This is DJ Ozone, AKA, Michael, who I met at Uptown Records in Koenji. Uptown had posted an event flyer with digital art-deco dreamscape graphics that really grabbed my attention, not to mention the words “Ozone” and “DADA”. The post mentioned that Michael was originally from San Francisco and had lived in China for 20 years, since 2003 (I’ve been in Tokyo since 2004, so that was an immediate parallel to me), going on to say that he’d been a Radio DJ (another parallel – I had been a pirate radio DJ), and that he started an event music series called Antidote (which I suspected might be something like “Unity Gain” events of yore, back in Boulder), and finally landing on the fact that Michael had opened several alternative and underground music nightclubs in Shanghai, then Beijing, then Kunming, all sharing the name “Dada” and that he had produced 100s of shows and tours around China, and that he’d be playing for this one night at Uptown Records. Sounded great!
Not having an entire night to kill, but a sneak-in-able hour, I could pop by Uptown on my way home and see the place in action really for the first time. When I arrived, the first thing I noticed was how heavy the door was, which I guess was already open during the day the last time I visited. It was so heavy, it made me immediately realize that all the OSB Plywood that enveloped the place was likely not aesthetic, rather sheathing a functional layer of soundproofing beneath it. Sacco the owner behind the bar, poured me an apropos Oolong Tea and confirmed this, and that it was a painstaking but worthwhile task, because here we were enjoying Michael’s set.
I made my way to the decks and introduced myself to Michael and we immediately got chatting, and he told me the story about Dada (which I went on to research online afterwords and encourage you to as well.) There are many well-documented great stories of how Dada came to be and how Michael has been an integral part of cultivating China’s underground and alternative music scene.
Thanks for the hang Michael, and for pushing music in every way you do (and this Bezier recommendation that was just sitting right there!) Looking forward to meeting again!
Bézier – Ensconced
Label: Dark Entries – DE-048
Format: Vinyl, 12″, EP
Released: Aug 1, 2013
Style: New Wave, Synth-pop
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