Club KTV Shanghai – CLOSED. Lessons Learned.

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It’s the season for clubs closing in Shanghai – who’s next??? Could it be all of Yongkang Lu? Arkham? Your apartment party? Better save some trap dollars for a rainy day.

KTV was a house/disco club in a renovated karaoke parlor that stayed open for about a year. Their strict sound was European disco and house, with some impressive bookings like Mike Simonetti from Italians Do It Better and Chez Damier. Cool concept that may have worked in Spain or something, but in Shanghai this unfortunately was not enough to pay the rent, and the club just announced its closure. Perhaps this was, as some have offered, a consequence of an supersaturated market – too many clubs and promoters and not enough patrons. Or perhaps KTV fucked up by just not enough promoting to different crowds or working with other promoters…I believe the problem lies in the latter.

Personally, I can’t say I feel terrible for Club KTV, considering this convo I had with someone working at the club back in April, when I asked if we could do a Love Bang party there:

“…everything imported. sorry to sound arrogant but not interested in djs who play everywhere in sh. thats my partners opinion im just a messanger. (sic)”

These are nice people who grossly erred in judgement, assuming that a small crowd of Europeans could support a club in a city with some of the most expensive rents in the world, and with loads of clubbing options. At least that’s what i assume they did, as they wouldn’t bring in outside promoters or promote to locals. I never once saw anything about KTV on Weibo, even in the heyday before Weixin eclipsed Weibo. I mean, look at their flyers – this is absolutely meaningless to a local who isn’t in touch with the small disco and house scene. No Chinese, not even an address.

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So…there’s gonna be some kind of razor at a KTV? It’s a shaving party? A cutting party? Goth-night? Is this at Mao Livehouse? I’m a foreigner and without context I don’t even know what this means.

Whereas Arkham struggles to draw a crowd to local nights w/no headliner, they at least got their shit together to draw an impressive local crowd to e.g. their Thursday night hip hop party. I heard KTV tried to reach out to some other promoters at the end, but by then it was too late. Here’s what we can learn by this:

1) Chinese promo is essential. How can you ignore over 95% of the market???  Dada and STD do well because they promote to local crowds.

2) In a world where Perry’s offers free beer and an always-packed bar full of international peeps, bars must do something to stand apart. A renovated KTV is cool, but that alone won’t draw enough customers to keep the doors open. Club owners should always ask themselves “why would anyone want to come to my bar instead of one of the hundreds of other places in town??”

3) It’s cool to have an artistic vision, like pure disco and house in a quirky setting, but in an often tacky city like Shanghai, you have to make compromises sometimes if you wanna stay afloat. That means sometimes working with people you don’t necessarily think are doing the coolest shit on the planet. You can learn a lot by working with peeps doing something different.

4) [most important] If you run a club, FFS don’t shut out all the other promoters in town and think that importing some vinyl nerds from Europe is somehow gonna matter more than working with local promoters. Fucking dumb. I wanted to do a party at KTV but they were like “naw we’re good.” Welp, guess not bruv!

People make mistakes. I didn’t consider the wrong impression some may get when they see a party called “Love Bang” at a gay-ish bar. And I thought like 500 people would just turn up to the first pool party. This has been the summer of “don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” Lessons for the youth.

Ramon & The Crystalites – Golden Chickens

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RIP KTV – here’s some of my favorite disco edits to remember ya’ll.

Slo Grind

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Duff Disco – A Tribute To Barry

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6th Borough Project - McLovin

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Mayer Hawthorne – Her Favorite Song (Oliver Remix)

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Duff Disco – Return Of The Duff

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Linkwood Family – Piece of Mind

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Blood Orange – Sutphin Boulevard (Bicep remix)

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Perseus – Running Back

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Suzanne Kraft – Morning Come

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Bumbleebee Unlimited – Lady Bug (Larry Levan Mix)

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… <3

Been a minute since the last update; been preparing to go back to the land of gold this Saturday.

First off, wanna thank everyone who came to Love Bang #12 last Saturday @Dada. Was by far our biggest night ever and it wouldn’t be possible without the great crowd who came out, so big up yourself. I remember looking up at midnight like “huh, not that many people here..” then ten minutes later it was so packed it took five minutes to get from the door to the dance floor, then dropping “All Nite” by Rustie.

And special thanks to ESHIN from Trouble Audio, who absolutely murdered it. Was the first time anyone played Drum & Bass at Love Bang and god damn…Brooklyn dem don’t play.

Looking forward to 2012, we got Love Bang #13 on Jan. 21st at Dada with DJ Caution, MC One Con, and myself, then Love Bang #14 Super Valentine’s Edition on Feb. 11th with special guest DjMrWhite plus other super-friends.

And for March, we got something extra special –  on the opening night of Split Works‘ JUE festival, we’re doing Love Bang @ The Shelter with special guest BICEP. Don’t get it confused, we love Dada and will continue doing Love Bang there, but we need a bigger venue for this one, and what’s better than The Shelter?

Bicep – Say You Wanna

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Lady Gaga – Alejandro (bicep Italo flex)

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sorry, no DLs on these. dem are my friends and they quit their dayjobs to do this full-time, so dem gots to get paid.

check out their site feelmybicep.com – i can’t recommend it enough. hundreds of entries and songs, from rare italo-disco and chicago-house to horror soundtracks and hip hop.

Bicep Mystery Meat EP

Some tracks I’m definitely gonna play out on Saturday. Bicep, originally from Belfast but now living in London/Glasgow/the gym, came out to Shanghai last April for the first ever Love Bang and smashed it. The DJ skills were already on point but they’ve stepped up the production game heavily, especially on this new release.

“Say You Wanna” has been one of my favorite jams for the past year. Still not sick of it. Really liking “Knockout” as well. This vinyl will probably sell out fast and they’re not doing a repress – cop it here.

Here’s a preview of all four jams on the EP. “Sleazy Disco Funk” sums it up nicely.

BICEP | MYSTERY MEAT EP (SAMPLER) by BICEP

and they run a great website too over at Feel My Bicep.