TLDR: Jakarta’s wild nightlife provides thrilling opportunities for DJs and audiences alike.
Apsara has been a part of underground electronic music scenes around the world, from San Francisco to Belgium to Tokyo, most recently landing herself smack in the middle of Jakarta’s thriving nightlife. Her unique perspective based on a wide range of experiences, as well as her definitive energy and style as a DJ, makes her an excellent adviser for our FRISKY Nightlife journey into Jakarta’s underground scene.
What do you think makes Jakarta’s Nightlife scene special?
Jakarta is a massive city, therefore there are plenty of clubbers to go around. Many nightclubs open really late, and if you don’t have enough partying, some nightclubs have karaoke rooms with amazing sound system and DJing gear that you can book for after parties. I feel that the securities and staff in nightclubs here are generally nicer, I’ve seen people passed out and making a mess and they are not booted out. What makes Jakarta’s nightlife even more special is that is just wild, used to be a lot wilder and the party doesn’t stop here, you can go out clubbing everyday if you want to. You can even live inside a nightclub if you want to! Some clubs even function as a hotel, restaurant, lounge, & massage parlor.
How does DJing in Jakarta compare to the other cities you have DJ’d in?
You don’t have to ever worry about DJ equipments in Jakarta, even small lounges have industry standard equipments and they are well maintained. Sound system is also very nicely tuned and most clubs here take their sound seriously. Nightclubs here take care of DJs well, nice sofa and bottle service for example.
Where are the best places for locals and visitors to check out?
Right now I would say not to miss a visit to Colosseum & Blowfish nightclub. You’ll see very nice lighting effect at those two places among other good things.
What is the electronic music community like?
The electronic music community here is very helpful and supportive of one another. As a foreigner and new to the scene here, they’ve given me warm welcome and were friendly to me. The DJ community here is also very well organized, the senior DJs here were pioneers to dance music scene in Jakarta and they even petition to the government to have “DJ” accredited as a professional job.
Which labels and producers from Jakarta should we be paying attention to?
Midnight Savari, very talented producer / DJ.
Which genres do you hear from most? Is it difficult for Underground to compete with pop music, or is there a balance?
Definitely EDM for now for electronic music. Even though the dance music community is growing rapidly, we are still minorities compare to the community that supported live music. It is very difficult for the Underground to compete with everything, just like every where else, the EDM boom have gone global and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. The Underground is here to stay though, if you look hard enough you’ll find parties that supported Underground music even in Jakarta, but they are not massive parties.
Many thanks to Apsara for the insight into Indonesia’s capital city! If you missed last week’s After Dark episode, you will want to tune in – it’s tech filled house that makes you ready for the dance floor. In fact, catch up with all the fantastic After Dark episodes now: