Here's The Dance Music From Asia We're Following Right Now
From banging bass in South Korea to chilled-out house in Tokyo, here is the dance music from Asia we''re following.
Take a ride with us around the globe to hear six exciting DJ/producers pushing the dance music from Asia across borders and beyond.
Words By Ana Monroy Yglesias
One of the most exciting parts about electronic music is that it''s not just one thing; it''s ever-evolving. And due to the constant advancement of digital production technology and the advent of music streaming, the barriers to entry of DJing have become relatively low. Boundary-pushing dance music artists are always popping up and bringing new ideas and sonics into the mix, increasingly from more and more countries with their own distinct dance scenes.
Across Asia, electronic festivals and DJ/producers have been exploding over the past decade or so, with many emerging acts stepping into the global DJ pond and making waves with their inventive approaches and fresh outlook. As we always strive to give you the best in dance music across subgenres here at Monstercat, today we''re taking a trip to explore the massive, diverse landscape of dance music in Asia. We look to six trailblazing DJ/producers representing different elements of Asian dance music, all of whom are building thriving communities worldwide.
Jakarta, the capital of the world’s largest island country—made up of over 17,000 islands!—Indonesia, is home to one of the biggest dance festivals in Asia, Djkarta Warehouse Project. Since 2014, the event has grown from a warehouse club event to a massive, multiple-stage festival headlined by the likes of Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki and Zedd, proving big room house has a home in Indonesia.
As for homegrown talent tearing up the festival and club scene, tech house heavyweight Bleu Clair, born in Bali’s capital city Denpasar, has been leading the charge. Not only can you find him kicking off “The Sound of Indonesian EDM” playlist on Spotify, but he was also named one of Dancing Astronaut’s Artists To Watch 2021.
His Monstercat debut came last year with "Hit List" featuring U.K. producer Drinks On Me, and was followed by the bouncy tech house jam "The Tempo" in 2021. While all of his tracks—which he''s been dropping since 2014—serve up a uniquely captivating blend of grooving rhythms and bass, his two Monstercat Uncaged releases perfectly encapsulate the infectious energy of his productions. His shuffle-inducing bops are sure to get you moving wherever you are.
On the more chilled end of the house spectrum, Tokyo-based progressive house DJ/producer Shingo Nakamura has been creating dreamy, melodic soundscapes for over a decade now. Not surprisingly, Tokyo has an impressive, inviting underground club scene to complement its rich food, art and cultural offerings. Sake plays an integral part in the food and bar scene there, and, as a sake connoisseur himself, Nakamura’s music invokes a vibey lounge setting.
Earlier this year, he helped us launch our newest brand, Monstercat Silk, in style with the sunrise-ready "Glow," the title track of his June 2021 album. "Phenomena" follows as its second chilled-out lead single and another deep tune in the growing Monstercat Silk catalogue.
His calming, inspiring soundtracks have seen plentiful releases on Silk Music (the L.A.-based label we acquired to birth Monstercat Silk), among notable Japanese imprints.
Like much of the world, a culturally rooted brand of energetic pop music influenced by the sounds of American hits and beyond is a big part of music across Asia, with K-pop and J-pop bands, like BTS and Perfume, respectively, striking it big globally. And as the love for EDM has grown across the continent, so has the perfect blend of uplifting electro pop.
A rising star out of China''s massive EDM scene, Dexter King makes euphoric dance pop bangers fit for the main stage. His latest single, the uplifting, inspiring "Unbroken" featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Danyka Nadeau, dropped on Monstercat Instinct this January. It''s his fourth stellar release with Monstercat, and he made history in 2019 as the first Chinese artist who signed with us.
Back in 2012, shortly after graduating college, he swiftly made a name for himself in his home country, opening for big acts like Zedd and Steve Aoki, helping usher in the then-emerging EDM explosion in China. A nod to his universally approachable sound, you can find him on Spotify’s own “Fresh Dance Pop” playlist
Upbeat, poppy dance is also beloved in Vietnam, reflected in one of its popular music competition shows, ‘Remix New Generation,'' launching in 2015 and pairing up pop singers and producers. In 2017, at 20, Hoaprox became the youngest-ever winner of the show and earned the title of No. 1 producer/DJ in Vietnam. The wunderkid had started teaching himself production at just 15, stepping out as a DJ/producer two years later.
His enthusiasm and range are evident in his joyful, pop-infused dance tracks, including his latest single, "Brighter Side" featuring Singaporean singer-songwriter Haneri, released on Monstercat Instinct. Last year, he dropped his first Monstercat release, the pulsing big room number "New World" featuring Rogue, another testament to his knack for hitmaking.
Beyond his major impact in Vietnam off the bat, he''s also seen huge success in China, racking up over 2 Billion streams on Chinese music streaming platform NetEase Cloud Music for 2018''s "Ngau Hung" (With You).
In line with Asia’s far-reaching love of EDM, floor-shaking bass and dubstep are popular in many Asian cities. Around the same time U.K. dubstep made its way to the United States at the turn of the last decade, reimagined and popularized by artists like Skrillex, it had also taken hold in Japan.
Tokyo’s Masayoshi Iimori has been going hard since dropping his debut EP, ‘Break It,’ in 2015, with equally hard tunes to match. He’s been leading the bass-loving scene in Japan and has built a global fanbase—that includes Baauer, RL Grime and Diplo—with his energizing bass-full, frenetic bangers.
His latest single, “In My Soul,” is a dizzying track that builds into an epic drum and bass masterpiece, marking his momentous debut on the label.
And last but certainly not least, the multifaceted force, Justin OH. He’s a major rising talent out of South Korea, slaying dancefloors with dubstep and otherworldly bass beats. Justin has cited Porter Robinson and Skrillex as influences, and channeled "Bangarang" on his first Monstercat release in 2018, "She''s A Killer." Following a string of its lead singles, his immersive, hard-hitting debut album, ‘Welcome to the City of OZ,’ made waves on Monstercat Uncaged in October 2020.
His hard-hitting cinematic tracks have made him in-demand at major dance events around the globe—to name a few, he''s played Ultra''s Miami, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Europe fests!
If you enjoyed this article, we have more stories coming your way right here on the Monstercat blog! Make sure you''re following our social channels (IG, FB, Twitter) to stay in the loop on all the news of our latest releases, newest artists and all things dance music.