The fabulous Gene Kasidit talks solo 'Affairs' and Bangkok after dark
Gene Kasidit understands the thick and thin of Bangkok nightlife better than anyone, having long established himself as one of its famously fabulous fixtures. Last November the Thai singer/clubnight promoter released his debut solo album, titled “Affairs,” his first release since the break-up of legendary electroclash group Futon.
Gene’s debut album is full of energetic beats that encompass most of his favorite genres, from electro rock and drums’n’bass to haunting pop and disco.
“In ‘Affairs’ I basically tried to capture the sounds that I love listening to and never get bored of,” says Gene. “Lyrically it's very personal and has got so many hidden layers to discover. In short, ‘Affairs' is about the love hate relationship with myself, love, sex, lust, friendship and the little things that keep me (in)sane and move on.”
Gene started out as a drum’n’bass enthusiast who eventually found himself fronting Futon, a Bangkok band born out of local expat DJ Bee’s infamous clubnight “Rehab” at Bed Supperclub. Futon first made its mark with a cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” eight years ago. The band’s aesthetics, daredevil attitudes and head-turning fashion quickly propelled them onto indie music laurels, where they rested comfortably when they weren’t traveling the world.
Said Simon Napier-Bell in an article in the UK's Observer Music Magazine published in 2006: "For many years I've thought, given the right trigger, Thailand's capital could become another Munich. It's the perfect place for a world-class recording studio to pump out dance songs; the perfect place for a world-class dance group to emerge. And suddenly, a year ago, there it was: Futon.
"More contemporary than Scissor Sisters, more punk too, but with pop overtones. It had social intensity -- the ring of the early Seventies, when all those over-amphetamised groups like the Banshees, the Slits andthe Sex Pistolswere coming out of London."
Indeed Gene became a ready-made icon thanks to his powerful vocals, shamanistic performances and non-conformist lifestyle. But after three albums, he found himself stifled with boredom by the familiarity and decided to bid farewell to Futon and start anew in 2008.
Since then Gene has found a new sanctuary in Thai label smallroom, home of Slur, Tattoo Colour and The Richman Toy, among many others, where he and the producers slowly began to carve out a fresh soundscape. Here are two music videos from Affairs.
Given Gene's heavy scene credentials, we wanted to know his recommendations for some of the best places to head after dark in Bangkok. Here are few of his favorite haunts.
“Owned by my friends, this snuggly little bar is a good place to kick off [the night]. The vibe is friendly and exclusive since it’s not a place for people to hook up. It’s just perfect for getting together with close friends. Another plus point is that Happy Monday offers some nice strong cocktails and delicious food. Music policy varies from day to day with Wednesday, Friday and Saturday devoted to 80s and 90s tunes.”
Ekamai Soi 10, BTS: Ekamai. Tel: +66 (0)2 714 3935
“This is where you can get a taste of old school traditional Thailand dating back to the King Rama V era. Chill out to Thai oldies on records in a traditional Thai wooden house. The waiters address you as ‘master’ or ‘mistress’, which is quite mind bending. Mouth watering foods are served in traditional chinaware and cutlery.”
Suk 11, 1/33 Sukhumvit Road, BTS: Nana. Tel: +66 (0)2 253 5927
“People have different opinions when it comes to Bed Supperclub, but for me, the place seems to be 24/7 so if all else fails, you can always go there. It’s a space age joint and a pretentious place to have a good dance with two rooms that offer different kinds of beats. DJ Bee’s Rehab on last Thursday of every month there is always a must go.”
26 Sukhumvit Soi 11, BTS: Nana, +66 (0)2 651 3537
“Tapas has been around forever, and it has never let me down. When I feel like I don’t want the night to be over, I head down there to either hang out or dance the night away. The night is not over yet! Tapas has got three floors that offer house music and hip crowd. Sometimes, it’s enough to sit outside and people watch.”
114/17-18 Silom Soi 4, BTS: Saladaeng. Tel +66 (0)2 632 7883
“This streetside food joint is usually my last stop before hitting home. You might run into a lot of night crawlers there too. Best food to prevent the upcoming hangover!”
Kaotom 55 is located streetside, right where soi 55 hits the main Sukhumvit Road
Gene Kasidit’s next live performance will take place at the Culture One Dance Music Festival, where he'll be playing on the Dude/Sweet stage. For more on Gene's music, visit his Myspace and Facebook pages.