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ASSEMBLY: The Great Singaporean Techno Hope


Come 12 April, an exciting new club event falls in the parade squares (dancefloor really) of kyō - ASSEMBLY. Dedicated to the oft-misunderstood genre of techno, the monthly series is a tribute to the origins and the evolution of the genre, taking audiences through the electronic soundscapes of Detroit, France, Berlin, Japan and beyond. The collective behind ASSEMBLY has hailed kyō as the unrivalled venue to spearhead this new movement as a fresh, young club with a diverse array of clubbers of various age groups, backgrounds and nationalities counting as regulars. First stop in this sonic world tour is Detroit, the birthplace of techno itself (trivia: the genre was created as a reflection of the city's burgeoning auto-industry back in the 80's!)

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It's certainly an exciting time for techno here, for ASSEMBLY will be shining the spotlight on homegrown Singaporean representatives including kyō resident Norman C, as well as other renowned DJs including the likes of borhead, EJ Missy, Gerald Ang, Kavan, Debbie Chia and many more from the region in the months to come. Ahead of the event launch this Saturday, we speak to the collective to find out more about their movement and all things techno. 

ASSEMBLY: Detroit 
12 April | kyō


borhead

What do you love about techno?

It makes me feel free and I have made most of my best friends through it (music in general). I associate techno to certain moments in my life which are very important. For me, listening to techno is like meditation, it helps me relax and escape in many ways. I find intimacy in techno.

What does ASSEMBLY mean to you?

An opportunity to share something I love with people I keep very close to my heart as well as with total strangers on the dancefloor hoping they have a good time too.

It’s interesting how techno sounds different in different cities – how would you describe the sound of techno here?

I think you can find a little bit of everywhere, it is a business hub an arts hub and a techno hub? There are many factors to take into account, it really depends on the club/party/collective/DJ/time of the day...

What misconceptions about techno do you disagree with?

When someone asks what music I play. I'll answer 'techno', and they'll say that they like techno too, like David Guetta, Steve Aoki and so on... I'm not sure those names and 'techno' have much to do with each other.

List your top three essential techno tracks.

Debbie Chia

What do you love about techno?

Techno for me is music of my current time. It represents a time when technology was advanced enough to co-create music with humans. So unlike rock or blues, which is nostalgic, techno to me is more relevant and current.

What does ASSEMBLY mean to you?

In a way it is a tribute and homage to all the cultures and cities that embraced techno and gave it its own flavour. It is not very common to divide music by region, but it is very true that music from the US or music from the UK (to give very obvious examples) has a different sound to it. From the weather to the water and the history, all these produce different flavours in the music, just like food from different provinces or accents in languages have their subtle and strong differences.

It’s interesting how techno sounds different in different cities – how would you describe the sound of techno here?

Singapore techno – I would say there is an unnatural sound to it, depending on who’s making it could be raw, groovy or clinical.

What misconceptions about techno do you disagree with?

The misconception that it is actually “ah beng techno” – which in fact is Euro dance.

List your top three essential techno tracks.

EJ Missy

What do you love about techno?

That it’s not as transparent as pop music. That it doesn’t give itself away so easily and that it could mean different things to different people.

What does ASSEMBLY mean to you?

Redefining the meaning of collaboration between like-minded people while opening doors to explore uncharted areas. 

It’s interesting how techno sounds different in different cities – how would you describe the sound of techno here?

There is no one sound. With easy access to global music platforms and resources, it’s an amalgamation of the varied influences and multiple eras.

What misconceptions about techno do you disagree with?

  • Anything that is electronic is techno.
  • In order to fully enjoy it, you need drugs.
  • If you dance non-stop to techno, you’re definitely on drugs (or horny) :D  

List your top three essential techno tracks.

Gerald Ang

What do you love about techno?

Since my discovery of electronic music, techno has always connected with me. It’s hard to describe with words. I suppose it can be unpolished and yet beautiful at the same time. It can take on different shapes and draw unique emotions.

What does ASSEMBLY mean to you?

It is about music, friendship, tribute, respect, discovery and sharing of techno through different interpretations via the themes of the night as well as the different artists playing together.

It’s interesting how techno sounds different in different cities – how would you describe the sound of techno here?

There’s quite a melting pot of the techno sound here in Singapore. Personally, its a good thing as it keeps the movement interesting as we draw inspiration from each other and through various influences. In time, there may be a ‘Singapore sound’, you’ll never know.

What misconceptions about techno do you disagree with?

Generally, the term ‘techno’ is associated with commercial dance music. That said, everyone is entitled to their own preference. 

List your top three essential techno tracks.

Kavan Spruyt

What do you love about techno?

What I love about techno is the flexibility it has, it can be hard for guys, it can be groovy for girls and its energy can be varied depending on the size of the room.

What does ASSEMBLY mean to you?

It's a nod to the local and regional artists, which alone means a lot to us. It is also about letting everyone know that techno is not just one sounded, it can even have vocals.

It’s interesting how techno sounds different in different cities – how would you describe the sound of techno here?

Ah, so the sound of techno doesn't sound different in different cities, it sounds different from the producers from each city. The sound of techno here draws influences from everywhere. Like our races/cultures, we are pretty mixed in that sense too. :)

What misconceptions about techno do you disagree with?

As above.

List your top three essential techno tracks.

Norman C

What do you love about techno?

What I love about techno is the synergy between technology and human ideas and how it can communicate feelings and emotions through sound.

What does ASSEMBLY mean to you?

This series would be using KYO as a platform to showcase local and international talents who share the love for the music and raise the appreciation level of clubbers for Techno.

It’s interesting how techno sounds different in different cities – how would you describe the sound of techno here?

I think the scene here has yet to develop it’s own distinct sound which requires a collective effort and collaboration, and that is what we are aiming for.

What misconceptions about techno do you disagree with?

The term 'Techno' has very different meaning especially in this part of the world. It is often used to describe anything from Trance to EDM to just about anything with a 4/4 beat of a drum machine.

List your top three essential techno tracks.


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