It's been an unreasonably sweaty, incredibly exhausting and truly unforgettable hangout in Bangkok... Records were dug, air conditioned trains were heavily lounged within, language attempts were made/failed/succeeded, exhaust fumes were inhaled and robustly coughed out, markets were marveled at and lost within, dogs were mostly avoided (I add 'mostly' as I nearly got good and chomped one time - my friendly dog radar is all busted and way off), cabs were surfed and goddamn it was fucking wonderful.
I was also fortunate enough to play twice inside the hallowed dub-hub, the great and grand Studio Lam too - such a dope place, I've been an avid follower of them and the god Maft Sai on Instagram (as well as the Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band - their rhythm section were playing one night too which was a pure headnod extravaganza), and along with the equally ill Zudrangma Records, you have a valuable and powerful resource for amazing music and very skilfully curated nights all popping off within seconds of each other.
So you turn down soi 51 on Sukhumvit and bam, there on your left is the very Jamaican recording-spot-looking Studio Lam, and then if you carry on round the bend you have Zudrangma on the left. That vaguely explains how you get there - you'll find it if you do a little flick online. There are a good few other very sweet little discoveries to be made around town, I can't remember how I got to them or the roads, or directions, or much else I'm afraid so you may have to do a little digging of your own in that respect but you'll do fine if you get a few addresses online - there are some really helpful reviews and whatnot and I didn't even scratch the surface, not at all. Not even close.
It's full on and very close in general, but I find a fair few similarities with London - obviously there is enough to keep it extremely far removed but there's a definite energy and direction that you can kind of lay back and flow through... Kind of like the busiest parts of Oxford Street but spread out over a huge distance, and with a traffic system that I'm going to go ahead and call 175%-200% more insane than London. Holy shit. It's out of hand-crazy. I guess I got used to it after a while but jesus christ please watch yourself. Or just embrace the chaos and get one of the motorbike cabs and throw yourself into it... It's actually pretty fun. And admittedly some of the close traffic scrapes I almost found myself in were from this dummy right here standing in the middle of a road looking in a camera's viewfinder, oblivious to the certain four wheeled carnage approaching... The HiLux scene is strong out there yo. But goddammit there is so much to photograph! OKAY FINE it's not worth risking your life over. Lesson learned.
There's even a place called Noble Remix. Noble. Remix. I tried to get an idea of exactly what it was and it appeared to be some kind of condo block or something, but eh - who cares. You're dealing with a place called Noble Remix. Oh and me and Mrs Peace discovered an abandoned and run down / half demolished swimming pool. Shit was incredibly ghostly and very odd indeed. So surreal. There were these guardian/angel looking statues at the front at various points of the marble staircase. We got clapped away by a random woman who was picking through and cleaning up rubble so we respected her wishes and walked away from whatever she didn't want us to see in there... I really want to know what was in there... Maybe it's for the best we didn't find out... And I can't be sure that marble staircase would have delivered me safely... We also visited this just plain immense, possibly gargantuan warehouse full of a completely mindboggling amount of vintage gear - seriously, just football pitch sized rooms entirely stocked full of whatever era goodies you would want. All arranged by an obsessive compulsive hoarder but it wouldn't have worked any other way. The room full of stereos and samplers and drumkits was a joke. A bought a mini radio for 1300 baht which was good enough - I kind of dread to think how much those reel to reel recorders and old Akai samplers were... ANYWAY... You have to walk away from that stuff sometimes. I like to think of that place as a metaphor for what my own storage facility might look like if my old collecting tendencies had gone unchecked. I would surely be the purveyor of such a building. I breathed a deep sigh of relief thinking about it in that way.
Sending huge love to the city of Bangkok, and all who dwell within. You are a city assembled by a maniac and I love it. You have air conditioned trains. That was enough for me right there... Before I sign off I would also absolutely recommend visiting Brocolli Revolution and Rocket if you're in the market for some good-ass vegetarian food. Shit is proper.
I didn't take the above photo but that right there is the map of the utterly ridiculous Chatuchak Weekend Market. Inside each section you see there are about 100 stalls - squint your eyes if you can't see it properly but it is WAY huger than it looks there... Don't use a map though. Dive in and be strong. Take water. Don't be intimidated. It's wild as all hell and if you like old sneakers and bootleg t-shirts you are MORE than all set... It's great. Such an intense and truly weird experience - like a lo-fi music festival but dedicated to clothing and household oddities and a ton of other bits and pieces. Mad fun!
Apart from the Chatuchak map, all the photos here are mine - come follow me up on Instagram for more visuals!