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21-Year-Old DJ Sulk is Setting the Shenzhen Club Scene Alight

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china.wav Mix is a mix series by RADII under our china.wav brand that highlights an alternative wavelength of Chinese underground culture you never knew existedchina.wav spotlights the best of China’s rising music and artistic talent, amplifying their voices to the rest of the world.

If you’re based in China and into club music, you’ve probably heard of the Shenzhen nightclub Oil. If you’re not, here’s a brief intro: Oil is regarded as one of the best small clubs in the country, and it is based in the southern city that has a reputation for producing hardware at breakneck speeds.

It was opened by friends Yangyang Song and Huiyuan Sun at the end of 2017 and has become a pilgrimage site for China-based DJs and producers. It’s a haven near the beach and is surrounded by the weird and wonderful offerings that Shenzhen and its electronic markets have to offer.

The club has also built up a roster of regular DJs who’ve been gaining prominence throughout the club scene in China.

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One of the most interesting young DJs working Oil at the moment is Sulk, a Taiwan-born university student who now lives in Guangzhou, which is just a short one-hour high-speed train ride from Shenzhen. He’s only 21 years old and started DJing when he was a teenager.

“I started going to clubs every weekend when I was in high school, but just to be one of those cool kids, until one day the club in my town got Simon Bishop [a Guangzhou-based, British DJ] to play there and his set amazed me, that’s how I started getting into club music,” he tells us. “Not too long after that, I started to DJ at home or at a friend’s house and played my first gig on my 18th birthday. It was super empty, but I had lots of fun.”

One of our favorite musical moments from Sulk over the past few years was his mix on NTS Live, which he opened with a Gothic choral track. Speaking to that inclusion, he says, “I found the opening track from Texas Tech University Choir by accident, but I really liked it. The reason I choose it has nothing to do with spirituality, I just really enjoyed the sound.”

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His taste in music spans various genres, something that we can hear in the mix that he provides us with this month. He speaks to this as he takes us through the music that has made up his life so far.

To kick off his mix, he chose Mandopop queen Faye Wong, edited by Xiamen DJ and producer Knopha. “I listened to a lot of Mandopop when I was a kid because my mom played it all the time at home, [artists] like Faye Wong and Mavis Fan. That definitely influenced me a lot.”

We also get a taste of his more recent musical favorites, including a track from French composer Francois De Roubaix.

He talks about the current music that is influencing his sets, telling us that he’s been listening to “some old French pop music, ambient music, pop, jazz, trip hop and more. It’s all really random. I’ve also really enjoyed some of Henri Texier lately. For club music, I’m trying to make my selection more diverse, so I’m trying to discover more different kinds of music.”

Listen to the latest in our china.wav Mix series below and experience how Sulk combines all these different flavors:

All images courtesy of Sulk

Bryan Grogan
Bryan is RADII's former culture editor. He is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with an interest in culture stories with a social bent. He once correctly guessed all 151 original Pokemon in seven minutes for an online quiz. He also correctly guessed all 100 second generation Pokemon in eight minutes for an online quiz.