- Koh Samui
- Koh Tao
Mia Escobud's Tales of the Underground.
A South East Asian tropical island - white sand beaches, palm covered jungle, turquoise waters - a jewel in the Orient, where a sub-hippy culture came to party under the Full Moon over 30yrs ago.
A fusion of cultures and musical influences continues to simmer in this vibrant melting pot 3 decades later, growing now into what is, in 2013, one of the most progressive dance scenes on this planet.
This is our home; this is our island: this is Koh Phangan
The phenomenon that is Jungle Experience - what was once an intimate trance party with 300 people has mushroomed in recent seasons into an underground house party which regularly attracts 1500+ people in low season, those numbers doubling in high season on the Thai islands. It's going to be another busy night at the Jungle...
Inside we cross the small wooden bridge over the fish-filled stream into the raving masses.
The Full Mooners on their virgin trip to Asia - dressed head to toe in fluorescent headbands, sunglasses, shorts & t-shirts - are now adding a layer of warpaint to arms, face & body to complete the look. The next generation showing their own new found freedom of expression - for us it was tie-die, bright colours & bare feet! - and I'm sure they're feeling it as much as we did the first time we all arrived on the Thai islands. The acceptance of self, the permission to push the boat out and have fun, stretching the boundaries of our European mindset of dark colours and contained living.
To hell with that! This is Koh Phangan!
Fresh from his Space Ibiza World Tour, the ever ebullient Marco Loco
is greeting the friendly faces of the Jungle tribe with huge heartfelt hugs - he's happy to be back on Koh Phangan, and we're happy to have him!
Inside the psychedelic DJ dome the diminutive princess AiA - half of the Alien Royal Duo along with her sister Queen Luana - looks stunning in red dress and matching Venetian masque as she talks me through the newly finished Jungle artwork - the colours of the surreal animals, tropical flowers & Jungle Experience banner all coming alive under the violet light as we party behind the decks. My eyes come to rest on the night owl in headphones - a good metaphor for the tribe of Jungle DJs!
Half an hour into Marco's set, Lady Oh's husband Alain and I are standing back as we watch this Decks Wizard King work his genius, magic hands flying over 2 decks (he prefers 4). As we both turn to each other with raised eyebrows, DJ Alain quips to me in his Flemish accent, "Yes, I think we can all go back to school!" Masterclass with Marco Loco.
2hrs in we're joining the crowds out front on the podiums, hands in the air with the best of them. Behind me the skinny guy in fisherman's pants is carving out his space in front of the speakers amidst the sea of fluorescent, his dreads in
knitted hairnet, a trace reminder of the dancing trance heads of many moons ago; while beside me the good-looking Iberian couple in club wear are owning the podium - the handsome guy's t-shirt seeming to epitomise the night: LIVE LIFE LOUD!
Marco is mixing it up, sampling in some old classics over his bouncing tech house - Around the World: he's crossed 3 continents and back to be with us tonight - from Ibiza to Korea, Brazil, Mexico & Amsterdam on his World Tour - in his own words ' the most amazing journey' - and now back to Thailand, communicating his emotion to the crowd through his music - Around the World!
And then Alain is showing me the Space Ibiza stamp tattooed on his wrist, and as we look up from his tattoo to the iconic Space Ibiza shirt & characteristic pork pie hat of Marco Loco - his adoring public meters away from him with outstretched arms - Marco leans over to shake the girl in pink devil horns' outstretched hand.
She mouths: "Marco, I'm your biggest fan!" and in that moment, we feel the connection: Ibiza to Koh Phangan!
The Jungle Experience movie
Previous blogs by Mia Escobud
|Mia Escobud Tales of the Underground|
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