Night clubs in Southeast Asia are mostly focussed on high-end clubbing, big-room EDM, bottle service and so on. For those people who seek this kind of experience, they could have their best night out, since this industry is booming. But there's always one our two outsiders that are hungry for new music that they've never heard before. Looking for new places, where it doesn't matter what you are wearing, where you're from or how much money you have - places where the only thing that matters is the music! Those kind of clubs are hard to find in Asia, but if you're looking deep enough into the scene you might be lucky enough to stumble upon one. As a matter of fact, underground clubs should'nt be listed in a top list, so you could find out for yousrelf, but in case you need a little help, we've enlisted a few that you might wanna check out during your Asia trip.
We can safely say kyō in Singapore may be the most sophisticated of underground clubs in Southeast Asia, in terms of club quality and line-up consistency. Located in the business district of Singapore, it is a little haven for music connoisseurs. Their past guests are an A-Z of the whole spectrum of electronic music, from hosting Kenny Dope and Defected In The House parties, to having Berghain residents and techno stalwarts such as Rødhåd grace their decks. Of course this may be a question of financials and it situated in Singapore, however credit must be given to the team behind the club in keeping it up in a region where these types of line-ups are definitely not in the spotlight. They are also opening a branch in Kuala Lumpur imminently by the way.
The Observatory (HCMC)
One of the clubs more off the beaten track and in a not so obvious destination, The Observatory in Ho Chi Minh City have paved their way quite well over past years, also having had to relocate recently due to some legislation restrictions. Now located along the banks of the Saigon River in a beautiful location (also to witness sunrise!), with a nice balcony to enjoy the view, it is a very Berlin inspired venue which one could liken vaguely to Robert Johnson in Frankfurt due to its setup. Locals and expats gather here weekly with a common goal of enjoying the music they do not find elsewhere in the city. The crew behind the club have managed to also bring in a number of guests such as Alton Miller, Timmy Regisford, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Trus’me and many more.
Oma (Hong Kong)
Somewhat of a gem in the midst of bustling Hong Kong, Oma is situated in a space that housed its predecessor Midnight & Co as well, the former destination for quality house and techno music in the city. With a number of nights with underground music happening at some of the bigger clubs as well, Oma is exclusive to their sound, with a healthy list of Hong Kong’s DJs on rotation and the occasional international guest gracing their sound system, like Daniel Bell, DJ Koze or Axel Boman.
Popping up once again on our lists, but for good reason - has often been dubbed by many as one of Asia’s best clubbing secrets, TIME in Manila constantly delivers to electronic music lovers week in week out. Open until the early hours (even during the week!), the club hosts the cities’ best house, techno and occasionally trance talent, but also delivers the big name guests with more and more top quality bookings happening more frequently - the club has hosted big names such as Jamie xx, Dubfire, Nic Fanciulli, Dennis Ferrer, KiNK, Guti and many more.
Probably Bangkok’s only true underground club, it has been delivering quality house and techno for about a decade now. Having built a loyal following and even created some household names out of its residents such as Sunju Hargun and also now internationally established Nakadia, its small size is really the appeal and keeps the club true to its’ identity. Glow also boasts an impressive list of past guests including Fat Boy Slim, Sasha, Seth Troxler and Dubfire.