Decades of clubbing, drinking, dancing, standing, waiting in line for drinks, sleeping on sofas, and covering ourselves in glitter at music venues around the world has left us seeking a bit more from our nights out.
Sure, it’s currently Friday afternoon in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and if you asked us where to go tonight, we’d give you a list of our favorite music venues to check out (Kyo, Pisco, Iron Fairies and Jiro) — but can we guarantee a night out unlike any other?
Look — that’s a tall order, and while you’ll have a great time, make friends, and dance a lot — we’re not 100% sure you haven’t seen it all before. ‘Tis the nature of life, and also a certain fate held when you’re an older person at da club.
When Voidrealm Collective came on to our radar earlier this year, they had our attention — mostly because it featured several DJs we know and love from the KL scene, but in a way we hadn’t seen them play before — they had come together to create a different kind of clubbing experience.
Interesting. We like this, and we needed to know more.
With an upcoming event this weekend billed as a community dance event, we sat down with Voidrealm Collective, and asked them our most burning questions which may or may not include some shade, and also a shout-out to our favorite psytrance DJ.
VOIDREALM COLLECTIVE: You have our attention. Tell us a bit about your members and manifesto.
Voidrealm Collective was founded as an initiative by two electronic music enthusiasts in late 2017. Steadily they grouped together a membership of artists and talents that exchange their ever-expanding ideas and visions with regards to the experiential elements of electronic music and its meaning.
After experimenting with a few events, they adopted the concept of “Open Source” where members in the group collaborate as a collective to plan, modify and deliver experiential events that combine the effects of mind-wiring sounds with postmodern visuals.
The collective strives to provide alternative events more accessible to a wider audience and strengthening the foundations of the local underground music community.
You could describe our membership base as an eclectic progressive mix of local DJ and artists from the Disco, House, Techno and even psytrance scenes — all who promote an alternative lifestyle based on values of spreading love through music.
Our members and collaborators originate from many parts of the world such as Australia, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Yemen and, of course, Malaysia.
How would you differentiate what you guys do as a group versus your separate artistic entities? Does it change what you do when you do it as a group?
As a collective, we collaborate to deliver events based on the core of Voidrealm identity from these five pillars: Into The Void (dark and deep techno), Voidance (leftfield & electro), Voidrealm (experimental), Devoid Live (livestream community events — happening this weekend!) and the last one to be announced soon (watch this space). What we do as individual DJs is simply slot into and contribute to these pillars where there is a good fit. Most importantly based on our broad skill-base and experience, we all strive to support all the events irrespective of our own musical preferences.
A lot of clubbers tend to be nostalgic of the good ol days of clubbing and raving in the city. How would you describe KL’s nightlife in 2019?
This feels like a reference to a certain article from a certain well known publication, comparing then to now?
Hahahaha — Us? Shade?! Never!
I think the short answer is that it’s evolving in the right direction, and starting to look and sound more intelligent to what it was like, say five years ago.
Of course we miss places likes the old Elysium and Under9, but that gives an opportunity for the motivated members of our community to roll up their sleeves, and build something fresh for the scene.
Do you see yourselves as an incubator at all to the up-and-comers in the Kuala Lumpur scene, or are you more of a platform to actualize your own aims?
Our own aim is to further enhance and strengthen the local electronic music community, so by default we see ourselves as one of the incubators for up-and-comers, but also acknowledge the great work done by everyone else in the scene.
Honestly, 2019 looks to be the year were a lot more fresh faces are emerging, so that can only be seen as a good thing. What we would love to see more of is more local DJs entering the production space and the development of a unique KL sound.
You’ve billed DEVOID LIVE as “a live stream electronic music experience” – are the DJs being filmed, the event, or the crowd? …and why?
We want to show the world how we jam in Malaysia; that we have great talent here, and that Bangkok is not the only great party location in South East Asia.
A healthy amount of “Techno Tourism” would do wonders to the scene from an economic perspective, but first we need to establish a strong community to capture the attention of the rest of the world. What would also help the local scene is providing more global and regional exposure to our local DJs and artists, to help them get those lucrative overseas bookings and gain more international experience.
Without a doubt more well made online creative content showing our local heroes rocking the crowd would go a long way towards that noble aim.
One of the things that has always struck us about KL’s scene is how there are so few spaces to create things anymore — almost everything happens inside polished clubs. Does that lack of underground affect the scene, and finding others who are on the same creative wave as you?
We would say that it’s simply created an environment of untapped potential. KL has everything required for a healthy scene, all that is required is passion, collaboration and creativity. Like-minded people of our beloved city need to find each other and start to talk on making the scene more progressive, without ego and pride getting in the way. Public School has set a great example of what a collective can achieve here and they inspire us to do just as well.
Tell me about the DJs on the line-up, and … will Odd be playing psytrance?
Unfortunately no Psy-Trance this time as we could not afford Oddicon’s [Ed. Note: Oddicon is DJ Odd’s psytrance DJ moniker, and he’s a big deal] booking fee, but his alter ego Odd is a much more reasonable person to work with.
In all seriousness, we picked a lineup of familiar local heroes that covers the whole spectrum of Funk/Disco/House/Techno being played now in KL.
Starting the night we will have Blastique delivering a short funk and disco set using Ableton Live, followed by the very talented musician, Analog K, who will serve us a disco vinyl set. Our beloved Injoo Wie will continue on the turntables showcasing her selections in house and disco, followed by the larger than life JonnyVicious with his beautiful techno selections over vinyl and digital. Ed Dix will then launch us into leftfield techno space and Odd will close the night with deep dark sexy techno.
This all sounds really good. What do you want Saturday night’s take-away to be from your first Devoid Live event?
Big smiles and happiness all round. Big smiles from the crowd at the event, big smiles from people watching online and big smiles from our participating artists.
We will re-cast the live stream on a weekly basis for each performance from the event, so that people can enjoy the experience of Devoid Live from the comfort of their couch on Monday nights.
See you on the dance floor. Also, tell us where the cameras are so we can avoid looking too sweaty for the world.
Devoid Live is happening this Saturday, 6 April 2019
20:00-01:00 at Sifters Asia, Gasket Alley
Jalan 13/6, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor (across from Jaya One)