Since April, DOT Records has been bringing in international DJs like Japan’s DJ Sodeyema and France’s Oxia for monthly events at Arkham in Shanghai. Tomorrow night is a milestone for the new electronic dance music label, as DOT celebrates its first record release.
The DOT sampler “Vol 1” EP consists of five tracks by some of the country’s most popular underground DJs, including Shanghai-based DJ Mia and DJ Doggy. The two will be joining DOT Records founder Elvis T and DJs Chris Jobs and Max Shen at the record release party, underscoring the label’s diversity.
“DOT is a record label that’s really open,” says DOT Records CEO Miao Wong. “As long as it’s a good track, we’ll release it.”
The label is spearheaded by Elvis Truang (aka Elvis T), a pioneering figure in China’s electronic dance music (EDM) scene. The Taipei-born DJ has released two critically acclaimed albums and regularly performs across Asia, Europe and South America and.
An influential figure in Taipei’s EDM community, Truang moved to Beijing in 2007 where he cofounded China’s first EDM label, Acupuncture Records, with Beijing native Wong and seven other DJs.
“When we started, it was just eight DJs who came together out of a shared passion for techno and wanting to throw parties together,” Wong explains.
Acupuncture evolved into much more. In 2009, they opened their club Lantern in Sanlitun and organized the country’s first outdoor EDM festival, INTRO. Although their parties were Beijing favorites, the growing business demands led to Acupuncture’s dissolution last November.
“It’s difficult to get eight artists to agree and we had to become more of a business,” Wong explains. “We still work with the former Acupuncture DJs but it’s now like a company-and-artist relationship.”
Following the end of Acupuncture, Wong and Truang immediately set to work on DOT Records. The company holds monthly events in Beijing and Shanghai and the goal is to double that, with one event featuring an international DJ headliner and one being an intimate local DJ showcase. The label also aims to provide a platform for Chinese DJs and aims to release a record every two months.
“Over the last couple of years, there are more Chinese DJs starting to produce but the bad side is there aren’t enough labels in China to release their music,” Wong explains. “Many DJs don’t know how to put their music online where it reaches beyond their friends.”
Limited editions of the DOT Records “Vol 1” sampler will be given out for free at the record release party and all releases will be available online at Beatport, the world’s largest DJ and EDM community.
While Wong laughingly admits that she’s only heard one of the tracks on the upcoming release, she explains that it’s due to Truang’s constant tinkering in a quest for a perfect mix.
“He spends a lot time in the studio choosing which tracks to include and which Chinese- produced tracks to send out to international DJs for remixes,” she says.
However, the techno fan has a few Shanghai regulars to recommend, citing Elvis T and Deep 6 as favorites for techno, DJ Mia for electronica and Conrank’s unique drumstep style.
The DOT Records “Vol 1” sampler can be streamed at https://soundcloud.com/dot-records.
Date: Friday, August 30
Venue: Arkham, 1 Wulumuqi Rd
Tickets: 50 yuan (pre-sale), 70 yuan (at door)
(Andrew Chin is a Shanghai-based freelancer.)