Hologram Dreams has been taking Shanghai’s dancefloors on monthly funk-fuelled voyages for three years now, with a heavy dose of synth, anime and everything else electro also thrown in. But as it goes in life sometimes, all good things come to an end and the party is grooving out its last goodbyes at Elevator tomorrow (Saturday 27). While the city is losing a bit of its cybernetic craziness, it’s not all sad news. Here, the night’s founder Heatwolves reflects on the good times, plans for future and ,most importantly, what’s actually going down tomorrow night.
Tell us a bit about Hologram Dreams. What was it all about?
Imagine 'Cruel Summer' or 'Take A Chance' by Mr Flagio with a Bubblegum Crisis VHS on loop. That’s the vibe. Hologram Dreams was a club night for Italo disco, early Chicago house, J-Pop, new wave, electro and related music, new or old. Anything with big melodies, fat drum machines and sometimes unintelligible but highly-emotional lyrics. The visuals were cyberpunk anime from the late '80s and early '90s – the greatest era. The look and sound was quite dark but also cute. Cute darkness. We started at Dada in March 2018 and ended at Elevator in March 2021.
A lot of the inspiration came from these mid-'80s mixes on a radio station called WBMX Chicago (highly recommend – they’re online). They would have DJs come on and do these 'hot mixes' and blend everything that was coming out, and fast, with lots of cuts and quick mixing. I wanted to do an updated version of that with my spin on it. How do you feel about finishing things now? Stoked. It’s always better to play the last song with people still on the dancefloor rather than folks slowing trickling out / passed out. You gotta know when to dip. A lot of the greatest songs have clear, sharp endings. Hologram Dreams went for three years and it’s been mad fun. Shout out to all the DJs who played and to Dada and Elevator for hosting.
How do you feel about finishing things now?
Stoked. It’s always better to play the last song with people still on the dancefloor rather than folks slowing trickling out / passed out. You gotta know when to dip. A lot of the greatest songs have clear, sharp endings. Hologram Dreams went for three years and it’s been mad fun. Shout out to all the DJs who played and to Dada and Elevator for hosting.
Photograph: courtesy Hologram Dreams
Any favourite memories you want recall from the past three years?
Last weekend in Dada Beijing was magic. Someone yelled at me, 'You’re drinking water!' and I said 'Yeah!' and they screamed 'I’m f**king drunk!!' I love that place. I hope Dada will return to Shanghai soon. One time at Dada I played a 20-minute conversation between Jack Ma and Elon Musk about artificial intelligence over some drum tracks and people were going off.
What can we expect from tomorrow night?
Every song will be like the last song ever. Golgol and SpaceReturn just keep getting better and better, so come early for their sets. Come even earlier for the screening, which will be far better than any algorithm. Also we made some T-shirts.
What's next? Where do you go from here?
I'm working on some music inspired by these sounds and focusing on Love Bang as a night and as a label, releasing the music of the 2060s retro-Earth-music playlists. And if you like synth music and euphoric melodies then check out these parties: Kuai Le Da Wang, Synth Crush, Fresh Mint, Totally Rad and of course, DJ Ozone’s Stupid '80s Disco Party. And if we ever bring Hologram Dreams back, it will be as a café where we only show horrible English dubs of anime like Angel Cop and BAOH. That’s the dream.
Hologram Dreams is happening tomorrow night, Saturday 27, at Elevator. Tickets are 80RMB on the door.