Live Review: ZoukOut 2016 in Singapore Was Bananas!

ZoukOut has marked the end of a year for 15 times now, and this year was no different. Partying from dawn till dusk with beach bods all around is like a ritual for party-goers in Singapore. Ultra can come, Laneway can come, but ZoukOut will still have a place in the hearts of Singaporean ravers.

Over two days, over 45,000 punters turned out full force to throw their hands up and dance like no one is watching.Designed around it’s namesake, Zouk, the original nightclub, the omnipresence of the Zouk logo overlooked the main stage for stunning graphics at this year’s stage. As usual, there was a stunning light display by Heineken that sat in a corner of the beach, amongst all the other festival booths. From roving street performers on stilts to the CyberJapan dancers, there was never a dull moment.

This year’s big names were top-notch with Dutch DJs Martin Garrix and Hardwell headlining the party, fireworks blazing into the night sky during the highs. Belgian tropical house Lost Frequencies and German legend Zedd showed that music didn’t really need lyrics for the groove to get going. The pioneer of jungle terror, Wiwek dropped a wicked set as well, even if the crowd wasn’t that appreciative. We also weren’t drunk enough to forget Dillon Francis, who remixed this year’s viral Japanese song, PPAP (Like seriously, Dillon? Seriously?).

That being said, I have to admit that DJs born and bred in the lion city managed to hold their own against all these EDM heavyweights. Maybe we can get some support going for them? Here’s our favourite #AsianRepresent DJs at ZoukOut this year.

DJ Yaksa from the land of the rising sun didn’t manage to get to play the sunrise set, but he definitely did a start the night off with some quick beats over at the Star Stage. He’s been making the rounds at Ultra, and finally we got to hear him live on Siloso beach. While he might have dropped some crowd favorites, he adds in little quirks that keeps things different. It doesn’t hurt that he occasionally drops in a little Kpop here and there – after all Kpop is perfect for dancing.

LeNerd has worked his way up through the ranks over the years, and he deserves a better spot than one at the beginning of the night. Hopefully he might be welcoming sunrise at the next edition – but until then, catch him at Zouk decks as one of their house DJs! I loved this dude, because anything goes when he’s behind the console. LeNerd can be doing some R&B, hip hop, and the next thing you know he’s turning it up hard style. Get ready to head bang your way out of Zouk’s new place at Clarke Quay.

Goldfish and Blink might sound ridiculous, but they can certainly hold their own at the decks. Coming from just across the bridge, Malaysian DJs aren’t exactly well known in the scene or even in the music scene at all. This is set to change with Goldfish and Blink, who might be looking at shaking up the big room scene with their relentless beats. They’ve got a little bit of funk in them, and if you listen carefully, you can pick apart the gradual build-ups that are simply genius.

MMXJ is another one of those people who just blasted on to the scenes. I mean come on; he can produce songs, he can DJ, he can even sing. How many DJs sing on their own tracks? He’s the perfect DJ to get the evening started, with some tropical house mixed in with some soulful crooners. The crowd might be small (9pm set on Day 1 can be quite sad), but those that made it down loved it.

If you think of raving as outdoor clubbing, then you are so wrong. At ZoukOut, everyone’s part of the same tribe at the party. It’s one weekend to go bat-crazy with genres of EDM, and even better to go with an open mind. A gathering of some of the biggest EDM in the world and in the region, ZoukOut is always a must-go for the dance muskc lovers.

Go bananas with your squad, and keep the Monday after for any rave withdrawals or regrets. Till next year!

Thanks to Zouk for having us, and Colossal Photos for the photos!


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