DOTT is in his studio tucked away in the back of Bangkok’s More Rice record store, busy organizing a folder for a gig in Manila the next day. He just got home from a two-city trip in Vietnam and he’s returning to Hanoi the weekend after flying to the Philippines. Then he’s off to play in Korea the following weekend. This is typical of DOTT, an eclectic house music producer who is quite possibly the most productive artist in Thailand. He’s released 50 EPs of his own music on various labels in the past six years, and that’s only the surface: He’s got 1,000 tracks in the vault.
He has so much music under his belt that he can play entire sets of his own tunes. “I could do a five or six-hour set,” DOTT reflects. While he’s done sets here in Bangkok, it was only at small afterparties for about a dozen friends. But during his trip to Europe a few months back, he went all in. “I was overthinking what I’d play in Europe because I wanted to make it special, so I took a risk.” He played a two-hour set of his own production—most of it unreleased—for 200 people in Amsterdam, and it went so well that he did it again in the UK for three hours with an even bigger crowd.
While there are a lot of DJs in Bangkok, there are not nearly as many producers. And the ones that do make their own music don’t release tunes very frequently. “To be prolific you really have to put your heart into production, you have to enjoy every part of the process,” DOTT says. “I don’t see it often here, but when I do find people, I always try to get them out there.” He points to artists like Chalo, the sound engineer who recently released an EP on their More Rice record label and has continued making a name for himself since.
Originally, the studio they built at More Rice was meant to be a community space where they could bring more people in to produce, but time restraints have made that difficult. “It’s hard to find time to get into the studio myself these days,” DOTT sighs. “Gigs are the only source of income I have right now.” The store is doing well, but it’s mainly just supporting itself, not putting any extra money into their pockets. It also gives him an advantage in getting gigs, since it’s a hub for regional dance music. But studio time remains a luxury for now, and he finds himself making tracks on flights between cities more often than he does while here at home.
Producing your own music is important, DOTT emphasizes: “It’s really crucial for DJs these days if they want to further their careers for the long run. You get better gigs, which helps you get higher fees over time. It’s a strong part of your portfolio.” Although he’s not cranking out so many new tracks for now (at his peak, he was making one or two a day) there won’t be a pause in releases anytime soon. He’s got several already lined up for future releases, and more are in the pipeline. Labels seek him out now. “I like to do proper releases, not just drop stuff on SoundCloud or Spotify. When deciding on a label, I consider who the owner is; whether they have a community and organize parties. Sometimes I work with labels run by music lovers who just release tracks for the love of it.”