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Mixmag Asia's top news stories in 2022

Noteworthy reads from in and around Asia’s electronic music realm as chosen by you

  • Mixmag Asia Crew
  • 16 December 2022

There definitely wasn’t a shortage of exciting articles that we churned out this year and based on your clicks, we’ve collected the top ten of them.

Asia’s dance and electronic music scene had its highs and lows as can be seen by the headlines in this feature. Some were (literally) fascinating in nature, such as the first-ever sound of the largest black hole in the universe. Others were a nod to more peculiar happenings in the region plus a warm tribute to those who gave their all to the scene.

Not everything went as planned in 2022. Unfortunately, Asia lost two of its finest contributors to club culture — Singapore’s Eileen Chan and Hong Kong-Londoner Janette Slack. Both of these empowering women left an impressionable impact through commitment and contribution to their surrounding scenes, near and far.

This year also saw a surge of more opportune stories that marked the influential growth of music culture in Asia, such as Chiang Mai’s first vinyl listening bar and Haruki Murakami’s library for literature and music.

We invite you to relive the notable moments of 2022 via Mixmag Asia’s most read news stories of the year; scroll down for the whole list.

Two men served death sentences in Hanoi for throwing psychiatric hospital raves

Drug-related stories do seem to get more attention, especially ones with a headline as outrageous as this. After almost two years of hosting drug-fuelled rave parties in a psychiatric hospital room, two men were sentenced to death by the People's Court of Hanoi. The men, one of whom was a hospital technician, went as far as soundproofing the room and hiring sex workers. Amnesty International’s figures claim that Vietnam is one of the region’s leading executioners, with death sentences that rank among the highest in the world.

Read more on the incident here.

NASA releases audio recording of a black hole

Many were fascinated that black holes could create sound. Contrary to popular belief, space in fact does not lack sound, proven by NASA, who recorded the Perseus black hole and ‘resynthesised’ the file to make it audible for the human ear. The result? A growling bellow from deep space that makes you wonder — are we really alone in the universe?

Read the story on the rumblings of the largest black hole in the universe here.

Singaporean DJ & nightlife flagbearer Eileen Chan dies aged 32

The Asian dance and electronic music scene was heartbroken when hearing the news of Cats on Crack aka Eileen Chan. A well-respected figure in Singapore’s scene, Chan formed events collective The Council and Clement Chin before going on to establish Headquarters, known by Singaporean clubbers as HQ. She passed away in Berlin on May 4. As we’ve mentioned before, “To the powerful woman who built the Happy House, we’ll keep smiling in your honour.”

Read our heartfelt tribute to Eileen Chan here.

The tragic loss of Janette Slack summons tributes from around the world

Another loss that shook the electronic music scene. Hong Kong-Londoner Janette Slack is often dubbed a ‘queen’ in the world of breaks and progressive, gaining a residency at the London fetish club Torture Garden. Tributes came pouring in from all over the globe towards the artist who was also a “fairy god-sister” to some.

Read about Janette Slack and how she garnered love from all over the industry here.

Haruki Murakami has opened a library in Tokyo dedicated to literature & music

Books, photographs, handwritten manuscripts… and all that jazz. Haruki Murakami has donated over 3,000 mementos that highlight his 4-year career as an author to his alma mater, Waseda University. The library also houses the many records Murakami has garnered over the years – he personally owns more than 10,000. As stated by the author himself, the principle of the library '物語を拓(ひら)こう、心を語ろう', which translates to 'Explore Your Stories, Speak Your Heart'.

Check out the story behind Murakami’s personal collection made public here.

Peggy Gou features on The Batman soundtrack

Asian representation at its finest. The Batman film wasn’t the only thing that was hyped up when it came out — apparently the soundtrack was also all the rave. The South Korean DJ’s tune ‘Troop’ and a then unreleased cut from ‘Darkroom’ was featured in the official 14-track playlist. Other names included are Patrick Topping, Kevin Saunderson & Alesso.

Read the story here.

Help save music in Singapore by tuning into a 24-hour stream this weekend

When a statement as dire as "DJs haven’t been able to step into a booth in Singapore for over 700 days" comes around, there’s bound to be efforts to #SaveMusicSG. A 24-hour stream called The Home Stream was then presented to the public to reignite the conversation between all who have suffered from the cull on events and hospitality during those darker days.

The stream was supported by big-name F&B establishments, and conveyed a friendlier-than-deadly impression of what DJs actually do; provide sonic goodness anytime, anywhere, under any circumstance.

Dive into the news story here.

DJ Soda leaves audience “stunned” at Borneo Music Festival Live 2022

As Borneo Music Festival Live 2022 made its debut in early September at Sarawak Cultural Village, many seemed excited to experience the event, especially with headliners Alan Walker and South Korea’s DJ Soda. Over 6,000 attendees came on the first day to see DJ Soda, but no matter how ecstatic they may have been, a viral video of the crowds seems to show otherwise.

Despite her drops and dancing on stage, DJ Soda left her audience “stunned” and barely moving to the beat. One netizen goes on to mention the incident as “A historic event in DJ Soda’s life, for the first time the audience is frozen.”

Watch the clip and read more of the reactions here.

Drug testing makes festivals safer, new research finds

Safer is always better, so we’re glad this particular news story caught the attention of many of our readers. Studying both the positives and negatives of on-site drug checking, research by The Loop and Liverpool University indicates that it’s better to have provide them. Out of the 250,000 people in its focus group who used The Loop as a drug testing service, 61% disposed drugs they were unsure of. Also, after researching seven festivals with the service, they found that no drug-related deaths occurred.

Get to know more on the good side of getting your drugs tested at festivals here.

Chiang Mai gets its first vinyl listening bar

Drawing inspiration from Japanese bar culture, Deaf Shop takes pride in being an amalgamation of its founders’ tastes. Owned by Mum and Oomboi Lauw, a former Red Light Radio resident, the listening bar also serves as a record shop for vinyl collectors. “With Deaf Shop, we want to induce diversity to the city of Chiang Mai, seeing that a vinyl bar is one of the most intimate and social ways to discover new music in a collective setting,” the pair mentioned to us.

Check out the story behind Chiang Mai’s first listening bar and peek its images here.

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