It's the rehab graduation
A global phenomenon for a decade, the DJ party bows out with a bang
Bangkok will see its final Rehab party next week after 10 years on the scene. The grand farewell at Bed Supperclub on Thursday will feature the Rehab crew, led by founder and resident DJ Paul "Bee" Hampshire, Gene Kasidit and guest MC Kinky, aka Feral.
Known and loved by the Bangkok party crowd for its daring musical edge and energetic vibe, Rehab started back in 2003 when the electroclash scene first appeared. The venue of choice was Bed Supperclub, the swanky spot that had just opened a few months earlier.
"I knew that the people behind Bed were really into deviating from the norm and taking risks," says DJ Bee. "The person in charge of the music liked the idea so much that he asked if we could team up and run it together. That's how I met David Coker, who coined the name Rehab.
"The concept was to tear up the rulebook, put the fun back into clubbing and play music that other clubs in Bangkok weren't playing at the time. We don't have a music policy - 'do what thou wilt' is the whole of the law at Rehab. There was never any question of Bed cramping our style or asking us to tone things down.
"And we've done Rehab all over the globe. One of the most memorable moments was when we did it at a street party in Kathmandu. Tokyo was always a blast, too."
The farewell bash will feature MC Kinky in her Bangkok debut. Her latest single "My Selector" was released in November and went straight to No 3 in the Beatport Dubstep Top 100 chart.
She chatted with us via e-mail.
What have you been working on?
I've literally just finished two new tracks this week. One called "Tun up (Booya!)" which is a 120bpm bass track, slower tempo and two different versions of a much mellower dubstep track called "Brother". I've got several remixes lined up for that one and I'm excited to hear how the put their spin on it.
How did you start out as an MC? What do you mostly rap about?
I loved English and literature at school and I enjoyed writing and was obsessed with reggae from the age of eight. When I was a child I lived on top of a betting shop, next to a "shebeen" (after-house reggae party) which started late at night and didn't close until after I left for primary school in the morning. Although I was deeply into hip-hop, the bass and most of the beats didn't excite me like dancehall did. The first lyrics I wrote and recorded were in a dancehall style, and it developed from there and has remained the basis of what I do.
My lyrics are about things that normally annoy me or amuse me. Mostly they're acerbic with a twist, quite cheeky. It's my take on the world and sometimes there's a dark or political edge. It depends what the track's like and how I'm feeling, or what I have to say at the time.
Does being a white female somehow get in a way of being an MC in dubstep and dancehall?
Being female and not a typical girlie, big-titted blonde can have its drawbacks at times, but that depends on how you view the situation. We all know it's a male-dominated world, but you have to work with what you have and try not to compromise.
I'm confident in the music I write and produce. If you please yourself, chances are other people will be into what you do. It's not about conforming or fitting in - it's about creating something you can feel positive about and not worrying if it's going to be accepted on a massive, often-generic scale.
I've never had any problems based on my colour. In fact black people have always bigged me up and been really positive about what I do. People often assume I'm black if they haven't met me, but I'm happy in my skin and, although I've got balls, I haven't grown any real ones yet.
What's next for Feral?
When I return to London I'll be finishing three dancehall productions. The vocals are already written and recorded. I thought it'd be interesting to return to the source and come with basement-flavoured versions of some of the tracks before remixers work on them.
My moombahton single "#Tweet" will be released with Play Me Records in LA on March 4 and I'll be playing the Glastonbury festival again in the summer, as well as performing and recording in NYC and LA. If it all goes according to plan I should be in Jamaica at the end of this year.
What can we expect from the last Rehab party?
Well I'm going to be expecting the unexpected! I'm performing three tracks, all on a bass tip with that dancehall vibe spanning moombahton, dubstep and electro house. Bring on the madness!
The Final Rehab is at Bed Supperclub on Sukhumvit Soi 11 on Thursday. There's a cover charge, but the first 30 people to send a private message to DJ Bee (bee.goo) on Facebook get in for free.
Find out more at (02) 651 3537 and www.BedSupperclub.com.
Check out the video of Kinky's "My Selector": Youtu.be/nIPr5VfuE5s