Kuala Lumpur dance music pioneer DJ Gabriel Chong has died, aged 48.
According to an obituary in the Malaysian lifestyle publication UNRESERVED, Chong — who also went under the names Gabriel Mustaqim, DeepHouseSociety, and the tech house moniker Jeneral Kai — suffered an asthma attack, was then found to have kidney issues and slipped into a coma shortly after.
A key figure in the South East Asian club scene, Singapore-born Chong represented his home country at the 1988 DMC World DJ Championships in London, and was deeply involved in hip hop culture and turntablism before discovering house and techno. He set up the first dance music record shop in Kuala Lumpur, Singles Shoppe, and co-founded the Tempo DJ collective. His work as a gig promoter helped scores of international artists play the city for the first time.
“He is symbolic of the 90s in KL [Kuala Lumpur] where there was a confident vibe, and attitude was everything,” wrote UNRESERVED’s editor in chief, Kassandra Kassim. “Time Out UK once voted KL the fourth best place to party in the world in the late 90s. I like to think he played a big role in that.”
The news was met with an outpouring of tributes on social media. Watch his DMC set below and listen to a recent mix.
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