“So where are we going after dinner?” Everyone was asking at dinner. As with Hong Kong on a Friday night, the options were plenty.

“We can go to the art exhibition across the road at Kapok?”

“How about ‘Leather & Alcohol‘ at Square Street?”

“I know a party… at this new art gallery and this party is making a name in the electronic music scene, do you want to check it out?” my friend Juan tentatively put forward his suggestion. I was sold.

As we made our way to the place at Wing Lok Street, famous for dried seafood rather than art galleries, Juan looked nervous and kept the disclaimers coming “I have never been to this place, I hope it is good. I don’t even know if there are going to be many people there…” I had to reassure him that we were going with an open mind and that it is always fun to check out new places!

UV lit staircase. You'd think you were at a rave

We arrived at 212 Wing Lok Street in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. There was an intimidating bouncer guarding the door marked ‘XXX‘. We waltzed right in as though we belonged, ignoring his questioning looks. Behold the mysterious UV lit stairwell. As we descended into the basement, we were greeted with print outs saying ‘Private Party’, ‘Toilet 3 doors down to your right, code 4321′. Very intriguing! Finally we opened the door and we were greeted by cool air and even cooler music.

Welcome to XXX. HK’s latest underground (literally) music venue. The event that night was Small & Tall, a pop-up event which calls itself ‘a nomadic home for underground house music lovers in Hong Kong.’ The space was pretty bare with a small bar and a few sofas lined up along the wall. However, the DJ console and sound system were top notch (hand-me-downs from Dragon-i apparently). We wondered how they manage to keep the sound from bouncing off the concrete floors and bare walls. The answer was in the ceiling which is lined with expensive looking black soundproofing foam.

On the decks were Wendy Wenn, Oscar Axhede & Paul Kinley, mavericks of HK’s electronic music scene and hailing from Beijing was the lovely Marula of CORE LABS. She provided the wonderful visuals to go along the fantastic music. The club was filled with all sorts of people, including tourists wearing socks with sandals. Beldevere Vodka was the sponsor of social lubricants so there was plenty of socialising going on! If one didn’t know better, the scene could be mistaken for some European secret gig. My friend Juan was a very happy man that night, bopping to his favourite kind of music and very relieved that he did not bring us to a dud event.

Bright lights illuminate the scene.

Next time you’re in HK, go on take a walk down Wing Lok Street. Be careful though, you might just miss it as it is literally a hole in the wall. You don’t have much time before it becomes an open secret. XXX.

For more information on XXX Gallery, visit their site @ http://www.xxxgallery.hk

- Jau Goh

Images Credit: Derek Ng

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