LONG before the advent of clubs dedicated to house and other forms of electronic dance music, Kuala Lumpur has been dominated by the sounds of soul and R&B.
Clubs like Picadilly, Baze, Modesto's Forum, Scandals and Boom Boom Room will long be remembered by those who partied in the 80s and early 90s.
Sadly, these clubs, some of which lasted for almost a decade, remained as only fond memories in the minds of many.
However, thanks to SmoovePinch, those memories have been brought to life in a special series called Remember, an event held at Bond at Avenue K in Kuala Lumpur.
“We all grew up sneaking out to the clubs when we were younger, just to experience what the hottest clubs had to offer, and these memories will remain as defining experiences,” said SmoovePinch's Johan Nasir as he explained the reason for the series.
He said the idea came during talks with old friends and some of the deejays who had played at the clubs.
SmoovePinch editor Dave Avran said the talks led to something bigger.
Before long, Remember was born and it kicked off after a lot of research to select the outlets to be featured.
“A lot of clubbers, surprisingly, recalled specific memories of their favourite places and pestered us to do something to help relive their youth,” he said.
The series was recently launched at Bond with a tribute to Baze, Scandals and Saqs.
Baze deejay Kumar kicked off proceedings at about 10pm, launching into a selection of memorable club classics that included songs from Toni Braxton, Arrested Development, Soul II Soul and Milli Vanilli.
The event saw a more mature crowd who all loved the music, and were there to let their hair down.
Unlike the usual club scene, the crowd came early and by midnight, the dance floor was packed with partygoers dancing to songs they danced to as teenagers.
The organisers took great pains to ensure that the series is not seen as just another retro night gig.
Instead, Remember focuses on the sounds of the clubs featured.
“We want to ensure that the series provide a true retrospective of almost two decades of club classics,” said Dave.
Where many of today's R&B and retro nights concentrate largely on hip hop, pop and a mix-up of styles, Remember has brought back the deejays who made clubs what they were, thanks to their signature tunes and mixes.
Kumar demonstrated this as the first of the deejays to hit the decks that night.
Although the reaction was slow initially, with the crowd content to lounge and catch up with old friends, Kumar's set slowly set the tone for and the dance floor was soon packed.
After taking the crowd on an almost two-hour journey of club classics, Kumar left the decks in the able hands of special guest Najee of Traxx FM.
Najee belted out more classics, but on the darker, heavier side of R&B.
Every time a familiar tune rang out the crowd raised their hands and cheered.
The music soon turned soulful, with Mr Q taking over the turntables.
Mr Q is one of the few deejays to have played at all three of the venues featured for the launch of the Remember series.
The next Remember night is this Saturday and it promises to be just as good as it brings back the sounds of the Boom Boom Room, Heaven and Modesto's Forum.
The inimitable Joanne Kam Poh Poh is slated for a return with her dancers as she brings back memories of her rib-tickling performances at Boom Boom Room.
Deejays Renu from Heaven and Edy of Modesto's Forum will also feature on the night.
The final two nights of the Remember series are on April 29 and May 13, with tributes to the Piccadilly Tea Dance and Barbarran, respectively.
Clubbers who used to frequent Piccadilly are in for a great time as this is the second event celebrating the club's tea dances, with the original promoter Hasnul Zuhairi also organising a reunion soon.
The Remember series starts at 10pm at Bond, lobby level, Avenue K, 156, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
A cover charge of RM30 (with one drink before 1am) applies.