DJ group Chinese Man took center stage at Rolling Stone Cafe on Saturday night to mark the last music event of Jakarta’s French culture festival, Printemps Francais.
Before the show, the crowd seemed timid about approaching the stage, at least until the MC offered free T-shirts from Institut Francais d’Indonesie, which organized the festival, to the first few who were ready to see the performance up close.
By 8:30 p.m., the crowd had started gathering around the stage with beer bottles in hand, intently waiting for the performance to begin as more people made their way in to enjoy the free concert.
Dubyouth, a dub music duo from Yogyakarta, opened Chinese Man’s show with several songs, including their single “Endless Night,” while the audience jumped and bobbed their heads.
French Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary was also reportedly seen in the crowd, enjoying the music.
Despite the Asian-inspired name, Chinese Man is a group of three DJs from Marseille, France, who collaborated with Dubyouth in 2009.
After two successful albums, “The Groove Sessions Vol. 1” and “The Groove Sessions Vol. 2,” Chinese Man has not yet hit the charts with its third album, “Racing With the Sun,” which Dubyouth has infused with a Javanese essence.
The stage at the Rolling Stone Cafe on Saturday was far from grand, but that didn’t stop hundreds of people from enjoying the show, especially when rapper Yacko came on.
In addition to Dubyouth’s music, the night’s lineup featured reggae jazz and dangdut, while Yacko added rap and hip-hop. She collaborated with Dubyouth members Poppa Tee and Dee Metz, dominating the stage with a vulgar song and a wacko performance.
By the time Chinese Man came on, the crowd was warmed up after two and a half hours of waiting, listening to Dubyouth and Yacko, and taking part in quizzes from IFI.
When they finally came on, the DJ trio of Matthieu De Stefano aka Ze Mateo, Sylvain Langlet aka Sly, and Jonathan Busson aka High Ku made sure the wait was worth it. After singing with Dubyouth, they were a hit with their breakthrough single “I’ve Got That Tune.”
Much like Dubyouth, Chinese Man’s music is a mix of reggae, Brazilian Baile funk, old school hip-hop and other influences from music of the past generation.
After the show, fans who hadn’t had enough rushed outside to buy their albums, hoping for signed autographs from Ze Mateo and the rest.
Next year, IFI hopes to invite Daft Punk, the distinguished electronic music duo from Paris, to celebrate Printemps Francais.