Bangkok has long been home to an eclectic blend of musicians, DJs, producers and audio junkies. Now, the city's lovers of sound in its purest form have a stunning new venue from which to enjoy their shared passion.
The Siwilai Sound Club has opened its doors in BK's delightful Charoenkrung neighbourhood – an area steeped in history, vibe and atmosphere that's home to a core of brightly burning artists and creatives. Pitched somewhere between a New York City jazz club and a Tokyo vinyl listening bar, every effort has been made to combine a chic aesthetic with the highest quality of sound reproduction.
The immaculate sound in each room incorporates custom-built OJAS speakers, designed specifically for the space by Public Records co-founder, Devon Turnbull. The artist and sound designer's systems are deliberately constructed to present every nuance of the music exactly as it was intended to be heard, and are the result of years spent listening, researching and refining his craft. Don't expect to be blown away by booming subs and searing highs here, the frequency spectrum is presented at a balanced ratio, and the quality of the components ensures that the music sounds great even at the most sensible of volume levels.
The elegant interior of the beautifully converted
old shophouse was conceived by celebrated Japanese creative Kunichi
Nomura's design company, Tripster Inc, who were able to skillfully
utilise authentic local materials to create a timeless
environment with a subtly Thai twist. The downstairs live music room is nothing short of
breathtaking, with its ergonomic flow, high glass ceiling, and grand
piano centrepiece exuding a modern classic feel. As the name suggests,
live music will be the emphasis here, with the city's finest jazzers,
crooners and virtuoso's invited to provide the captivating soundtrack as
the moonlight shines on the audience below. The sound waves hit the ear courtesy of six Ojas 12” Coaxial speakers, which
apart from sounding exceptionally detailed – are particularly
pleasing on the eye.
Upstairs is where the diggers will find themselves in their element. The vinyl listening bar features a pair of Ojas 816 speakers nourished by an original Urei 1620 mixer (arguably the holy grail of rotaries), a set of Technics 1210's complete with Goldring E3 cartridges, and is powered by a 2007 Mcintosh MC252 solid-state amplifier. The bar boasts a free-form music policy designed to ebb and flow with the collective mood, and is endowed with well over a thousand carefully-curated albums and EP's from across the board of good music for collectors to fawn over.
The Sound Club opens alongside an ambitious new project by the Central Group, who have lovingly transformed the site of their first-ever shophouse into a multi-use creative space – Central: The Original Store. The site includes a restaurant, cafe, retail library and exhibition spaces, and combined with the Sound Club, represents a new reference point for artisans, and audio enthusiasts alike. Designed to offer an inclusive environment for all comers to experience and convene in a comfortable setting, the new space offers a much appreciated refuge from Bangkok's urban sprawl, and a hub of this kind can only help to galvanise the city's creative community.
Siwilai Sound Club can be found at 18 Charoen Krung 36 Alley, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500. You can find out more here