Joel Lai is Hong Kong's best-known DJ, playing at just about every major party in town, as well as international clubs such as the Ministry of Sound in London, Zouk in Singapore and Lulu in Germany. He has been in the business for 13 years, having been resident DJ and 'musical consultant' at Club 97 for a decade. He also ran Rhythm Method Records in Tsim Sha Tsui's Beverly Centre from 1991-96, and still owns a record distribution company under the same name, supplying vinyl to DJs around Asia. 'When I'm DJ-ing I play mainly imports, usually from the UK, but also from Germany, Holland and the US. The UK is best because it's like the centre of Europe, and you can get almost any sort of music you're looking for. 'I get most of my records from Amato Disco (246 Acklam Road, London, W10, tel: 4420 8964 3302) because I've known the staff for five or six years, and they know exactly what I want. They sell everything from progressive house to garage to tech house - all of high quality. They keep stuff for me and I don't even have to check it. But then they know that if I don't personally like it, I can sell it on easily. They offer a great service, and a really large selection. Not many distributors can get hold of all the other label imports as well. 'For similar reasons, I also recommend Plastic Fantastic (8 Shorts Gardens, Covent Garden, London, WC2H, tel: 4420 7240 8055, www.sortedwithplastic.co.uk ). I've been dealing with them for so long, I hardly need to ask. I often bump into other famous DJs while I'm there like Lee Burridge, Seb Fontaine and Mrs Wood. It stocks a really upfront selection of progressive house and tech house choice, and the prices are quite reasonable - around ?4.99 [HK$58] for a 12-inch. 'I never deal with New York now. I used to buy house music by mail order from a record shop there six or seven years ago. But every time I ordered 10 titles, they'd deliver five of them, then stick in any old rubbish to replace the other five I'd asked for. I then tried a few other places in New York, but they all did the same. 'In Hong Kong there are only three or four places selling underground vinyl. Trendza (1/F Winner Building, 9 Yuk Yat Street, To Kwa Wan, tel: 2365 5715) is one of them. It imports from major record companies, mainly dance music like tech house, techno and trance. But it only ever imports in small quantities, so though it stocks some fine tunes, you have to get down there really quickly to get hold of them. 'Sometimes I even check out HMV (Central Building, Pedder Street, Central, tel: 2739 0268) because if your timing's right, you can pick up something interesting. I like the fact that it sells so many different types of music, and in good quantities. I buy soul, latin, jazz funk, even compilations, but more for personal use as it's quite commercial. 'It gets pretty hot when you're DJ-ing, so I will usually wear a sleeveless T-shirt, jeans and trainers. My favourite jeans are made by Evisu (available from D-Mop, G/F, 55 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2890 6622). 'At the moment I really like Carhartt ( www.carhartt.com ) because the clothes are really hard-wearing, and the style's timeless, so you can wear them for years. It's kids-style, but not too kids-style, if you know what I mean. In Hong Kong you can buy Carhartt from Double Park (G2-29, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, tel: 2265 7755), the new shop from the people that do I.T. Limited. 'There's always new stuff in store, quite skate-wear style, and it stocks lots of interesting small labels, like X-Large, Fresh Jive and DC Shoes.'