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The Asia Diaries

The Asia Diaries: Follow Dicky Trisco's 11-day stint across wee clubs & gung-ho crowds

"DJ life is not a sleeping game, really!"

  • Dicky Trisco
  • 28 August 2023

A living, breathing embodiment of music-infused mischief, Dicky Trisco’s DNA is a swirling blend of beats and party vibes. He's spent years crisscrossing the globe in a fevered pursuit of a certain sound and feeling – the ones that make your feet itch and your hips start to shimmy uncontrollably.

Initially cutting his sonic teeth in the late 90s and early 2000s deep house scene, Dicky truly hit his stride during the nu-disco and disco revival heydays of 2004. Teaming up with Pete Herbert, he unleashed a flurry of hits on labels like Disco Deviance and Maxi Discs.

Safe to say his passport is basically a work of art, stamped to the brim from countless tours across Asia, Australia, the Americas, Europe and beyond. He’s also graced the decks of many iconic festivals such as Glastonbury, Electric Elephant, Mareh, Love International and many more.

Dicky's also been the mastermind behind Home Taping Is Killing Music, an imprint that showered the electronic music scene with many house tunes and launched the likes of The Blessed Madonna, The Revenge, Eddie C and Medlar, among others.

From his basement studio, Dicky churns out captivating cuts that have landed him on imprints such as Razor-N-Tape and File Under Disco. Artists he’s remixed for include Bryan Ferry, Belle & Sebastian, Danielle Baldelli and Faze Action.

When dropping beats on the decks at club nights, he lives by one rule; dance like everyone's watching, and you just don't care.

Check out his latest remix for 'Discoteca' below and you’ll surely get a feel of what he’s all about.

Having toured Asia for over a decade now, Dicky expresses his personal fondness of the region to us.

“My name is Dicky and I’ve been a very lucky boy,” he playfully conveys.

“Asia has been very kind to me over the years and gifted me so many experiences and friends. It has been a big part of my DJ journey and who I am as a human being, and I am so glad to be coming back on this tour for the first time since the pandemic kicked in. I hope you will share and enjoy this wee tour diary of my trip!”

Without further ado… “LET’S VAMOS!”


For a European, all trips to Asia start with a big journey and there is a lot of preparation for that journey. Months of planning, contacting venues and promoters, negotiating over dates and deals, the inevitable things that fall through last minute, the travel plan, all those bloody flights, the hotels and visas etc…. I wish I could say we just chuck on a cool jacket, pack our headphones and USB sticks in a bag and sail off into the sunset. We don’t. This shit is real.

But finally, you are sitting on a plane with a Bloody Mary in your hand and the good times begin.

For me this Asia trip means a lot. An annual event for many years, well over a decade at least, this will now be my first trip back after four years because of COVID-19. And it’s strange that after that time gap and what went on around the world, that it now seems much farther away. But obviously it’s not, haha.

I’m so excited to see my friends and see those familiar places again. Smell those smells, hear those wonderful busy street sounds and taste that marvellous food. I love Asia. It fills me full of ideas and inspiration every time. Things are different there and that makes you think which is always good for human beings.

First stop for me on any Asia trip is usually Singapore. It’s a good direct return route from Edinburgh/London and a great hub to spread out from around South East Asia.

Arriving in Changi Airport is always a blast. What a bloody airport! It is extremely big and has people from all over the world transiting there. It also has this crazy indoor waterfall feature surrounded by a shopping and hotel complex. Yes, there is even a swimming pool! It is basically like a virtual reality world inside an airport terminal. A real symbol of modern Asian ingenuity and strength. The food is awesome too!

After more than 15 hours of travelling, I booked a room in the airport for seven hours. My first pod hotel room on this trip. Probably not my last. Everything folded up so it didn’t take up too much space. The bed reclined automatically. The shower was spanking hot. Things work in Asia. Makes you realise how much in decline parts of Europe really are now, especially the UK. Overpriced and a bit shit is what we seem to be good at. Anyway, that’s for another day…I’m in Singapore now!

I watched the gigantic water fountain change colours and drank a tasty IPA from Hong Kong. Then I ate some Chinese beef flank noodle stew with Shanghai greens and went to sleep in my purple-lit pod. It was one of those strange long journey sleeps that feels a bit like being in a tumble dryer. Before you know it the alarm has gone off and you’re back on it again.

Four hours later I boarded my flight to Seoul at 3:30am and got ready to get this tour really rolling with a Korean weekender.


First day in Seoul involved checking into my hotel which has swings in the lobby. Fancy, eh? Then straight to my favourite canteen where the chicken soup with ginseng can cure all of life’s problems. I’ve been dreaming of this soup for three years since the pandemic stopped the world. Bloody delicious. All served up with by a wonderful old lady with all the charm of a medieval executioner.

That night we reported to Tunnel Club a fantastic proper wee club in downtown Itaewon Seoul’s nightlife area. The atmosphere was electric. The crowd was ecstatic and the staff fantastic.

Was so good to play again with my Disco Experience brothers and sisters. They are all such fantastic DJs and wonderful people. Conan, Grid, Wow and Guru all rocked it.

And I had one of those moments playing a Brazilian track and watching Korean people freaking out to it. Politicians and the media try to tell us otherwise, but music is a universal thing and we are absolutely one people. Amen to that.

The walk home was interesting and involved a hot and spicy bowl of kimchi stew. Then a total hotel pass out.


Got up very late Then took the train to Busan with my buddy, DJ Conan.

Trains work here and they are good; stations are clean, nothing is a stupid price. Quite impressive, really.

We reached Busan which is quite a hot spot. The nightlife area is totally nuts. Reminded me of Shibuya in Tokyo with its small streets packed with all kinds of restaurants, bars and bustling with people. Everyone seemed to be on a full-on party vibe!

The club Visitor was in a dark basement. There was a last-minute change of venue due to some licensing issue. But my oh my oh my, it went off down there! We danced. We screamed. We laughed and some cried (OK, maybe just me).

I love Busan. Yes, I love Busan. There was some sort of special magic in that place that night I tell you.

And was so nice to play with local DJ Hyun Joo and the Disco Experience posse again of Grid, Wow and Conan. All as I already said are such amazing DJs. They can play so many different styles of music and are technically gifted too. They always bring the good vibes. Conan destroyed the dance floor that night!

Busan, mi amor, I will be back ASAP!

day 4-5

I got lost on the way back to the hotel in Busan as everywhere in that area looked pretty similar. Some lovely guy rescued me and brought me safely home. THANK YOU, STRANGER!

Woke up late and had to pitch out of the hotel quickly and make our way back to the station. Three hours later and bang! We were back in Seoul and getting ready for tonight’s DSCOFEST Pre-Party in a downtown warehouse location.

DSCOFEST is a new festival concept happening in Seoul. A two-day event celebrating all things disco/house/electronic. Horse Meat Disco and other international acts will share the decks with the finest local DJs. Definitely a new festival for people to check out when in Asia.

The atmosphere in the basement warehouse was super nice and I was lucky enough to be sandwiched between DJ Conan and another local DJ legend Jinwook. A real honour to be in this place between two real heroes of the Seoul music scene.

The crowd were wild and up for it even on a Sunday night. We danced together and there was a lot more screaming too. Some whisky was also harmed in the making of this wonderful night.

I got back to my hotel safely this time, despite the whisky challenge, and that was the end of this magnificent Korean weekender to kick off this wee tour of mine.

It is such a pleasure to do what we do, to know other cities and people around the world, but most of all to be able to spread joy and give pleasure as your job. As my pal Heidi Lawden says; "it’s a life, not a living". I love that saying; so fucking true!

I spent my last night in a really great audiophile bar in Seoul with a friend chatting, drinking nice whiskies and listening to fine music on their system.

A highlight was when Normalizo one of my fave ever songs got an outing on the decks.

These Tokyo-style bars are popping up everywhere now and this one was a really good example. Lovely to hear good music on a good-sounding system in a space with a really top vibe.

And their speciality of the house was a creme caramel on a wee plate to share…well what a nice touch and a great idea! Absolutely perfecto with a wee whisky too.

day 6-9

Up early and off to Bangkok. Sorry to leave Korea as it has been amazing! Wonderful people, amazing food and amazing gigs.

On arrival in Bangkok, the immigration was very fast. Sometimes it can be really mobbed there, but not today. We are winning.

Whenever you arrive in Bangkok there is always that moment when you leave the air-conned airport arrivals and get hit by that heat. Bang! And my oh my it is currently very hot. 37 + degrees in fact. SCORCHIO! Like being inside a bloody furnace.

I got to my hotel in the Wattana/Thonglor area and went for a wander around. Travelling DJs do that a lot. You’ve got to like a wander, meeting new people and talking to strangers. I take a lot of pics to keep me busy as well and to make a place feel more familiar.

That night I hit a local English Bar a friend suggested. Not normally my kind of thing at all. But I enjoyed the familiarity and ended up having a few beers and a game of pool.

Bad news is the jet lag has really kicked in now. It can be very delayed and hit you well into a trip. I was up until 6am unable to sleep and then just went for a walk.

DJ life is not a sleeping game, really!

Woke up the next day only to realise that Bangkok at 7am is a bloody marvellous place! The street was packed full of people going to work and people cooking food for those people also going to work. The buzzing of motorbikes, sky trains, cars and buses is non-stop.

The street food really is something to marvel at. Most stalls just do one thing and do it very well. Many box it up in plastic containers or even thin plastic bags for people to use for lunch at work.

Everyone is shouting and talking in the streets as they work, buy and sell stuff.

As well as food there are stalls where women are making up the most beautiful colourful flower garlands and serious-looking men are selling lottery tickets.

I seem to have arrived at peak mango season (yum) and the delicious yellow mangoes smell so strong and blend in with the ever-present fish sauce aromas.

I walk and walk taking it all in until I realise I am in a furnace and may actually die.

After I grabbed a bowl of sticky rice with fresh mango and condensed milk….a real Thai delicacy and absolute food of the gods. I head back to the hotel and hit the rooftop swimming pool. Very nice!

Later I catch up on a load of work, label stuff and other things I need to do for my up-and-coming tour of Colombia and also sorting out stuff for my residencies in Ibiza over the summer. I’m muy excited to be playing there throughout the season again at Pikes, Word Of Mouth, Paradise Lost and Malanga Cafe. I hope I see some of you there.

That night I hit the town with an old English amigo and we worked hard at making the worst hangovers we could possibly get. It was a total success…but no one died.

The next day, after another morning stroll, a swim and yet another mango sticky rice, it’s time to hit one of my favourite record stores in the world Zundrangma Records. It's just around the corner in Wattana next to Studio Lam the wee club where I’ll be playing on Saturday. I’ve bought some cracking stuff here over the years. Staff are always really cool and it looks wicked inside. Lots of wood.

I discovered Thai Molam music here from the 80s years back and I really love it now! Usually starts with someone talking, like a call to the dance floor with a strange droney sound then really kicks into what is like a tropical, almost dub-style sound. Amazing! But there is good funk, funk rock and many other types of Thai music to be found out there and more importantly in here.

It takes me four hours to go through everything I want to check out. This time I don’t just look for the Thai stuff either as I noticed an interesting African section…and an Indonesian section. I always check out Indonesian music as my friend Dea who set up Studio Exsotika at Potato Head in Bali introduced me to many very special Indonesian sounds. Some Indonesian music sounds very, very tropical and can be like Brazilian music in fact.

The shop is busy with people coming and going. I stick to the task however and hog the listening decks. I manage to make my way through 100s of records `that I know absolutely nothing about. Just listening listening.

Then finally the pile is done. Then I have to go back through and decide on the ones I really want/need to avoid spending a living fortune. I already own about 20,000 records probably. In case anyone needs any… haha.

When I am done I walk back to the hotel with my new additions to my collection. Such an exciting feeling to think where some have come from, where some of them might go and where they might take you. We don’t really own music, we just borrow it for a wee while; like new exotic and enticing friends that enter into your life.

Next morning I woke up early AGAIN (I’m averaging 2/3 hours sleep then I’m awake again) and went for a really interesting stroll. Today I went in the other direction, away from the coffee places, swanky hotels and apartments, massage parlours and Tokyo-style diners catering to international guests, tourists and businessmen.

After just a few blocks beyond the gentrified Thonglor, I passed a dark, covered path leading off the main street and into what appeared to be a shady covered market. It grabbed my attention. So off I shot.

In the market, it was very dark and shaded from the sun and the heat. Sensible really, I thought, when fans seemed to be the only cooling system here. No giant A/C systems making it freezing cold like in the new giant malls in other areas. The lanes were very narrow. There were no tourists here at all. Everything was very cheap and packed full of more normal stuff food, clothing, household goods, etc.

For me it seemed closer to the Thailand I first encountered in the 1980s, or similar to places like Ho Chi Minh or Phnom Penh where I have been many times to play. More Asian. Although that is a strange thing to say. A local economy within an international city. The food stalls were very open plan and the food looked great. There were people having their hair done in the salons. And men making their way through the narrow lanes on motorbikes which seemed rather ambitious.

I bought an Indian-style long Kurta from a charming young lady who laughed constantly and was full of beans. I think she considered me to be a bit of a clown. She found the size of my head particularly hilarious when I tried to purchase the accompanying headgear. When I asked if she had a shorter Kurta, she just looked at me as if I was daft. "Why would you want it shorter?" Haha!

That afternoon I jumped on the back of a local motorcycle taxi which is really the best way to get around this city. It is also exhilarating when you get the hang of it, as you fly down the streets weaving in and out of the incessant traffic in the unbearable heat with your life in a total stranger’s hands. The drivers are total legends also. Dressed in balaclavas for the pollution, sunglasses and bright colours, they are quite a distinctive gang on the streets. Most people rely on them to get anywhere quickly in this mad city of non-stop traffic.

I visited an old friend of mine who works here now running one of the city’s hippest hotels. I met his charming Colombian wife for the first time and most importantly their charismatic dachshund Hugo. Hugo was adorable and his favourite thing is licking. I had not been licked quite that much for a very long time. The afternoon was well spent.

That evening I reported early to Studio Lam which is a perfect wee music club come dive bar in Wattana close to the record store I had been in earlier. Seelie who runs the Siam Social Club and I start up the music and set off on a glorious night of international sounds and people.

The crowd were an absolutely perfect Bangkok crowd. All different nationalities Thai, British, European, Korean, Japanese, American, Australian and beyond. The dance floor was packed from early on and went right to the very end. I had a brilliant time. Love you Studio Lam and massive thanks to Seelie for hosting me. You really must check out their Transport parties in Bangkok if you haven’t done so already. They are really doing it right at those events. Respect for that in a city that is so big and complex.

We finished early at 2am and I kind of ran off as I was up at 7am to get a taxi to the airport for my flight to the day party in Singapore. Good boy!

day 10 -11

I love Singapore. It may be a cliche but it really is a meeting point and a melting pot of so many different cultures and peoples. It also works. In fact everything works in Singapore!

I’ve been playing in this magnificent city for over a decade now. Mainly at daytime beach party affairs, particularly the Tanjong Beach Club on the purpose-built fantasy island that is Sentosa.

I have many dear friends here and to say I was excited about coming back after three years is a massive understatement. I was over the moon!

Arrival in Singapore is always swift and painless. Entry and immigration are heavily automated and efficient. And before I knew it, I was dumping my bags at my hotel and heading to the location for today’s daytime disco with local legends DOOMPH!

DOOMPH! Is an event put together by a bunch of local DJs here in Singapore. Matty from the DJ Dispensary who was DJed everywhere, put on events and worked as a music director in various musical establishments around town. He is a guy who makes things happen. Then there is Brendon P, good old BP as we call him, who is a disco and house music institution in this city and has contributed so much to the local scene in many, many ways over the years. Finally, there is Stephen Day another talented local jock originally from the UK, who has been on the circuit for many a year and is a good producer, too.

COL was the setting for the event. A cool and very elegant-looking eatery with a Scotsman Colin at the helm in the kitchen knocking up really amazing food. The place also had the feel of a classy but distinctively basement-looking affair right on the edges of Chinatown. The scene was perfectly set.

A fantastic Funktion One system had been installed and by the time I arrived the dance floor was already filling up. And what a day we had. It got seriously vibey in there and the atmosphere was fun and electric. A great mix of people and super friendly. The first of many parties at COL I would imagine and sponsored by Grey Goose; a favourite tipple of mine, especially in martinis.

Again, I didn’t last too long after the party as I hadn’t slept much at all over the weekend, really. But massive love to everyone who partied with me at COL. We really did have a splendid day!

The next few days were spent wandering around Singapore and soaking up the different areas, sights, sounds and food plus catching up more with old friends.

Morning walks were particularly amazing as I still had the jet lag and also with temperatures of 35°+ and great humidity it made sense to get out and about early. Then chill or stick inside in afternoons when it was fully blazing hot.

I particularly enjoyed the temples, the food halls and the old 1980s style malls packed full of interesting and quirky stuff. There are also plenty of new high end and mind-blowing shopping malls and buildings in the city of course. Singapore in places feels like something that fell out of the future and has an almost AI reality like feel to its cityscape. However, you also have the cool Chinatown on the outskirts of the CBD.

Little India where you really feel you are in India! Arab street with its Turkish and Kampong restaurants and stunning mosque. And, well, the list could go on. What a bloody city!

I lunched with one friend down the posh marina at Sentosa which ended up slightly messy. Then the next day drank a bottle of fantastic pineapple rum with a dear old chum in the beautiful setting of the Stamford Bar in the old Kempinski’s hotel. I was having fun. Everyone deserves some days off right? Haha.

By Thursday it was time to leave this glorious city and head for the last part of my trip an in Australia.

I hope this wee diary gave you a sense of the excitement and pleasure of touring as an international DJ in wonderful parts of the world like Asia. But also, some sense of what it takes to do it — a lot of travelling, lack of sleep, need for stamina to still perform, a love of people and places… and a shit load of bullshite.

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