Friday, 4 October 2013

W Retreat Koh Samui #DJLAB2013

27th Sept 2013: W Hotels Worldwide and Burn present - DJ Lab 2013 - hosted this year by W Retreat Koh Samui!

In its third year, this prestigious global DJ competition searches out six of the best under-the-radar Producer/DJs worldwide - with the most impressive and talented finalists being flown this year to W Hotels Thailand.

Joining mentors such as Paul Oakenfold, Andy Caldwell and Michaelangelo L'Acqua for a week long DJ LAB bootcamp at W Retreat Koh Samui, it's a dream come true for the six international artists from UK/Hong Kong, LA, Turkey, Mexico, Berlin and Seoul, who were later flown to W Hotel Bangkok to perform at the #DJLAB2013 finale...

Fireworks at DJ Lab 2013 W Retreat Koh Samui Thailand
played by Andy Caldwell @ #DJLAB2013

Two weeks after returning to Koh Phangan (landing at Jungle Experience Koh Phangan and Phangan Art Exhibition) we arrived over on our sister island, Koh Samui,  just in time for a night of Samui exclusivity.  

From one extreme to the other: community life on Koh Phangan to the high life on Koh Samui; and yet after our recent summer tour to the VIP highlights of LondonIbiza and Hong Kong it felt like coming full circle, back home to the Thai islands...
In W Retreat Koh Samui's WOOBAR the wealthy elite were dressed to impress, congregating to drink champagne and cocktails. You could tell by the cut of the well-bred men's chinos and the swagger in their dance moves that they were Masters of the Uber Cool, while the ladies graced the scene in their killer heels, red lipstick and expensive dresses.

dancefloor at w hotel koh samuivip pods w hotel party

The VIP pods in the moated swimming pool were reminiscent of a similar theme at Ocean Beach Ibiza, but with a price tag even Ocean Beach would be jealous of: available for a mere 20,000bt to reserve your own VIP experience positioned around the DJ booth and dance floor.

Was everyone here on holiday? Or were they the wealthy echelons of Samui society? Or, like us, were they just into the music?  Because if they weren't into the music they were doing a very good job of enjoying this most hip of high class parties south of Bangkok!

Wealthy Samui Thais as you wouldn't know existed on the islands were 'too cool for cats' on the dance floor, while rich Mexican honeymooners invited us to drink tequila. Everyone was chic and convivial, and oozing charm and elegance...

There were beautiful women to die for were in abundance, including the maitre d' cocktail waitress, who informed Pablo she would find him anywhere in the party. Now that is attention to detail, and 6* service! 

fireworks at W Retreat DJLAB2013 thailandW Retreat Koh Samui partyPablo and Mia Escobud at DJ Lab 2013, W Retreat Koh Samui
More than happy to watch the W Retreat Koh Samui firework show and 'move/mix/mingle' to the 'hottest hit makers & winning DJs' from DJ LAB 2013!   

Within the central dance floor the DJs worked their art in front of a giant crystal skull in blue LED headphones, looking out from a DJ booth up close and personal to the hip dancing crowd. Beyond the VIP pods, onlookers from the bar impeccably held their wine glasses to attention as they 'moved, mixed and mingled' through the swaying WOOBAR scene.

At the end of the evening, Grammy winning headliner Andy Caldwell took over the decks with his smooth deep house: he played Kraftwerk's 'Got A Feeling' and I was 'taken to the stars', realising that this has been the soundtrack of our summer tour, having heard it played in London, IbizaBangkok and now W Retreat Koh Samui DJ LAB 2013.

A few days later via twitter we saw that Ryan Dinham, photographer for Ministry of Sound and Curiousity Club at Gigalum, was also at #DJLAB2013, at W Hotel Bangkok. London to Thailandthe best of all worlds! Lucky us...

(Lucky us indeed. It turns out London's star club scene photographer is on tour with none other than Paul Oakenfold himself, doing a few shows to Bangkok... and Argentina!)

w hotel party djlab2013 koh samui
WOOBAR VIP pod and dancefloor, W Retreat Koh Samui

And those six lucky finalists! Not only do they get to play the creme de la creme of high society parties in Thailand, they also get a week's intensive bootcamp with mentors such as Paul Oakenfold, who has been a legend in our British music consciousness forever!

They then get to perform on a world tour of W Hotels Worldwide later this year, and each will produce a track for exclusive release through W Hotels and burn. Talk about commendably nurturing raw talent...

Put your spin on it, indeed!

Now, where do we sign Pablo up for DJ LAB 2014?…