- There's a discernible buzz around Seoul's electronic music scene these days. With the Cakeshop, Faust and Constant Value parties now firmly on the radar, those in the know were already talking about newer spots, like Oase and Beton Brut. Last Friday, the latter invited Berlin-based selector Resom to headline. After a whistle-stop tour of the capital's electronic music hubs—a beer at Seoul Community Radio, followed by a look around Clique Records—and despite the foreboding temperatures of -10°C, I was excited to see what this spot had to offer.
The club, visible for its blue neon sign, sits on a bustling side street in popular nightlife area Itaewon. Entry is up a short flight of stairs, past the ticket check and through a large door that opens out into a stripped-back space with room for about 200 people. There's a slightly raised DJ booth at one end and a bar at the other, with the dance floor in between.
It was practically pitch black when I arrived, save for two blue strip lights overhead. Resom had just started and was playing the Lena Willikens remix of Lena Platonos's "Lego." I was told there were many older faces in the crowd, some of them former regulars at the now-defunct Mystik. Despite that club's closure, a local DJ described the local scene as healthy—where five years ago there might have been only one techno night a month, these days you have five clubs pushing this kind of music.
Friday night's dance floor reflected this. Even though it was Chinese New Year weekend, a time usually spent at home with family, the space was busy. Resident and owner DJ Qna, who's been collecting records for more than 15 years, typified the energy in the room, merrily bobbing between chatting to guests, dancing and adjusting the lights in the booth. As Resom worked through a run of stodgy techno cuts, I was impressed by the crowd's reactions. Simple filter techniques, such as slamming the low-end back in, inspired wild whoops of delight. But she didn't overuse these tricks and, despite one quickly rectified clanger, her set showed why her stock has risen as of late. One particularly inspired blend glided from Pearson Sound's "XLB" into Everything But The Girl's "Wrong." At around 4:30 AM, the club emptied out a bit, only for a whole new wave of punters to charge in 30 minutes later, replenishing the dance floor.