Jase is my favourite promoter — and one of my favourite DJs — in Saigon. His DJ sets and the events he organizes are not always beautiful or easy to consume; he doesn’t offer up sick drop after jaw dropping drop nor does he play hit after top 40 hit. What he does do is seamlessly transition from genre to genre, often pushing the boundaries of what is sonically palatable. As such I see him as an educator more than an entertainer.
He is as high-profile as a champion of the underground can become in a scene as commercial as Saigon’s, but what many don’t know is that he also does the art and design for his events’ fliers. They are fantastic and I want to share them with you as well as an interview with the man himself.
You could say I started the bass movement in Vietnam (since 2007) — first with The Beats Saigon, which aims to bring more international acts to perform in Saigon, but since international acts come on an irregular basis, I needed a new monthly platform to promote bass events, so I started Bass Republic three years later.
I also co-founded Saigon Rockers which aims to promote purely Reggae and Dub music, and a collective called No Star Where functions as platform for discovering and working with local talents.
Each group has its own purpose and aim, so I make it easier for people to identify with the events they enjoy.
Those guys are skaters, graffers, BMX, MCs, they want to go out an explore new styles, they just need a party that is local friendly and plays more diverse music.
Besides my music focused job, I work in a mattress production company, exporting foam machines, but soon I will stop this job and force myself to focus more on the music side.
I studied design back in Sydney, and I had been doing flyer design for my first promotion crew back there (Foreign Dub) since the beginning. I found it very satisfying when designing my own flyer for my own party. I worked in a small production company in Saigon when I first got back, but the designs they demanded were dry and uninteresting, so I had to move on.
I play a lot of computer games and read design mags to keep up with what’s fresh (or not fresh), so when I see an interesting shape or colour combination, I think: “wow, this is cool and it would work for this type of flyer”. But a lot of time I just stare at the blank page in Illustrator… like a lot.
Chrono Trigger. I like the story line, Akira Toriyama’s character designs, the soundtrack, the multiple endings, and the battle system. I also like Metal Gear Solid.
I still find myself in the learning process for all three. The obvious common thread that link these together is they are all media. Doing events helps me to open myself more in a way, it forces me to be more sociable, since I had always been very timid and anti social as a child/young adult.
With graphics, when I feel lazy and just need a quick flyer done up I will employ previous vectors that I created. I also use found image on google as reference of course. As for event planning, I try to be as original as possible, but what is original these days? Originals are just modified copies in a way.
I like slow music, maybe because I’m getting older, I also find with downtempo you can get way more musical and groovy. However my DJ sets are more aggressive.
It’s one of my favorites, but I think the Vietnamese skit before it, and that pretty much all Vietnamese old samples are used in that beats, makes it popular with the locals — plus it is quite a fun tune.
It does get tiring sometime, especially when most events involve alcohol. I found my self doing all the work by myself, that’s also a tiring factor, but knowing I produce a great event and play music that people dance too keeps it going for me.
Hipster is in… they’re invading Vietnam.
I’m keeping the tradition of giving away free merchandise of course (the joy of being in Vietnam to produce cheap and decent mercs). I enjoy playing at the anniversaries because I feel so comfortable with the crowd that I have built during the past 7-8 years in Saigon — when I feel relaxed with the crowd I perform my best.
Come check out the 4th anniversary Bass Republic party this Saturday @Lush.