Hanging with YETI OUT in the World’s Most Populous City
- Text: Arthur Bray
- Photography: Carol Tam
Hot off the heels of DJing on the Great Wall of China and playing back-to-back with Virgil Abloh, YETI OUT is back to its regularly scheduled programming. Highlighting U.K. artists and rising producers in Asia, the music collective splits their time between Shanghai, Hong Kong, and London as they bridge the gap between East and West through underground dance parties, art shows, and radio sessions. Parties aside, YETI OUT’s artist agency presents Asia tours for the likes of A$AP Mob's Cozy Boys, Venus X, Novelist, Elijah & Skilliam, and Jay Prince, and has worked with the likes of Warp Records, Adidas Originals, HYPEBEAST, Nike, and W Hotel. The crew takes us on a tour of Shanghai’s hot spots and hidden gems.
1 — GHETTO ARCADE, 2038 Huashan Lu, Guangyuan Lu
Located on the top floor of a beatdown mall which is also the home to a love motel, a greasy diner, and a bowling alley in the basement. “Ghetto Arcade,” as the name suggests, is a less-than-sumptuous place for those looking to relieve stress or rekindle their childhood memories. With Time Crisis, Air Hockey, and Taiko Drum Master available, the arcade also doubles as a BYOB pre-party destination for the gang to get nice and rowdy before hitting town. A little ambiguous to say the least, yet with the right crew, you’re in for a fun little piss-up. Tip: 50 RMB gets you 80 tokens — bargain.
2 — 亚太新阳服饰礼品市场 (AP PLAZA), 2002 Century Ave, Pudong Xinqu
You can’t talk about Shanghai’s shopping experience without mentioning AP Plaza, the bootleg heaven where flamingo pink Nike / YEEZY hybrids sit next to iPhone 9.5s. This place is the IRL version of Taobao, the infamous online shopping site. It features one thousand stores, yet prices are rarely displayed. Hence, bargaining is mandatory. While most salesclerks can converse in English, it’s best you roll through with a native speaker, or learn some slang to flex when needed.
3 — DOE, 78 Tong Ren Lu
Aside from NikeLab and Juice Shanghai, another street fashion hub worth checking out is DOE, a pitstop sure to quench your inner hypebeast’s thirst. From new adidas NMDs to Parisian skate brands, the store boasts an impressive roster. Its shoe wall is adjacent to a cafe where visitors can enjoy a cup of fresh Colombian roast and flick through local zines and fashion bibles. During the summer months, the store’s foyer area also plays host to a number of activations. YETI OUT throws an annual summer party there in collaboration with Converse called Heatwave. Our German friends from Einhundert and Beinghunted also come through for a good ol’ knees up.
4 — LE BARON SHANGHAI, Donghu Lu
Le Baron Shanghai is the cozy, carpeted living room club where sloppy French kissing and Fernet-fueled dance moves, and anthems by everyone from Drake to Blondie go hand-in-hand-in-hand. Founded by graffiti artist Andre Saraiva, the China edition follows the legacy of its Paris, New York, and Tokyo outposts. Upon entry, you’re greeted by custom painted artwork from the homie Wu Yue, who’s also played at our parties. YETI OUT takes over the decks during our Thursday night residency. Plenty of blurry nights spent with the squad here.
5 — HAVE A GOOD TIME, 318 Julu Lu
Helmed by the wonderful Hiro-san, Have A Good Time Shanghai is the China extension of the brand’s Tokyo HQ. It’s a place where you can indulge in the best Japanese curry omelet rice and delicious tofu avocado salad while checking out zines from founder WANTO of graffiti crew 246. The restaurant-retailer’s drink menu also consists of a strong whiskey highball and tequila soda named after the crew members, all served by Hiro with an accomplished and slightly menacing grin. There’s not much of a culture for stickering, wheatpasting, or graffiti in Shanghai, but at this shop, local creatives rep their crews with slaps across the wall.
6 — 长脚面 (LONG LEG NOODLES), 166 Zhaozhou Lu
Walk down a traditional Shanghai lane house off Zhaozhou Road and amid laundry hung to dry you’ll be greeted by a couple who run a kitchen that serves only one dish: Long Leg Noodles. There’s no menu—you can’t even buy drinks. The couple only serve their trademark beef noodles and the only choice you get is how spicy you want your serving to be. The noodles are cooked in a shack by the alleyway. You’re welcomed to eat in their lanehouse, yet the only available seating is in a cozy, cartoon-stickered bedroom belonging to a child who might be asleep next to you. Opened from 9:30 PM ’til silly o’clock, we often come here with touring DJs for an authentic dining experience.
7 — 襄阳北路17号2楼, 近长乐路 (ALL CLUB), 2/F 17 Xiangyang Bei Lu
Legendary dance tunnel, Shelter, closed earlier this year due to licensing issues, yet founder Gaz Williams didn’t leave much time for grieving, opening ALL shortly after the club’s hiatus. Housed in a gritty, industrial establishment, the venue is split into two parts: a bar hangout and a club on the other side of a mirrored wall. Here, you’ll find the city’s alternative club kids and those who enjoy a good cavort ’til the early hours. The night we went, New York producer LSDXOXO played a banging ballroom/vogue set before Osheyack (from Gaz’s SVBKVLT record label) took the attentive crowd with 30 minutes of quasi-ghettotech.
8 — 近南京东路 (THE BUND), Zhongshan East 1st Lu, Waitan, Huangpu Qu
Shanghai’s answer to London’s Thames (perhaps a tad bit of a stretch here), the Bund is a mile-long waterfront promenade that displays the striking cityscape on both sides of the Huangpu River. Shanghai’s historic influences are shown in the unique formations of the architecture cluster, which makes for an Instagram-friendly opportunity when taking DJs around town. From baroque, gothic, and neoclassical constructions to laminated, modern facades, “the museum of buildings,” as it’s often dubbed, sums up the city’s multicultural past and present. The Bund is also a great place to gawk at elderly mums doing synchronized morning exercises—that is, if you get up early enough.
9 — 1933老场坊 (1933 SLAUGHTERHOUSE), 10 Shajing Lu, Hongkou Qu
1933 Slaughterhouse is a bizarre structure that I first came across when we shot a lookbook campaign with adidas Originals. Built in 1933 in pre-Communist Shanghai, the four-story building was once the largest slaughterhouse in the East. Designed by British architects and built by Chinese developers, the uncanny Gotham-Deco establishment stands dauntingly bold next to its neighboring Lao Fang Zi (Chinese for “traditional home”). The overlapping passageways make for a stunning photo opportunity, but perhaps less so when they are swamped with grunting cattle.
- Text: Arthur Bray
- Photography: Carol Tam