DJ JOEL LAI has been described as Hong Kong's uncontested heavyweight DJ champion, and is probably the SAR's best-known DJ. As DJ and co-owner of the trendy, elite club Drop in Central, Lai has almost become an institution. To celebrate Drop's second birthday, he mixed it up with the club's co-resident DJ Gruv (Derald Reynolds) this year to produce the commercially successful compilation drop IN - featuring his own personal favourite house hits. (It hit the number one spot on the HMV charts.) drop IN topped his 1997 effort at compiling a CD for Club 97 and Polygram which restricted his creativity. 'It wasn't my own compilation. It was a release for somebody else so I couldn't have complete control over it and Polygram wanted me to use 100 per cent of tracks from their label. I wasn't really satisfied with the quality,' he told the South China Morning Post at the time. In 2001, local label Gogo gave him absolute freedom to come up with the memorable Dance Odyssey. 'It's alternative for Hong Kong, altough not for the rest of the world,' he said. Lai kicked off his DJ career at the age of 15, when he set up a mobile disco. He was resident at Club 97 for a decade.