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People in the world | DJ Enso

A while ago, we posted about XXX Gallery in Hong Kong. Now it’s time to meet the mastermind behind it.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, DJ Enso has always had a passion for building things from scratch. As a teenager, he threw drum and bass warehouse parties in Oakland, CA, before he decided to turn his attention to DJing and music production. This brought him in contact with local hiphop producer Roche in the summer of 2003, and together they founded the Solos Records music label.

DJ Enso relocated to Hong Kong in January 2007, expanding Solos’ reach into Asia and bringing him in contact with a new world of musical influences. Now he has added art gallery owner to his list of accolades.

How did the idea for XXX come about?

Enso: Putting together an art gallery has been a dream for a long time. I studied Art History in uni back in the day and have always enjoyed any opportunity for temporary installation – light, sound, whatever… so having full control over a space like this is really exciting. Also on that same tip, I’ve been DJing and promoting parties in HK for a few years and we all know how difficult it can be to find the right venue, so being able to design a space from scratch is a great opportunity. And for all the typical nightlife you find in HK, it’s really unfortunate how few chances the designers take. It seems like 99% of them are all going for the same posh models/bottles image, and unfortunately only a few clubs can really pull that off. There are some cool spots for sure, with cool folks running them, but I did find that there was a real lack of grimy underground spots, with that concrete basement feel, where you blow your nose after coming home and it’s all black and dirty. And with a proper sound system.

Is it REALLY an art gallery?

E: Yes of course it’s an art gallery! “Is it an art gallery”, haha! Experience is art ga ma~ plus anyway we use it as a photo studio during the day and are arranging some showcases for later in the year. If y’all rich cats are reading this then yeah drop an email and tell us what you want, or how you wanna feel or whatever, we’ll make it happen for you. Basically if you got money in your pocket you need to come down and spend it on this shit – get your own game up that way.

What a cool pose, Enso..

What do you think of the music scene in HK now? What do you think XXX will bring to it?

E: Clearly the club scene in HK has been underperforming for a long time, but I feel it’s gotten a bit better in the last couple years. There are a few more underground promoters doing cool stuff, and it seems their followings have grown a bit as more and more get bored of the typical nightlife options on offer in LKF, etc. I’ve always thought there was just too much money in HK, that this raised the stakes and ended up pushing out almost all cats that were not totally focused on maximizing short-term profits. Of course there’s a business angle but without heart and creativity shit falls down. And it means that promoters and artists are always dealing with some kinda money worries, all stemming in some way from some whack cats with money that don’t really have any business being part of the conversation. Anyway I hope XXX can push the creative envelope a bit and encourage fools to take a few more chances.

Have you thought about HARD DANCE?

E: “Hard dance”?? Umm if it’s anything like “hard house” then naw son I’m cool.

What’s next on your iPod/tunes shuffle?

E: Björk – “Jóga”

If you were told you could only have ONE final party in XXX, what would you do?

E: I’d book a double billing of Joker and Flying Lotus, do the party with all the lights off and pump nitrous through the vents then spray liquid lysergic acid from the sprinklers when the cops arrived.

Find out more about DJ Enso @ www.myspace.com/djenso or http://www.alivenotdead.com/djenso

– Jau Goh

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