Beijing’s night life is on par with many other international cities. The bar and club scenes are not only catching up with those in other cities but creating new trends of their own – take green tea mixed with Chivas as a rather dubious example. From humble dive bars all the way up to mega clubs decked out from floor to ceiling with black lacquer, mirrors and neon, there is something for everybody’s taste. In recent years, Beijing clubs have been raising the bar in terms of music quality. In fact, when touring Asia in the not-so-distant past, well known DJ’s would schedule dates at a Hong Kong venue or perhaps in Shanghai, passing over Beijing completely. Now foreign acts are flocking to the country’s beloved capital. Not only are international DJ’s coming to Beijing but local DJ’s and expat DJ’s are also sharpening their skills and raising the bar as a result.
Mix is probably the first port of call for clubbers on a night out hoping to do some superstar DJ spotting. Situated at the Workers Stadium in the heart of Beijing’s Gongti nightlife area, Mix is a popular venue for international DJ’s as well as hip hop artists. The club is the epitome of the Chinese take on the Mannie Fresh and Lil’ Wayne coined term ‘bling’ (or at least it was until a club actually named Bling opened in Solana in Chaoyang Park). To visit Mix is to have a true taste of Beijing’s youth living large. Previous big international names have included New York’s very own Mobb Deep, hip hop mixtape king DJ Vajra and Japanese turntablist DJ Kentaro. The venue has also hosted drum ‘n’ bass artists from such as the legendary Goldie.
MixView In Map
Add: Inside Worker's Stadium North Gate, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6506 9888
Opening hours: 20:00-6:00
Having been closed for a while, the reopened ChinaDoll 3.3 is making a comeback and is also an excellent place for DJ spotters. Housed in the infamous Gongti Studios, ChinaDoll 3.3 is a club that despite its location attracts a slightly more mature clientele. The club has been known to attract a variety of DJs, scratch DJ and champion turntablist Q-Bert and mashup king Tittsworth being just a couple amongst many. In its newest incarnation, however, the club seems to be focusing more on electronic music. ChinaDoll 3.3 may not rival the all-out extravagance of Mix, it is still a venue with a high ‘wow!’ factor.
ChinaDoll 3.3中国娃娃3.3View In Map
Add: 5/F, 3.3 Shopping Center, 33 Sanlitun Beijie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 18:00-late, Fri-Sat 21:00-late
In terms of traditional style floor shaking dance music, Beijing has hosted its fair share of Superstar DJ’s .The ubercool LAN Club in the twin towers on Jianguomen Wai Dajie has hosted events featuring European trance and house legends such as DJ Mr. Mike and DJ Sasha. LAN is possibly the city’s most high end club and their guest DJ roster reflects this, as does their artful decorations crystal chandeliers and cigar smoking room. Marginally easier on the pocket but no less funky, is Song night club. Housed in the basement of The Place shopping mall, Song night club caters to the more discerning of party people with the most eclectic in décor and musical styles. Brazil’s drum ‘n’ bass and funky breaks playing DJ Marky is just one of many to have shaken up the dance floor of Song and pleased its trendy crowds.
LAN Club 兰会所View In Map
Add: 4/F, Twin Tower, B12 Jianguomen Waidajie (in the LG towers across from Silk Market), Beijing
Tel: 010 51096012
Opening hours: 11:00-late
Song Music Bar and Kitchen "颂"音乐餐吧View In Map
Add: B108, The Place, 9 Guanghua Lu, Beijing
Tel: 010 6587 1311
Opening hours: 10：00 - 2：00
With Beijing fast becoming a popular destination for the international DJ set it is easy to forget Beijing’s home-grown and locally based DJs. Previously mainstays at the notorious White Rabbit club (RIP) and music festival stalwarts, Beijing’s very own Acupuncture records have been making rumps shake with their own imitable styles of minimal techno, pleasing crowds at ChinaDoll 3.3. Syndicate, a group of drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep DJs are long established on the circuit and are well known for rocking venues city wide with their own brand of hard and underground dance beats. British party rocker DJ Blackie is perhaps one of the most well known of Beijing’s night life celebrities representing the expat musician and DJ scene.
Where dance music in China’s capital is headed nobody knows: one thing is for sure though, people we keep on rocking until the break of dawn.
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