What Went Down: Music Conference ASIA 2012 @ Sepang International Circuit

Video Global Sound Masters

Despite hours-long delay due to unforeseen altercation with the state authorities, Global Sound Masters deserves an award for pulling Music Conference Asia 2012 off anyway. JUICE heard from a reliable source that they managed to set up the confiscated audio equipment in just under 2 hours after receiving them back – that’s one mighty feat, yo. Consider the fact that over 10000 ravers were gathered – significantly more than prior similar events there. In fact there were so many revelers looking to get into the venue there was mass of sweaty ravers building up in front of the entrance, there weren’t any queues by the time we got there, just a blob of flesh.

While the actual show was delayed, the music workshop went on as planned at 2pm. DJ Richard Durand and collaborator, singer-songwriter Julie Thompson and the Co-Director of Integrity Artist Management Simon Eve played the role of lecturers to an audience of fans and aspiring EDM producers. The producers shared their opinions on their process in producing an album, track selection, and even marketing advice. Meanwhile Julie provided an alternative to the EDM tutoring with some songwriting lesson, in particular her freestyle approach to writing lyrics.

As educational as the masterclass session was, those who got there early were already impatient with their glow sticks, shades (why wear these at night?), and mineral bottles equipped. It was only at 8pm that the door was finally accessible to the public. Without wasting any time, the show was immediately opened by Singapore’s Patrick Oliver, Pangaea resident DJ, with progressive dance. This segued perfectly to Jerome Isma-Ae’s house styling which almost generated an earthquake on the grounds of Sepang as ravers danced their collective arse off – an impressive Malaysian debut for the German DJ-producer.

Songstress Julie Thompson brought a much needed break from the monotony that could have been the show had it stayed an endless rave. After belting out a set of songs she’s known for, such as ‘Shine’ and ‘Somewhere Inside’, her angelic presence was then augmented by Richard Durand as he got behind the decks to join her. Infusing fist-pumping EDM with Julie’s angelic vocals on collaborative track ‘Diamonds in the Sky’, the joined effort of these two gave the crowd the time of their life. Richard had experience after all, this being his second Music Conference Asia, the man clearly knew how to work a Malaysian crowd.

There is a reason why Dash Berlin was voted Best Visiting DJ of 2011 by JUICE readers, and his set here at midnight was exactly prime example of that. Having performed at 2 sold out shows in Kuala Lumpur before, the crowd weren’t strangers to his dynamism in delivering dance music. Favourite Dash tunes ‘Ease My Apollo Road’, ‘Waiting’, ‘Never Cry Again’ and more were spun to visual aid in the background. There was a distinct lack of lasers, but you know what, the visuals made up for it.

It’s tempting to give a negative account of the event due to the delay, and we have an obligation as a publication to inform you of the hiccups that beset the show (such as the faulty sound system). But you know what, credit goes to where credit is due. How many organisers can run an event as smoothly right after facing trouble with the authorities? We thought so.

Music Conference Asia 2012 was brought to you by Global Sound Masters on Saturday 28 April 2012. For more pictures of the event, click here.