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Publication Date : 14-11-2012
The Culture One dance-music fest celebrates its fifth anniversary on November 17 with what promises to be its biggest and most spectacular party yet.
Although it's billed as "Bangkok's International Outdoor Dance Music Festival", that's a misnomer because the event is actually held inside Bitec Bangna.
"It can't be held outdoors in Bangkok because of laws relating to noise levels. I'd love to organise it on a beach or in a forest one day," says organiser Apichart "Tui" Chaikaew, who also founded Bangkok's nightclubs Club Culture and Cafe Democ.
For this year's edition of Culture One, he's spending 20 million baht (US$651,600) more than in the previous years. He'll have five stages - Godskitchen, Boombox, Fac 51 the Haçienda, Culture Bass, Popscene and Psyhead Community - playing hose to more than 30 Thai and foreign acts that will house, trance, electro and dubstep as well as indie pop and rock.
"Both Club Culture and Culture One have the same concept of bringing dance-style categories to one place. Culture One was successful beyond expectations in the first year. This year, I'm making a dream come true by having a stage called Godskitchen Boombox, which has been popular in Europe for more than 10 years. It is a kind of visual art and it will show Thais what Boombox is really like.
"This stage is designed to look like a Boombox, with a portable cassette or CD player and a DJ performing in between two loudspeakers.
"Godskitchen, who created the Boombox, has organised many festivals, including the massive Global Gathering. The Boombox stage will be manned by Dash Berlin from Holland, who is recognised as the best trance DJ. We also have American DJ and electronic music producer Sean Tyas and, and Poland's Arctic Moon.
Fac 51 the Haçienda stage is named after first underground club in England - The Haçienda club in Manchester.
It saw the "birth of rave culture" during the "Madchester" era, and was mainly supported by sales from such Factory Records acts as Joy Division, the Happy Mondays, New Order and 808 State. It shut down in 1997, mainly due to financial problems.
"We are fortunate to have Graeme Park, a resident acid house DJ of the Hacienda era, along with 808 State as well as Happy Mondays singers Bez and Rowetta," Apichart says.
Culture Bass will serve up drum 'n' bass from acts like Asian Trash Boy, a collective of Asian DJs who are very popular in France and other parts of Europe.
Popscene is for indie pop and rock bands from the UK, the US, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.
And then there's Psyhead Community, a stage focusing on psychedelic trance.
"It's definitely more 'hippie' this year," says the 50-year-old organiser. "Psy trance mixes psychedelic and the sound of '70s Goa, sort of like the Grateful Dead on electronic. It's very big in America and Israel."
While Culture One is Apichart's dream, Singapore's Zouk Out is his inspiration.
"I thought if a country like Singapore could put on an outdoor dance music festival, then Thailand could also go for it," he says. "I need Thai people to really feel electronic music."
Culture One runs from 3pm until late on November 17 at Bitec Bangna in Bangkok.
For the complete line up, go to www.Culture-One-BKK.com.