, plus doing some in China and maybe Macau’. It’s definitely a far cry from partying at home with friends, even though the spirit remains the same.

This is Music 4th Anniversary Party Sat Aug 15, 11pm-6am, Love Da Café, San Po Kong. Tickets: $180 (before 12.30am), $250 (after 12.30am).

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114 King Fuk Street, hong kong

Area San Po Kwong

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