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May 5, 2011

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Atmosphere always electric at Siva

OPENED last May, Siva Lounge in Tonglefang recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, adding something new to the area well-known for bars.

Playing everything from drum and bass, soulful house and hip-hop to ambient nu jazz and downtempo, the music styles initially heard in Siva were a fusion but have now taken a distinctly electronic route.

The venue's electronic music parties have become popular among both locals and expats in search of the best beats.

Many famous DJs and bands have performed at Siva Lounge, including the rock group Fusion and DJ Afro-J & Philippe.

One of Shanghai's oldest rock outfits Lan Ting, starring vocalist and guitarist Wang Yihao, also gives regular shows at the venue.

Even local musician Zhou Zifeng can often be found appearing on the Siva stage.

Born in the 1960s, Zhou regards himself as the only one of his era who is still struggling in Shanghai's underground music battlefield, despite being one of the best rockers in the city.

"I enjoy the parties there, not merely for my favorite electronic music and the great atmosphere, but also because I can meet a lot of electronic music lovers and musicians," says Wu Zhen, a 25-year-old local and regular at Siva.

Since last October, Shanghai DJ Yang Zonghan, better known as DJ John, has been the resident disc spinner at Siva and can be found playing there at least twice a month.

Having finished a successful performance last Saturday at Siva's Festive Season party, 27-old-year DJ John who has more than 14 years' experience of playing music is now a star DJ in Shanghai, because of his musical talent, good-looking, fashionable style and independent music attitude.

"I take playing music as my profession for life and focus everything on that. Minimal techno is of course my favorite," says DJ John.

DJ John says he enjoys the moment of giving a performance, especially to those audiences who love electro music and display their passion on the dance floor.

"The perfect time in a performance, which is also the moment I get most excited, is when the audience reaches the same frequency as me," adds DJ John.

DJ John says he likes to cooperate with local musicians and dreams of supporting and developing local electronic music.

B6, China's most prolific and respected independent electronic musician and DJ, is one of his favorite collaborators.

"Many DJs and musicians like to participate in competitions to prove their talents or make their names, but I don't," says DJ John.

"To me, music is music itself, and it's the most important thing I focus by using my soul."

His next scheduled date at Siva will be in two weeks.

Tomorrow, DJ John will be performing at the Midi Music Festival taking place in Century Park in Pudong New Area.

"Siva might be one of the smallest electronic music bars in Shanghai, but I feel good playing music there. No matter big or small, being close to the audience with music is most important and the atmosphere there is perfect," says DJ John.

Siva, which can hold up to 400 customers, is now one of the few bars in Shanghai where electronic music is played every day.

"We tag Siva as the 'smallest electronic music bar,' but we are unique and the best," says Jin Hua, Siva's general manager.

The name Siva in English can refer to a major Hindu god. Here the lounge also has a cute Chinese name "Cifan," which means glutinous rice. It's a common Chinese traditional food ingredient which can be used to make snacks such as glutinous rice cakes.

"We give it this name because cifan is a multi-fusion food ingredient and the music style in our bar has the same objective," says Jin.

Electronic music party

Date: Every Friday and Saturday, 7pm-2am

Address: 888 Changping Rd (near Jiaozhou Rd)

Tel: 1381-6351-255 (Jin Hua)


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