Welcome to The A-List — a curated selection of the finest in music, art, food, culture and fashion by all the extraordinary talent that call Asia home. Every month, the Mixmag Asia crew vet and vote on the very best brands, events and more to deliver a not-to-miss list that should help you shape your month.
The times are certainly tough and we’re being forced to reshape our everyday lives. As we redefine the ways in which we approach things like music, lifestyle and entertainment, and reevaluate the way we source and consume things like food, energy and resources, it does make us wonder: are we approaching the new normal? The planet is in peril but perhaps the reset will be good for our post-COVID world. In the meantime, life must go on…just a little differently. Here’s what to look forward to this April, online — which we're actually pretty excited about.
WHO TO SEE Rainbow Disco Club presents "Somewhere Under The Rainbow"
Refusing to accept defeat against its invisible enemy, Rainbow Disco Club is moving the 2020 festival experience online. Regarded as one of Japan's most revered and respected festivals, the event is an annual pilgrimage for many music lovers to Japan, and will surely be missed by its diehard community. But a 12-hour live stream from the festival's original location at Higashi-Izu Cross Country Course will allow viewers to feel and experience the event as if they were actually there. The event will be filmed by REALROCKDESIGN who have long been part of the Rainbow Disco Club experience and were the team behind special drone disco ball effect from last year. The line-up will feature many artists from the original line-up with a slew of Japanese talent including DJ Nobu, Kenji Takimi, Yoshinori Hayashi, Licaxxx, CYK, machìna, Sisi and more. "We must keep smiling," said the organisers. "This is what we have learned in the last 11 years from you." Get tickets here.
WHAT TO EAT Gaggan Anand is doing delivery
Gaggan Anand is easily Asia's most celebrated chef. He's also the most raucous. Wild, unpredictable and a self-proclaimed rebel, Gaggan famously shut down his two-Michelin-starred eponymous restaurant last year after a disagreement with his partners…and his staff of several dozen "rebels" followed him. The Bangkok-based restaurant topped Asia's 50 Best Restaurant for four years in a row (and placed fourth in the world), a feat that was undoubtedly difficult to walk away from. But from its ashes rose Gaggan Anand (different from his first venture — Gaggan), and carries forward his tradition of serving morsels of progressive Indian food designed after emojis, but elevated. A seat at the plum G spot, a 14-cover chef's table inside the restaurant that's rumoured to unlock sensual foodgasms in guests, is priced at THB12,000 for a 25-course menu that comes paired with biodynamic wines (it's said NO ONE leaves the table standing straight). The price tag is hefty and not for everyone. But Gaggan is unconventional, loves rock n roll (and blares it while you eat with your hands in his fine-dining establishment), and he LOVES his fans — so while Bangkok is on lockdown, Gaggan is working double time and delivering to your door at astronomically low prices (somewhere around THB300 per dish) until 2am. There is no structure to the menu; it's literally Gaggan left to his own imagination and mood of the day, but think wraps, tacos, charcoal samosas, keema quesadillas and a squid peanut mole. He's even reimagined his signature 'Lick It Up' dish (a dish — it could be brain….it could not be — that diners have to lick from a plate handsfree soundtracked by KISS...the band) into a mango and yuzu dessert roll called 'Pick It Up'. For more information on delivery via Instagram.
WHAT TO DO Create real change (from home) with Green Is The New Black
What to do? Save the planet, duh. And yes, you can do this from the comfort of your own quarantined home. Amid the chaos of climate change and the coronavirus, it is more important than ever to shift our focus on the planet that sustains us because it won't for much longer. That and we only have ourselves to blame for these modern catastrophes. To help us along is Green Is The New Black, Asia’s first conscious festival and media platform. Their mission? To make sustainability sexy and mainstream by showing people that fun and social responsibility go hand in hand. Aimed at rewriting the narrative of the planet we want to live on post-COVID-19, every Wednesday this April, Green Is The New Black will be hosting FREE online sessions packed with panel discussions, presentations, movement classes, and more geared at creating real change, (from home) and building a new world post-crisis. The sessions start April 1 at 7pm (GMT+7) with an episode that unpacks the link between sustainability and COVID-19. It will explore how we can use this challenging situation as an opportunity to build a new world after the coronavirus that will mitigate risks of future pandemics, focusing on restoring and regenerating our biodiversity outside and inside (including our immune systems). Don’t miss a special activation on Wednesday, April 22 for Earth Day. "What if this whole f***ed situation was our last chance to really change history and create real change?" Register here.
Where to get fit Take part in the Wonderflow Challenge with Rosemary Vandenbroucke & Wonderfruit
“A new month, a new dawn, a new you!” reads the tagline for the just-announced Wonderflow Challenge. Join French-born model, singer, actress and yoga instructor Rosemary Vandenbroucke as she leads the Wonderfruit community through a one-hour online yoga class that is aimed at helping beginners build up confidence on and off the mat. She will be joined by Wonderfruit director and Do What You Love co-founder Jason Swamy….ok, maybe not joined by, more like he’ll be coached through his own transformation from unholy to holy. The free classes will be hosted on Wonderfruit’s Instagram account at 10am (GMT+8) on April 1, 9, 14, 23 and 29. Follow Wonderfruit here.
Where to be Immerse yourself in wisdom and nature in the mountains of Taiwan
Set in the stunning mountains of Alishan, Taiwan, The MOTUS Fulldome Festival invites artists from around the world to participate, engage, and share ideas as part of a bold and exciting new project. Organised by The Rebalance Renaissance Group, the exhibition uses the latest technology to highlight the “wisdom of nature and the environment”. The festival is an extended exhibition incorporating a 10-meter high geodesic dome, inside which artists will screen their work on a 360-degree screen, fusing visual art with music, and with a strong message of conservation and sustainability. The festival site is in an indigenous tribal village called Laiji, in Alishan, Taiwan – home exclusively to some 200 members of the Cou Tribe. The setting is decidedly remote, with the nearest gas station or convenience store 45 minutes away, and the largest nearby town two hours away. The dome was constructed on a beautiful plot of land under the highest mountain in the area, and one which is sacred to the Cou Tribe, Mount Ta. Organiser Corbett has previously held senior roles at AEG and Cirque du Soleil, working with top-level artists and digital creators along the way. Find more information here.
What to wear Quarantine does not mean you can wear pajamas all day
SAINT X SINNER is a label from Bali that we’ve been coveting for some time now, but they’ve just expanded their collection to include pieces for men and even small children (or, Little Saints). Initially designed and curated for women with a ‘wild at heart’ attitude — also the name of their latest collection — they’ve just launched a men’s collection after their best-selling t-shirt, the Wild Thing Shirt, which was often purchased by men. The relaxed and oversized shirt was designed for women to wear over bikinis, but its popular print was a hit with men too. The apparel is part of their first him and her spring and summer collection, which is a 90s inspired showcase of easy-breezy essentials for hot climates decorated with splashes of zebra. The brand operates as an online shop, but today they also have retail house in Bali that curates fashion and lifestyle products from emerging, young and independent Bali designers. Fun fact, brand’s name is partially named after W Bali’s music director Damian Saint. Shop here.