MMM (More Mainland Madness) pt. 2

Aight, where was I?
Right, I left my wallet in the backseat of a taxi in Chengdu.
Deep adrenaline shock when I grabbed my own butt for the obligatory wallet check while seeing the taxi making a right turn at the next traffic light. Mourning.
No taxi receipt, so no chances on getting it back EVER.
The unwritten rule of chinese taxi backseats.
Anyways, enough of the holiday part of all this, time to go to work.
We picked up homeslice Enso at the airport and went straight to the club for soundcheck.

Being in the middle of China, well, clubs are a bit different out there.
Games of dice and whiskey mixed with green tea? Yep, you get the picture.
Dancefloor? No. Plenty of tables? Yes. Lots of Dancing in between those? Yes. Me playing Top 40 hip hop? No. Me rockin’ it Kid Fresh stylee? Hell yes.
People hella confused but loving it? Fuck yes. That’s how I roll.

Check out the banner behind the DJ booth and pay close attention to the words above my head in those graphix. Cute, innit?

Gig nr. 1 well accomplished.
Off to the hotel where we caught a few hours of sleep and got up early for a very basic hotellobby brkfst.

Time to hit the road to Chongqing!

The closer we came to Chongqing, the crazier the traffic got.
Deutsche Verkehrsordnung? STFU.
There’s one valid traffic rule: Pedal to the metal.

Chongqing is MAJOR, with its population of 30.000.000 (yes, thirty million).

And it’s fuckin’ mental. The amount of rough energy in the streets is hard to take.
We went out there for the obligatory pre-gig dinner.

Dodgy and not-so-dodgy figures passed by while we were eating. The dodgy category included a man with a monkey on a leash. Shame I ain’t got no pic. Instead I have one of the girl who had her electric guitar + amplifier with her, singing chinese pop songs.

Time to hit the club, and it was such a déjà vu compared to the night before that I didn’t even feel the need to take pictures.
Here’s one of Enso and me kickin’ it in the VIP tho.

It’s been a fun night, and after the gig we took the liberty to get fucked up on whisky/green tea and sing along to “10 kleine Jaegermeister” at 5AM in the mainroom. Trust me I’m serious, “10 kleine Jaegermeister”.
Surreal. Back at the hotel, we discovered BIG news in the paper:

Enso had to get up early to catch his flight to Hong Kong in order to catch his flight to San Francisco. Meanwhile, I managed to snooze for 10 long hours.
In the afternoon, I was taken to the airport to continue my journey to Guiyang for another déjà vu gig. But what the heck, driver came late, traffic was crazy, so I missed the damn flight!!!!!
Next flight at 10.30PM, way too late!
So I had to hop in a car to get driven to Guiyang. And the driver turned out to be a
f u c k i n g  nightmare. I swear I was ready to die.
Using the right lane for taking over copcars while constantly hitting the headlight flashers was one of his standards on this trip.
Arrived late in Guiyang, met up with Charlie, (who played an awesome set that night btw) did my jobby and went straight to the hotel afterwards, looking forward to returning home to Hong Kong the next day. Before the gig, I had the opportunity to meet up with Guiyang local DJ LJ who I predict to be the next China DMC Champion. Remember where you heard it first!
Now I’m sitting here in my shoebox, it’s 4PM and I haven’t slept last night.
Kylie Minogue is in town, I’ll prolly run into her on the way to Zdarbux.
Well, on second thought.. Prolly not.
Gotta proceed to the airport to catch a flight to Shanghai. Which I’m psyched about cause tomorrow I’ll play a set at SHELTER with the infamous Bananas Soundsystem!
It’s been a while, o’ dear Shanghai!

Oh, on a side note: Check out this guy named Tobacco and his album “Fucked up friends”. It’s just  as beautiful as bizarre, and I FUCKIN’ LOVE IT.
SO looking forward to bump this in my ipod on the way to the airport.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iEVpmjE2NE

MMM (More Mainland Madness) pt. 1

Ni men hao ma? Ok so I just got back from another trip to the People’s Republic.
Apart from wallowing on the eastcoast, I finally had the opportunity to see what the Southwest is all about.
Took the border-crossing 45 min. busride from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, which is like a transfer to another dimension, for those of you who don’t know.
On the other side of the border, Anarchy is written with a capital A.
So I was using my spare time to spit like a lama, throw mad cigs on the floor and hijack a copcar on the way to the airport (sort of) before I boarded a plane to Chengdu.

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province, famous for its unique cuisine.
Food in China can be supergnarly, especially for a veggie like me.
In Sichuan, however, there’s plenty of  amazing veggie options around.
I can see where this post is gonna go, it’ll prolly be all about FOOD.
Rewind. So I arrived in Chengdu, getting picked up by my homies Jovian and Charlie,
hella cool cats and awesome hosts btw, and we picked up a belated 5pm breakfast on the dusty streets of Chengdu. These little things here made my day, 1 RMB (10 Eurocents) each.

Right after ingestion, it was time for a lil’ eduploration walk around the city with my hosts. Even though me and the mainland are having conflicts from time to time, I do like Chengdu a lot! It’s just much more peaceful, calm and friendly than any other city in China I’ve been to. Other than that, culture rolls deep over there and it’s actually quite an interesting and beautiful place.

It was time to meet up with the club promoters for dinner. Being informed about my veggie-ism, they’ve chosen a vegetarian restaurant in Chengdu’s old town, Huanglongxi, to take us out to. Wowsies!
Now, a vegetarian restaurant in China is not quite the same as most Gwai Los know it. Basically, the menu is full of meat dishes. But. Those are actually meat-replicas made of soy and tofu. Huh!
Not quite my thing, since they put the illusion into your head that you’re chewing animals.
Anyways, we ordered a whole bunch of  those dishes and they actually all turned out to be well decent.

Chengdu is also THE home of the Panda. That’s right, big, fat, fluffy bears that look like killer whales.

Entry-level pandas look more like this:

Enough of food and fluffy bears for now, it was time to explore the level of sub-culture. Charlie took me to DEF, (Rabbi, gimme the goddamn link to your website if you see this, I can’t find it anywhere) the local streetwearshop/hangoutspot/scratchlab.
A cool spot for the ying young youth to hang out and interact. On my arrival I ‘ve been received with open arms by the locals, being the first international turntablist ever visiting Chengdu. Obviously, I HAD to throw in a lil’ scratch session with those cats for a minute.

Then we went to meet up with the local promoters at their office. A friendly posse/collective of DJs, VJs and graphic designers. Unfortunately, communication turned out to be very difficult, due to my still weak ass mandarin skills. Fortunately, Charlie did a great job as a translator. Shame on me I can’t remember any names, except “Bobo”, who was the “dude in charge” for the upcoming 3-gig-mini tour I was up to.
The mission: 3 gigs in 3 cities in 3 days. Chengdu, Chongqing and Guiyang.
More stories about that Uebertrip coming very soon.
Btw I left my wallet, including cash, ID, creditcard, octopus card and drivers license in the backseat of a taxi that nite. To that lucky mofo who found it: ENJOY!

To be continued..

Not your ordinary HK Sunday / Sk8boarding memories

I’m always happy when some of my Western folks make it to HK for a visit and I have the opportunity to show them around a bit / make them understand
why I love this place so much.
Last week I had the pleasure to welcome My friends Lennie and Inga from Berlin.
I know Lennie from ze old skateboarding days, he used to have his own little selfmade ghetto indoor skatepark in a barn in Northern Germany, where we used to rip shit up on cold German winter days when we were like 14,15. Nowadays, 15 years later, Lennie is easily one of the very best skateboarders in Europe, making a living with his passion being a  professional. Oh, he’s an amazing actor too btw. I’ve also known his lovely girlfriend Inga for years, but that’s a completely different story. Fate brought them together and I have to say they make such a charming couple. Aww.
Sunday is Dim Sum day, as Joey would express, so me, Joey, Enso, Lennie, Inga and El Nomo of the infamous Bananas Soundsystem (Kami, where u been?) went to this Dim Sum place called “Golden Treasure Lake” in Sheung Wan for not your ordinary belated breakfast.

Hoi full ar. After noon, while Joey and Enso were peeping some real estate, Lennie, Inga and I crossed the bay to meet up with photographer extraordinaire Kit Tang in Mong Kok. It was about shopping camera lenses at first, but then Kit got outta control, unpacked his HK pride and took us for a window shopping tour through Mong Kok’s hidden inconspicious little malls that are packed with boutiques carrying every sneaker model imaginable plus so much more.

Apart from being a photographer and social worker, Kit should seriously start a business as an indie tour/shopping guide in HK. He makes even me feel like a bloody tourist, even though I’ve been here for a while now.
Btw he is also our in-house photographer for PIMPIN’ AINT EASY, the monthly club night Enso and me are running in HK.
Here’s Kit helping out Inga and Lennie to cop bus tickets for their trip to Laos.
Kit, you’re the man! Mad thanks and respect!

We made it to the Star Ferry from Kowloon side to Hong Kong side just in time for the everyday 8PM lightshow which I’ve never even seen before. Coincidence? Ask Kit.

Of course Lennie was bringing his sk8board for the trip, so I did my best to hook him up with some of the local heroes to do a bit of shreddage in the form of a latenight miniramp session in Chai Wan. Thanks to Nigel Ong and Warren Stuart and shouts to the entire HK skateboarder community!

I quit shredding 10 years ago, but I still got mad love for the game and I truly enjoy watching some creative, stylish and gnarly skateboarding.Mad respect goes out to Lennie at this point for his ablilities and creativity on 4 wheels of urethane. Check this flick.

While we’re at it, I have to mention and show MAD respect to another one of my old skateboarding buddies who went professional while I decided to fool around with 2 turntables and a mixer instead. His name is Jan Kliewer. We used to spend our teenage years together, skateboarding every day. And now looky at him today.
Easily keeping up with Europe’s top-league



Jan and Lennie have always been a huge inspiration for me, making me push my limits and proving me that anything is possible, once you are able to imagine and to believe.
Not just on a skateboard.
At this point, MAD shouts go out to all generations of the
entire Goettingen Rathaus sk8 veteran posse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Noodles & Champagne

What the heck. It’s been a good 1 ½ years since my last trip to Beijing. I even skipped
the good ol’ ympics and all that jazz, so I was not aware HOW MUCH it actually changed
since my last visit. Terminal 3 aka the new mega star wars airport, everything so much cleaner, someone sucked away 50% of the smog etc. etc.. Wowz.

Lucky me was invited to spin tunes at the launch party of ONEDREAMRUSH,
a short film Project about 42 42-second short films
from 42 World class independent film creators like Harmony Korine, Asia Argento,
David Lynch, Zhang Yuan and 38 more heavyweight names.
The strictly invite-only event was held at PUNK, one of the Bars in
Beijing’s new 6* Boutique Hotel The Opposite House.

Anyhow, so I arrived in Beijing late night of last Wednesday, and made my way to
the aforesaid hotel which provided me with shelter during my stay in Beijing.
Posh as can be but very minimalist and stylish, so I felt like home immediately
and fell asleep like a puppy dog on mother’s milk.
Yes that is a wooden bathtub in the front.

Next morning I decided to stroll around in the neighborhood after
squeezing some pancakes into my freshly showered face.

I went for a walk on this perfectly blue skied day and got offered ridiculous amounts of watchbagdvd on my hunt for some fresh Kpapas and Pamus in one of
Beijings massive indoor markets.

Back to the hotel for a hourlong powernap and a shower with no showercap,
and off to the elevator I was to head to the basement floor for soundcheck.

My tag team DJ partner for the night was no one less than the People’s Republic’s Number 1 DJ,
3 x China DMC Champion and homeboy DJ Wordy, all in 1.
As the venue and the partypeople slowly started to fill up,

we started rocking the spot back to back on 4 decks for the high snobiety.
Majority of the crowd actually wasn’t all that snobby
but stylish, thankful, open minded and very enthusiastic about good tunes!

Out of the blue, a fresh bottle of bubbly made it’s way to the DJ booth.

Next day homeslice Wordy picked me up at the hotel, insisting on having noodles for breakfast. Stupid me was like “Nah wtf, noodles for hangover breakfast?!”, but I shoulda known better. Through grimey alleys and staircases he took me to this tiny hidden noodles spot,
one of those ones where you have to ring the doorbell of an inconspicious door to get in.
And oh joy were my taste buds happy. Best noodles EVER.

The Wordyman gave me a lift to the airport to catch my flight to Hong Kong,
where I was supposed to play at Alivenotdead.com’s Halloween festivities.
Went to the check-in 55 min. prior to departure humming joyous melodies,
till the fact that Air China won’t let me check in made me hush from one second to the other.
“60 min. policy, Sir.”
Ouch. I admit, showing up 1h before departure for intl. flights is a no go.
But that’s how I do and I NEVER MISS FLIGHTS. Ok, maybe once (twice?). Ah well..
To be completely honest with y’all, this was the 3rd time, out of 5 gazillion flights.
Assertive but charmingly I argued my way to the manager, but it was all hopeless,
even though I didn’t even have bags to check in! Major pain in the ass.
Been on standby for the next flight to HK, but it didn’t quite work out.
Tried getting a seat on a aero to Shenzhen or Zhuhai to make it to HK in time for my gig- NOTHING. In the end I’ve spent 6 hours at the airport, making phonecalls and trying to
save the night. Eventually I had homebruv DJ Enso replacing me in HK ,so I headed back downtown, spontaneously deciding to extend my Beijing stay for 2 more days/nights.
The Opposite House was kind enough to let me stay 2 more nights, and Beijing had some good nightlife action to offer on Friday/Saturday, so things weren’t all THAT horrible for me in the end.

Me on the phone from the cab: “Yo Wordy, it’s me. I’m still in Beijing.”
Wordy: “WTF?!”
Me: “Yep. Missed my flight. And no chance to make it to HK in time for my gig..”
Wordy: “Awesome! Let’s go see DJ Craze tonite!”
Me: “WTF. Word, Wordy.”

To my joy, homeboy/legend and Kanye West’s tour DJ CRAZE was in town.
For those of you who don’t know DJ Craze, he’s 3 times DMC World champion, a true legend and the hell of a World class turntablist, making even me look like a bloody bedroom DJ,
no matter my World titles.
He has changed the game forever with his 1998 winning routine
(Well, the 1999 and 2000 ones too)(<—WATCH ALL THOSE!!!),
and has been a HUGE inspiration for me ever since I got on this shit.
Wordy and me, being the antisocial nerds that we are, kicked it in the DJ booth all nite,
while Crazearoni KILLED it.

Main reason for Craze for being in the Jing was his new employer Kanye playing
his China debut show the next day at the “Beijing Worker’s Gymnasium”.

We had chances and hopes to see the rehearsal before the show, but as strict as
Mr. Kanyeezy is, he finally didn’t want ANYONE except the crew around for the rehearsal.
We had free tickets for the show though, and we ain’t mad at all.
The show was aight, however, the last 15 minutes of it were
PRETTY FUCKING GOOD.

It was a seated concert (!), and the securities constantly advised the people to sit down,
which made the whole thing kinda awkward. Also, censorship was a must
(“I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger, but she ain’t messin’ with no broke, broke”).
Well that’s China, innit.

After swapping some choons with Wordy the next afternoon,
I managed to make it to the check in counter 90 MINUTES PRIOR TO DEPARTURE.
The flight turned out to be delayed, packed to the ceiling, shaky and tight.
On top of that, peeps were burping and farting like there’s no tomorrow.
So it was quite a party, let me tell y’all that!
I’m out. G’nite.