Despite fighting an uphill battle against a government that doesn't wish to be a proponent of its city's own creatives, and a populace who usually opt for mainstream mega-swank clubs (in no small part down to said clubs large marketing budgets), Hong Kong's underground scene fights on thanks to the passion of the handful of people who keep it afloat. And Hypnotic is one of those ever-growing success stories.
Hosted at Social Room since its inception, Hypnotic is a regular podcast and club night that champions some of the best techno, house and its various sub-genres with local and international talent. Such an undertaking is both emotionally and financially tasking, and few know this better than Ocean Lam – a scene mainstay and one of the best DJs Hong Kong has produced in recent memory. And it’s a great credit to Lam that Hypnotic is celebrating its fourth birthday – as well as the DJ's own – this Friday with Lam herself spinning along with Saisa Fraction and German artist Patrick Zigon.
Hypnotic has built a reputation for being wholly inclusive and always fun, and this Friday marks a very special milestone for the event. We had a chat with Lam and even got a selection of her tunes, which make for perfect listening while you're having a read (if you haven't heard her music before, do yourself a favour and check it out).
How did you get into DJing?
I have always loved listening to electronic music, going out to clubs and bars to dance and find new music to listen to. One day, I got a pair of second hand CDJs and a mixer and started mixing for a few months. My first gig was at Yumla (now Oma), and since then I haven't stopped DJing.
How would you describe your style?
I like to find new sounds and elements for when I play, I like changes. But my sound always features a deep hypnotic atmosphere, something which goes into my heart. I play techno, deep, hypnotic house, minimal, acid, dub techno... I get bored if I just play one genre of music – I need something new to entertain myself and the crowd on the dance floor.
In your time working on the scene, what changes have you seen?
It has changed a lot in the past four to five years – there are a lot of new promoters, venues, festivals and different types of music events happening, which is very good. However, one thing that is consistent is that Hong Kong is always full of expats. They can find a new underground place to go to but they might leave the city. So the local scene is still small in terms of underground music. But it's increasing, slowly.
Tell us about Hypnotic...
Hypnotic started out and still is the name of my podcast but now, it's also the name of my events. The idea is to bring people together via music we like and have a fun night to dance and hang out. I invite different DJs to play each time and I believe this can bring more interesting vibes for my friends and those who come to support. I have hosted international artists like Azimute, Manuel Fischer, CYRK, Jepe and Local Suicide, many of which have become close friends as well. I also invite different local DJs to play with, like Anthony2, Taku Hirayama & Jo.D. It's always more of a friends gathering than a club night. Hypnotic is also a music exchange platform because I get to play with international DJs I have invited at their events when I travel to Europe.
This Friday, we are celebrating Hypnotic's four year anniversary at Social Room with Patrick Zigon. We hope to see you there dancing and smiling all night long!
Apart from coming to your shows, how can people connect with you and your music?
They can find my podcasts, live recordings on my Soundcloud page and I have some tracks released on Typhoon8 Records, which you can listen on Spotify, too. Also, I am very excited that I will be releasing a new track at the end of February on T8R.
Tell us about some of the tracks you've picked for this playlist?
Hiver, Manuel Fischer, Oskar Offermann, Azimute, Patrick Zigon, Rebirth and Motech are some of my favorite producers and labels. We all met through a love of music and they've come to inspire me a lot. So I want to share their music via this list with you all! This list is easy listening, deep, minimal, hypnotic sounds and you can listen to them at home or in the club.
Check out Ocean's specially-curated playlist below.