Discover Seoul’s Rapidly Growing Underground Dance Scene

Aaron Choe, a promoter and DJ based in Seoul, provides a glimpse into the venues, record stores and bars that make up the city's new underground dance music community.

What I like about the scene in Seoul is that everything still feels fresh here. As someone who’s actively trying to throw events in the underground scene, it feels like you can take chances. It’s a big city that offers a lifestyle somewhere between Japan and Southeast Asia—it’s built-up and gentrifying fast, but you can live comfortably and fairly cheaply if you want.

When I first moved here in the late ’00s, I wasn’t aware of much of an underground club culture. There were some venues with small sound systems and a few megaclubs, but that’s starting to change. We have a lot of new clubs influenced by people who’ve spent time in Europe, America and Japan—and our clubs can stay open all night long. We’ve got a decent amount of young people getting into quality underground dance music. We have a really tight-knit scene. And now we have our own dedicated dance music record store, too. When my friends and I bring DJs out to our parties, we like to show them around the city. Hopefully this guide explains why many artists want to stay after they visit.

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