Shanghai's music scene has certainly grown in the past few years. With big shows like Black Rabbit Festival debuting and the Midi Music Festival finally moseying on down to Shanghai from Beijing, each year brings more bands and more artists.
Unfortunately, the international DJ scene is growing at a noticeably slower pace compared to live music venues. While it's easy to find a DJ playing almost every day of the week, big name acts aren't exactly flooding in.
There is hope, however, as certain locations around the city seem determined to bring the cream of the crop to Shanghai. Read on for some of the best places to catch the DJ's who are making noise throughout the world.
M2 has become the surprising supporter of big name DJ's in Shanghai. Infected Mushroom, one of the top DJ/producer collaborations, played a sold out show just last year. Armin van Buren has also graced M2 with his presence – yes, the same van Buren who has been repeatedly voted Best DJ in the World by none other than Trance magazine. In case that wasn't enough, he was also ranked number one in DJ Mag's Top 100 poll. DJ Dubfire (one half of the famous Deep Dish duo) has also performed his unique blend of house and techno at M2. Additionally, Dutch DJ Ferry Corsten made an appearance during his heyday of being ranked number seven in the Top 100 Poll. So while M2's dance floor may leave something to be desired (like a few extra square meters), the music always draws in crowds.
Admittedly, Shelter has always been a hit-or-miss kind of place. Some nights you can listen to Vitalic, the French "legacy" who specialises in electro, and the next night you might hear what can only be assumed is someone's idea of amateur night. But Shelter has a good thing going and the potential to be even greater, especially if they keep booking acts like Das Racist, whose "Combination Taco Bell-Pizza Hut" song caught the attention of gossip king Perez Hilton and led to a label as "A Beastie Boys for the Tea Party generation" by a little magazine you might have heard of called Rolling Stone. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that Shelter keeps upping the ante…
For such a Chinese-oriented crowd, G+ is surprisingly interested in hiring up-and-coming international DJ's. Calvin Harris's show next month should definitely not be missed, while other names are certainly worth a shot. G+ often teams up with party organiser Magic Garden to bring in DJ's like VishnuData (from Finland), Kodama (from Belgium) Yuta (from Japan), and Solaris (from France). Glenn Morrison and his funky brand of "continental electro" was also a highlight last year – he was the resident DJ for one of the world's biggest clubs, Ibiza Amnesia, for three years.
4) MAO Livehouse
Known primarily for being one of the most famous live music venues in Shanghai, MAO Livehouse occasionally brings in a DJ or two – and when they do, boy do they do it right. Last year saw the world famous German DJ/producer Boys Noize made a triumphant return to Shanghai, where he was promptly met with a sold out show and general mayhem. TECHNOW has grown into a veritable revolving door of (surprise!) techno DJ's, including the Austro-German group MUSHIDO. As the international DJ scene continues to gain momentum in Shanghai, expect MAO Livehouse to continue increasing the number of DJ performances it hosts.
One of the great things about Shanghai is its international status – a status that continues to build on itself to create more and more opportunities for those in the music industry. It's an exciting time to be living in this city if you're a lover of music (and really, who isn't?), and Shanghai-based DJ fans will surely only see an increase of big name acts for years to come.
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Keywords: best DJs Shanghai nightlife Shanghai dancing Shanghai best house music Shanghai best clubs Shanghai
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