Friday, 19 April 2013

David Chong King of the Koh Phangan Underground

Written by Mia Escobud for Phanganist.com - Online Party Magazine Koh Phangan 19/04/2013

With what is close to a cult following among the communities of Haad Yuan & Haad Tien, Guy's Bar & Eden resident David Chong has reached his Icon Status on this island for very good reason: his music...

The undisputed King of the Koh Phangan Underground - I would say original King, but that would be forgetting Marc London - David is a trail blazer in the Underground House Scene, and a much revered iconic superstar to those of us in the know.

Spend a weekend or two listening to his music, and soon you too will be having your own musical epiphany, and don't be surprised when you too find that you are becoming a convert to the David Chong cult religion!

His music is full of interesting intros, beautiful melodies and harmonies, strings and violin lounge music to bring the vibe back down… then that snatch drum comes in up high, leading us back into the banging tech beats to come.

 The epitome of the Koh Phangan Underground, David Chong is a Master of the Journey.

"Ooh… I love this track!… Is it?… Isn't it?" As his music progresses you're never sure where it's going to go, never quite sure if you recognise that beat or not? His music builds and builds, the feel good energy sweeps through the dancing crowd, then those tribal bongos come in... and you know those fat dirty bass lines will follow! 

When the tempo rises, the whole dancefloor comes alive with the vibratory energy. DJ, music, dance floor and audience are ONE - a spiritual connection: each of us to the whole, and each other. There is a sense of unity and belonging to the parties he presides over, and sometimes, you just know it:

We are in the presence of something very special.

... And then David drop will an Eden classic of the season: Ooh Ooh Blush!  The progressive, Indie tech house track 'Howling' by Ry Cuming, & Frank Wiedemann.

Instantly the beautiful melody draws us in, the spiralling white noise leading us up where we need to go. With the deep cello strings and layers of low vocal harmonies - Hot night… coming… Blush! - the gentle mystery builds with the silken tones of the vocalist - You had me howling - until the spiral picks up the beat again and the piano solo takes us away. 

The subtle euphoria builds to a beautiful xylophone crescendo, until at the end, the high keyboards come in and send us flying. Sky looks much taller!

'Gold, I swam into your spell'
David Chong's music incorporates all of these recurring themes; the gentle mystery, the subtle euphoria, the haunting vocals. We feel the melancholic stirring in our hearts as our bodies pick out a vibe to dance to; and soon we are grooving, dancing, alive and free. One with the Dance!

Hours into a set, J'Adele says: "He's playing tune after tune after tune! How long's he been playing for now? It's hours!" When a DJ can play for hours on end and still pull the tunes out, you know for sure… "Yes, THAT'S why he's an Icon!" 

J'Adele - winner of the 'Made In Shoreditch' DJ competition 2012 and a London regular at venues as high profile as MOS & Egg - has been listening carefully to all DJs' style on this island: the most similar DJ to her own deep edgy tech style is none other than David Chong himself.

Unsurprisingly then, when she sent him a mix, he invited her over to play Eden - and he has also expressed interest in collaborating with J'Adele and her edgy vocals. As she tells me this I stop dead on the dance floor:  "OMG you've got to do it! I want to listen to it! We all want to listen to it!!"

Here's hoping Mia is the first to know if & when that track gets released!


ALL HAIL THE KING!

Koh Phangan, Thailand
April 2013