Zouked Out…Outrageous, Outstanding, And Out of This World…
ZoukOut Nokia Remix 25 & 26th July 2003
Review by Hellokitty

As I stumble off the three and a half hour flight to Singapore the first thing I hear transmitting out of the speakers in their DutyFree shop is the track Miro – The One I Run To; a track off the new Deep Dish Global Underground Toronto CD…definitely a high-quality start to this spectacular weekend

Zouked Out has chosen Marina Bay Waterfront as their two-day venue, which over looks the city skyline with full stunning views of their superb buildings and their finest hotel; The Fullerton. This area is well laid out with a shuttle bus going from various points in the city to the venue and back, an information booth right at the entrance, 7 bars, 2 VIP bars, 9 food stalls, 2 massage areas, 2 First Aid/Security Booths, a number of portable loo’s, a carnival area and a Mandala Art area; even if the music is not your cup of tea you still have many other forms of entertainment to keep you entertained throughout the night.

The first night’s line-up consist of all LIVE ACTS… the night starts at 8:00pm

8:00pm – 9:30pm Dj Andrew Chow
9:30pm – 11:00pm Gus Gus (Iceland)
11:00pm – 11:30pm Dj Andrew Chow
11:30pm – 12:30am Dirty Vegas (UK)
12:30am – 1:30am Dj Has
1:30am – 2:30am Stereo MCS (UK)
2:30am – 3:00am Dj Has

First to perform is GUS GUS probably the most successful band to surface from Reykjavik, Iceland. They originally started with a team of 12 members from a variety of different backgrounds including filmmakers, computer programmer, a photographer, a Dj, an actor and even a political campaigner!! But know they’re down to 4 members who are now signed to Darren Emerson’s Underwater Label. They had a hit earlier this year with their track called “David”, it was released twice with a range of different mixes from King Britt, Medicine 8 and my personal favorite mix Darren Emerson Underwater mix.

After their performance there’s an hour break so that the stage crew can change the stage set up for the next band. During the hour Dj Andrew Chow plays some Disco Funky House tunes for us to funk to. During this hour we took advantage of the Carnival Ride, the Bouncy Tigers Mouth for a lil bouncing fun… If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, they have plenty of food outlets where you can get some snacks. The most popular must have been the Turkish Vendor who were selling these fabulous sandwich buns with roasted chicken or beef…I must have had at least 2 a night!!! YUMMY….

Next up is Dirty Vegas; Paul Harris, Steve Smith and Ben Harris (no relation o the former) hail from Kent and South London with each having very different musical backgrounds. That is by way no problem for the trio who topped the charts last years with their Grammy award-winning track “Days Go By” (Best Dance Recording 2003) and nominated for “Best Music Video, Short Form”, this track was later used for a Mitsubishi commercial in the United States.

Dirty Vegas starts on time…they come out playing some of their new more chilled out tracks. The lead vocalist Steve Harris is great; he can sing, play the guitar and handle percussions with such ease.

GHOST, their second single of their self-titled album’s started by taking it slow and at the half way part they go electronic on us and pick up the pace. The crowd is with them dancing and with their hands in the air. Next up is a rendition of their HUGE hit days go by…at which they say, “This is Days Go By” and it’s pandemonium!! They go large for and we’re with them every second as they carry out this fabulous tune even with the extended intervals of bongos and percussions!!! They end it on the highest of highs or as high as you can get in Singapore… DIRTY VEGAS ROCKS = )

An Hour and a half of Dj Has of Singapore brings us to the Stereo MC’s; they’re inspired by electro, hip hop, funk and dub. Established way back in 1986, now with 3 albums under their belts and producing hits such as “Connected” and “Deep Down And Dirty” they are truly an act you don’t want to miss.

By 3am the first day’s events are now coming to a close…

Day 2

The line up is unbelievable, 4 areas with different sounds and concepts, this is sure to be a treat. They have the Regional area where Rough, Hong Kong’s Dj Tommy, Grant Smillie, Sonny, J6, Juri, Manolet, Gabriel, Gerald and Riri. Over to the Velvet Underground room where Jeremy Boon, Brendon P, Blaze, Kenny * (Masters At Work) and Bugz In the Attic will bringing you HOUSE. Superstar Area, better known as the GLOBAL UNDERGROUND area will hear the likes of Singapore’s favorite local Dj Tony Tay, Aldrin, Australia’s Phil K, James Lavelle and the main event is none other than Sasha!!! James Zabiela was not able to come so they have Ashley Casselle playing after Sasha to wrap up the night. Over to 4th area, which is called Mambo Jambo, this area is all about CHEESE, 80’s tunes, top 40 and Hip Hop…just for all of you who might not be into the fast paced electronic music being played in all the other rooms.

Arriving at around midnight, just in time to catch the end of Phil K’s high-energy break beat set. Did you know that Phil K has also been listed among the “25 most important people in Australian dance music??” Next up is James Lavelle, the founder of MoWax, and also conceived the Unkle project. His set is made up of break beats, which contain a lot of tracks his trademark band sounds.

The main event Sasha is making his way up to the stage….

Sasha takes the stage and the crowd goes mad. Whether you’re in the front row or at the farthest point of the 10,000 followers you’re still feeling his presence nonetheless. He comes out strong and keeps the crowd in the palm of his hands for the duration of his 2 hours set. He played a wicked set, the best I’ve ever heard him play!!! He closes his set with a track called “Cowpander” a mash-up mix record (his classic Xpander mashed with Underworld’s classic Cowgirl) and Adam Freeland’s “Smells Like Freeland” which is a remix of Nirvana’s chart topping hit “Smells Like Teen spirit” The crowd kept the energy up for his final 15 minutes by showing nuthin’ but love for the legendary Sasha.

And the final Dj of the event was Ashley Casselle, within minutes after he started his set he dropped the newly remixed classic track “I Feel Love” by the soulstress Donna Summer, the new remix is courtesy of Danny Howells. By this time it is around 4:30am and I’m pretty beat but I stay to benefit from Ashley’s solid grooving set.

The Mambo Jambo area closed at 5am with most of the party people from that area moving the Global Underground area keeping it nicely busy till the early morn.

All in all, this was an excellent event. I’ll definitely make my way over to Singapore next year for their next big ZoukOut shindig!!!

If only Hong Kong could find sponsors such as Nokia, Citibank, MTV, or Tourism Board to host such an event that is so in tuned with today’s youth and music!!! …. I only wish. I’m not going to hold my breath…. I’m just gonna keep dreaming for that day to come = )

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