Exit, the dirty garage bar near Hongdae Park, is one of our favourite venues in Seoul – mostly because it’s the only place we know where we’re guaranteed to find decent music on a night out. This is especially true at Social Underground, the electro night that takes over the compact-yet-cool venue on the first Saturday of every month. Now in its fifth installment, Social Underground is going strong under the guidance of Seoul DJs Lewis Anthony and Raico, who we interviewed to get some more info about their event. We also managed to convince Lewis to make us an exclusive 30 minute mix to prepare us for this coming weekend(!) You can find it at the bottom of this page.
What is Social Underground?
Raico: Social Underground is a monthly event created to retain the spirit of underground electronic music. The night is about gathering with like minded people, who are there mainly for the music.
Who runs the event?
Lewis Anthony from Liverpool, England and Raico from Florida, USA.
What brought you both to Korea?
Lewis: A longing to travel and experience new cultures.
Raico: I came to Korea in search of something different. It was a good way to get out and start seeing the world.
What kind of music are you playing at the moment?
Lewis: We are playing what we perceive to be good electronic music. We tend to steer clear of associating with genres. The reason for this being that they have become so convoluted of late. However; to explain it, I would say the music we are playingis a combination of styles that have influenced us over the years. This has resulted in a mix of bass, disco, and funk with a four-to-the-floor beat.
Lewis: Exit is the perfect location for the kind of party we want to throw. We have both been very fortunate to play a lot of the big clubs here in Seoul. We’ve played at places like Octagon and Mansion, but they are associated with luxury. We wanted the party to be about the music and the music only. Exit allows us to do exactly that. It’s dark with a few lights, there’s no expensive bottle service, and no dress code. People come to dance; they don’t go to be seen. It reminds me a lot of the warehouse and basement parties we have in the UK.
Raico: It’s an intermit venue where people can kick back and be themselves. The crowd at Exit is very eclectic and not found in too many places in Korea.
Best club in Korea?
Raico: One of the first places I would frequent was Club Mass in Gangnam. At one point they were bringing lots of big names. Though it’s been quite a while since I’ve been out there, I remember loving it because it was a textbook club. It has a great layout, mega sound system, and really fun clubbers.
What do you think of the alternative music scene in Korea? Is there one?
Lewis: There is an alternative music scene in Korea, though it’s rather small. There are a number of promoters, bands and DJs working hard to show people what else exists. The best thing is that the people involved in the alternative music scene are working together. So it certainly has strong roots for growing.
Raico: Korea’s a small country, so naturally its alternative music scene is quite small. Despite its size, it is definitely fun. These days, it seems to be growing as you have multiple options every weekend. One of my favorite things is the performers you see every weekend in Hongdae Park. They are always worth your time to check out as you stroll around.
Any tips for Korean/ Korea-based DJs? What do you want to see more of?
Lewis: I would really like to see DJs coming through who actually have a passion for music they play and don’t just jump on the bandwagon. A lot of DJs are playing exactly the same music. There’s no individual style. It soon gets boring going around and hearing the same electro riff everywhere. I would also like to see club owners and promoters taking a chance and playing different styles of music. Whenever they are asked why they don’t take a chance on a different musical approach I hear so many of them saying, “Koreans don’t like that kind of music.” My response is always, “How can they not like it if they’ve never heard it?”
Raico: Just be sure to DJ because it’s something you love. The number one thing is to love the music you play. Really try and dig deep for those special tracks that represent who you are. DJs should be willing to take chances and try and educate dancefloors with new and different music.
Finally – favourite track right now?
Raico: Hard one to answer, but if I have to choose one it would be Can’t Leave You by Maceo Plex.
Lewis: This question is really difficult to answer when you are surrounded by a plethora of amazing music all the time. Finnebassen and The Mekanism are on fire at the moment, so anything by them. If I had to nail down one track though, it would be Touching Me by Finnebassen.
Social Underground is on at Exit bar in Hongdae on the first Saturday of every month. No dress code, decent drink prices and free entry.