Event: Weekend at vurt, Seoul South Korea

One of the best underground places you can find in Seoul is certainly vurt. The techno club has been around for five years already and not only invites international underground artists every weekend, but also has a range of very talented resident DJs. On last weekend’s line-up was the Dutch producer Cyspe playing one of his live sets, as well as vurt residents and other local DJs.

If you are looking for a genuine techno underground club, vurt is probably the spot for you. It’s located in Hongdae, which is also a very popular and crowded area in Seoul on the weekends. After going down some cellar stairs you will find yourself on the dancefloor of vurt already. It’s the perfect, super dark techno club with concrete walls that is only lit by a couple of red light bulbs. And also the sound system matches European standards with its perfect crisp sound.

When I got to vurt on Friday night, not that many people had showed up yet. Again, it felt like a rather small community that regularly goes there and like a lot of people know each other. Resident DJ Koshin was already opening the night for Cyspe’s live set. She played super dark, drone, ambient techno that isn’t necessarily approachable for everyone, and gently pulled you into different directions with her fluent transitions. The atmosphere of vurt made it easy though to get into the set, still only a handful of people were slowly swaying on the dancefloor.

Then Cyspe followed with his live set and the club had gotten more crowded in the meantime. At the beginning, I found the sounds a bit too flat and dull. I definitely preferred the groovier, more up-beat ending of the performance, when it had increased in intensity and depth. Overall the set had a nice flow and good structure, but somehow didn’t fully capture me. Resident Djilogue closed the night, but I didn’t stay for his set.

I don’t usually go to clubs early enough to catch the beginning of opening sets. Last Saturday I did though, to see local artist Eden Highway start the night. And it was my favorite set of that weekend, as it was a great experience to see the slow transition from lighter, dubby techno to more hypnotic, deeper sounds. It was a beautiful journey and I found myself in pleasant, reflective thoughts and a hypnotised state of bliss, as he had built up the perfect level of energy for the following sets. So aside from the good track selection and fluent transitions, it was everything you’d want from a good techno opening set and got me in the zone to fully enjoy the next sets.

Vurt resident Suna seamlessly continued on the same level of energy with powerful, hypnotic deep techno. Her set was flawless, incredibly fluent and kept me dancing the whole way through, although the dancefloor emptied in between. And also the last set of the night from lavera was absolutely high-quality techno. Sadly, by 4am the place was almost fully empty already. It’s a shame that there isn’t such a big crowd for this kind of underground techno yet in Seoul, as the quality in music and clubs is extremely high already. However, since it’s such a young scene still, I think we can expect that to change in the following years.

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