As soon as the Bowl heard that the techo dance music record label Drumcode was staging a festival in Phuket for the Songkran Thai new year, we got on the phone to the organizers and sorted our press passes. The 2 day and first of its kind event in Phuket was to be staged at the palatially grand location of the Blue Tree Entertainment hub in Thalang.
Blue Tree really is a sight to behold. Once you get your wrist pass to enter the lagoon you can’t help but let your jaw hit the floor when you see the size of the lagoon pool itself. A pool that claims to in fact be Thailand’s largest crystal lagoon. Aside from this gigantic swimming area there are also several water slides, a tightrope that guides the brave directly over the lagoon itself, and a pillar rock shaped cliff for jumping and diving. Aside from the water activities there is a Thai boxing gym, a massage area, a Ninja training assault course (as seen on TV) and a couple of large dining areas.
At 13:00 everyday there is a show that includes several ladies performing synchronized dancing and swimming, professional divers show off their impressive skills from the cliff, and a professional fly boarder glides across the lagoon on a jet board that is thrust into the air by water that is sucked up through a large pipe connected to his board. The flyboards water hose is connected to a jet ski that cruises by itself along the water below. All great fun for families.
“I think it’s long overdue for Drumcode to bring the sound out to Asia again”.Eoin – Drumcode Records.
Poolside DJs Notto and Tam Bakermann played back-to-back followed by DJ Mafu. This was essentially a warmup for those revelers enjoying the lagoon before heading to the main stage. I really enjoyed the sounds of Notto and Tam Bakermann who were delivering Melodic House & Techno from artists like Ben Bohmer.
Following our afternoon at the lagoon, we went over to the festival site to an area called ‘The Forest’. It was here that the Bowl met with Drumcode record label representative Eoin. He told us that Drumcode had staged their first Asia event in Tokyo, Japan some years ago, and that they were approached by various management and artists to come to Thailand. In particular Thailand’s very own DJ Nakadia whose been championing the techno sound for decades. Eoin said that Drumcode agreed to staging the event and added “I think it’s long overdue for Drumcode to bring the sound out to Asia again”. The Bowl agrees wholeheartedly.
First up on the mainstage was the incredibly attractive half Thai and half Swedish DJ Vicky Kroon who really got the early arrivals on their feet. It is worth noting that this event was in April which is the hottest time of the year in Thailand and this year the heat was hitting record danger levels.
Following Ms Kroon’s superb performance we hot footed it over to the DJ arrivals area and managed to have a few words with the lady of the moment DJ Nakadia. I told her how I’d seen her April tour schedule going all over Europe and praised her stamina.
Nakadia mentioned that she’d also managed several visits to the USA during this time. She has just released two new singles ‘Reincarnation’ and ‘Floating Frequencies’. The latter I loved. I had to be brief because she is a busy lady. Always a pleasure catching up with her.
It was then back to the mainstage to watch DJ Juliet Fox take the reins. As Eoin from Drumcode said, Juliet (signed to Drumcode) has a much harder sound and delivers the goods. We liked where we went with her set.
The crowd at this point was really building into festival size numbers just in time for the main performances from artists DJ Nakadia, Danish producer DJ Kolsch and man of the moment DJ Joris Voorn.
Nakadia’s home crowd warmed to her immediately and (if it’s possible) she literally blew the roof off an open-air festival in our opinion.
Next up was Kolsch who has a list of production credits longer than both your arms. He’s even produced a track with the lord himself DJ Sasha called ‘The Lights’. I loved Kolsch’s energy, and for a large man (must be well over 6 foot 2) he can really get a dance groove on behind those decks.
The headline star Joris Voorn came on around 01:00 and let us all know why he’s at the top of his game. His recent single remix of Marsh’s “Little Darling” is stunning, and the crowd loved it.
It was great to glance over at the crowd and see so many happy smiling faces all letting go and dancing together like no one’s watching. Long may these events continue.
The Bowl had such a good time at this event and would surely hope to see Drumcode here in Phuket next year. There is even talk of it being staged in January which would be a lot cooler in every sense of the word.
Thank you to Khun Jan at Blue Tree for arranging the passes, and to Drumcode and Nakadia for the interviews.
To all supporters of the Farangbowl, thank you as always for reading.
Head of Marketing: Khun Jan
Address: 4, 2 Srisoonthorn Rd, Tambon Si Sunthon, Amphoe Thalang, Phuket 83110.
Call: 076 602 435
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Qz81CQEe5JBLheJPA
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