The Dubai-based DJ selects his favourite nights as we quiz him on his top tunes, most-loved places, and perfect DJ day.
Where I go... for a big night out: It used to be Trilogy. Now it’s Chi.
...during the week, for a quiet chat: The Agency, Oscars or Ginseng.
...purely for the music: Probably Submarine (for either Ed and Dan’s nights or the Kazeen Plus Minus Sessions on Thursdays), or Touch’s for Adam’s parties.
...any other reason: The Irish Village, for the Guinness.
My favourite local DJs are: Adam for the continous rocking groove, Ed and Dan for fresh sounds, Hisham for that smooth build-up, Ali Ajami for being consistent, Charl Chaka for the funk, Kennedy Stephenson always, JC when he plays breaks, Mach 4 for the Drum ’n’ Bass fix, Megalla for the weird trip, Cyrus in the sky with diamonds.
To hear my favourite music I go ... Online. Being a self-proclaimed beat junkie I listen to a very broad range of music: jazz, ska, dubstep, grime, house, afro groove, battacuda, Cuban. There are not a lot of different music options in Dubai. I try to find a groove in whatever is playing at the moment. I go to samurai.fm, brokenbeatradio.com, somafm.com, play.fm and allez-allez.co.uk for the new techno sound. Pretty soon we are launching our own music portal called www.electricmotel.com that will be a comprehensive resource about “all things music”.
The best night I ever had in Dubai was... The Perrier Chill Out Festival last year – different vibe, great music, great venue. It was different to being pushed around in a crowded club by sweaty people (though sometimes I quite enjoy that too). Can’t wait for the next one on March 13 and 14.’ [See p.16]
Dubai’s nightlife scene in general... Has been quite progressive over the past five years. We have all the superstar DJs making the rounds. But it’s usually the same names. We need more variety. I can think of so many names that have still not made it here: Digitilism, Hot Chip, Luciano, Riccardo Villalobos, Miss Kitten, LCD Soundsystem. Promoters are still content booking the same old top 10 DJs.
On the other hand I like that, unlike elsewhere in the world where the club scene is generally motivated by substances, the Dubai scene is very clean and motivated by music (and a “lil’ bit of glam”).