Micro machines

By Sam Oddy (City Weekend)
Updated: 2007-05-30 10:17

The Pirates presents you the latest version of micro movement this Saturday night.

Back in 2005, Sebastian Scholtz (aka DJ Tootekool) was in a funk: Bored of the glitzy, wannabe club scene, he felt that "there was an empty space in the way of nightlife and artistic expression. Introducing the music and culture that I knew from Germany was the way for me to feel fulfilled amongst the mainstream hype of the Shanghai club scene." From this despair, he (and some like-minded friends) decided that it was time to focus on the music, stripping it to its essentials, thus giving birth to Shanghai's minimal/micro electronic scene. Now well-established after two years of successful parties, events and workshops, micro will celebrate their second anniversary with a party at a new creative space, The Pirates. Gaining notoriety among the city's disillusioned clubbers, micro provided a rallying point as it appeared in its various incarnations around the city. micro has evolved from the original "microclub" at Madam Zung's Club to "microfabrique" at Fabrique, the "microlab" workshop and the "microfloor," to the now imminent "micropirates."

Beyond providing a creative and entertaining atmosphere, Tootekool and his cohorts decided to spread their micro-gospel to the world, and launched "microlab," an intensive workshop on minimalist music production. "People were flying from all over China just to come to The Lab," says Tootekool. A quick search on Youtube will show eager students from around the world soaking-up production tips from the pioneers.

Music is the basis of the micro movement, but the group hasn't kept it basic: Parties include unlikely alliances, so dancers and chillers can groove to vinyl and mp3s blended with the sounds of live, virtuoso trumpet and inspired vocals, as well as other traditional musicians. Micro-fans won't find a run-of-the-mill laser and LED light show either. Like everything else it creates, micro provides more intellectual eye candy, from live painting to physical performances. "Overall, I just see it as getting back to a core and working to understand and, from there, re-modify the simplicities of a medium, be it image or music," says Tootekool.

Micropirates promises to be another mind-opening experience, this time featuring some creative collaborationfrom world-renowned DJ Sam Reynolds. No one can guess what the next two years will hold, but one thing is certain: With new cookie-cutter superclubs opening everyday in this city, jaded night owls looking for something different will develop a mega following for the micro movement.

The Pirates
Date/Time: June 2, 10 p.m.
Location: 137 Xingfu Lu, near Fahuazhen Lu



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