Battle of Clubs

ST March 11, 2007
Battle of clubs
Party Central is now firmly focused on the trinity of Zouk, Ministry of Sound and St James Power Station, each with its rabid fans

By Sandra Leong

IF YOU haven’t been out on the town for a couple of months, prepare yourself for a shock as you get set to spin around that disco ball.

In that short space of time, Singapore’s nightclub scene has exploded to centralise around three monster clubs, with news emerging yesterday that the dancefloor shake-up has claimed its first victim.

Smaller clubs are taking a thumping – literally. Thumper at Goodwood Park Hotel revealed that it has had to shut down.

The mid-sized nightclub was hit by falling takings as clubbers streamed to what has quickly become Party Central’s unholy trinity: iconic Zouk, massive Ministry of Sound (MoS) and the newcomer that drove the nail into Thumper’s coffin, St James Power Station.

One of Thumper’s owners, Mr David Chin, says the club’s downward spiral started last November when ‘all the big places started opening’, adding: ‘St James and all that… it took a big chunk out of us’.

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Dance Anthem

A dance anthem, floor filler or club anthem is a dance (or disco) track which receives almost timeless status, being played commonly many years after its release. Many older (pre-1990) tracks which are referred to as dance anthems are often only played at retro nights in clubs, or at themed parties. A common sub-category of dance anthems have sometimes been referred to as “tunes”, examples of such tracks include “For An Angel” by Paul van Dyk, “Energy 52” by Cafe Del Mar, “Carte Blanche” by Veracocha and “Born Slippy” by Underworld.

However, most commonly a dance anthem is a track which DJ’s still play in normal sets alongside the usual tracks. Some are played only towards the end of a set, almost as if a mini retro set was being played, but some are still used as if they were recently released dance music.

The term floor filler was coined to describe extraordinarily popular songs, due to the ability of certain tracks to bring people from the bar areas of nightclubs onto the dance floor. This is often due to the highly distinctive intros that some songs have but can also be due to the simple popularity and recognition of a song. DJs frequently reserve these tracks for critical times during their performances, to bring people to or keep people on the dance floor, thus ensuring a lively atmosphere.

Songs of the 80s

Each song reminds me of something.

ABBA – Super Trouper

A-Ha – Take On Me

Bangles – Eternal Flame

Berlin – Take My Breath Away

Breathe – Hands to Heaven

Chris Isaak – Wicked Games

Concrete Blonde – Joey

Crowded House – Weather With You

Duran Duran – Ordinary World

Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy

Freddie Aguilar – Anak

Johnny Hates Jazz – Shattered Dreams

Johnny Hates Jazz – Turn Back The Clock

Laura Branigan – Self Control

London Beat – I’ve Been Thinking About You

Martika – Love Thy Will Be Done

Queen – I Want To Break Free

Rita Coolidge – All Time High (from Octopussy)

Roxette – It Must Have Been Love

Sabrina – Boys

Sade – Smooth Operator

Suzanne Vega – Luka

Suzanne Vega – Tom’s Diner

Tears for Fears – Shout

Tears for Fears – Woman in Chains

The Cars – Drive

The Escape Club – I’ll Be There

The Police – Every Breath You Take

Tina Turner – We Don’t Need Another Hero

Toto – Africa

UB40 – Red Red Wine

U2 – Mysterious Ways

U2 – One

U2 – Pride (In the Name of Love)

Village People – YMCA

Wham – Careless Whisper

Yanni – Aria (From the British Airways Ad)

Tracklisting – Namaste with Nicolas Tang

Namaste with Nicolas Tang @ Bliss, Sat 2 Sep 2006
0000-0200 hrs

1. Tillman Uhrmacher – Om Nama Shiva (Tillmans Midnight Extended Club Mix)
2. Lost Witness feat. Tiff Lacey – Home (Mike Shiver Catching Sun Remix)
3. Underwater – Waterplanet (Dreas Remix)
4. Alex Morph presents Everest feat Tashita – Oree (Instrumental Remix)
5. Andain – Beautiful Things (Photon Project Mix)
6. Armin van Buuren – Burned with Desire (Rising Star Remix)
7. Aalto – Taurine (Super 8 Remix)
8. Aalto – Rush (Super 8 vs Orkidea Remix)
9. Oceanlab – Beautiful Together (Signum Remix)
10. Rusch & Murray – Epic (Above & Beyond)
11. Polner & Sender – Energy Sublimation
12. White Room – White Room
13. Pulser – Point of Impact (Mike Koglin Remix)
14. Darren Tate & Jono Grant – Sequential
15. Kamil Polner – Ocean Waterfall
16. Agnelli & Nelson – Holding on to Nothing (Paul van Dyk Edit)
17. Armin van Buuren pres Alibi – Eternity (Original IC Mix)
18. Simon Patterson – F-16
19. Matt Hardwick vs Smith & Pledger – Connected
20. Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes (Armin van Buuren’s Universal Religion Mix)

Many thanks to Garry and Fernando at Bliss and all who turned up!

Namaste with Nicolas Tang @ Bliss, 2 September 2006

Namasté is the first in a series of trance events in Hong Kong which seeks to promote trance music to international standards. Namasté or Namaskar (?????? in Hindi, from Sanskrit namah te ) is a South Asian greeting originating in India, which is used when both hello and goodbye would be used in English. This also recognizes the equality of all, and pays honor to the sacredness and interconnection of all, as well as to the source of that interconnection.

DJ Bio

Born in Singapore in 1976, Nicolas Tang discovered trance music in the UK in 1997. Upon his return to Singapore in 2000, he discovered it did not have much of a trance scene. His interest in trance led him to set up Trance Republic ( with fellow DJs Jas K and Brandon Wong. Since then, he has played at various Singapore clubs including Phuture, Milkbar, Fuse, Liquid Room and Velvet Underground and is known by his fans for spinning uplifting and vocal trance anthems.

Through the organisation of trance events and by working closely with superclubs towards promoting trance, Trance Republic gradually elevated the trance scene in Singapore to what it is today. This summer, Trance Republic released REPUBLIKA II, its second compilation featuring music from Armin van Buuren, Gabriel & Dresden, Andy Moor, Above & Beyond and more.

Nicolas emigrated to Hong Kong in 2006 and plans to contribute to the scene here with the launch of regular trance events. “After checking out clubs in Hong Kong, I realised that there is still room for trance music,” says Nicolas. “I would like to see Hong Kong’s trance scene improve and I believe that this city has great potential”.

Bliss admission on 2 September for non-members (incl 2 drinks): HK$100

Martin Audio M800

After I left Singapore, I sold most of my DJ equipment to Minzi and wasn’t sure whether to pursue DJing. When I was running Trance Republic between 2000 to 2005, it took up a lot of our time and I felt it wasn’t worth it at some stages.

Well after thinking about it for 6 months it is clear that Hong Kong’s dance scene is boring and they need another trance DJ. I have so many tunes to share with them.

I just placed an order for 2 Pioneer CDJ1000MK3s on Friday and bought an amplifier yesterday. I’m really happy with the amplifier, because I thought and considered what to buy. Most people use an amplifier like Pioneer, Denon, Yamaha etc. Something which they use for normal hi-fi use. I thought about it and as I was really happy with my Arcam Alpha 8 which I bought years ago and it was British made, I decided to buy an amplifier which is British made AND used in clubs. When I was in this club in Nottingham in 1999, the sound was really good and when I checked out the speakers, they were made by Martin.

Eventually I went to Apliu Street in Shamsuipo and bought a second hand one (new would cost HKD8,000) for HKD3,100. Carrying it home was no easy task, it was so heavy like a piece of iron and must have weighed at least 25kg. Then when I plugged it in, the first thing that happened was that a fan inside turned on, like a computer CPU fan.

What on earth is this, I thought, why does it need a fan? My question was answered when the next moment I dropped a vinyl. THE SOUND. The sound was so loud that it blew my socks off. I was using JBL Control speakers (as JBL is used in Fabric and Zouk, etc) and the sound projected to every corner of my apartment.

I broke into a cold sweat. What if my neighbours reported me to the police? Why did I buy such a powerful amplifier which is not meant for home use? But I consoled myself. Hang on, it’s the weekend and the sun is still up, of course people are allowed to blast music. In addition, it gives me exactly what I wanted – the British sound I am so familiar with from the British clubs.

Top 50 Clubs In the World


Name: Fabric
Location: London
Capacity: 1600


Name: The End
Location: London
Capacity: 1000


Name: Turnmills
Location: London
Capacity: 1100


Name: Pacha
Location: Ibiza
Capacity: 3000


Name: Space
Location: Ibiza
Capacity: 5000


Name: Amnesia
Location: Ibiza
Capacity: 5000


Name: Womb
Location: Tokyo
Capacity: 1500


Name: DC10
Location: Ibiza
Capacity: 1500


Name: The Cross
Location: London
Capacity: 550


Name: The Arches
Location: Glasgow
Capacity: 2000


Name: Zouk
Location: Singapore
Capacity: 3700
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