Wed, Jun 02, 2004 - Page 16 News List

From zero to heros like Carter

Chicago house legend Derrick Carter's gig tonight at Luxy represents the coming-of-age of dance music in Taiwan

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

The godfather of house music, Derrick Carter.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MOST WANTED DJS

Taiwan's top DJs will be converging on Luxy tonight to hear the man they call the "god of House." The arrival of Derrick Carter, who started dance music over 15 years ago with the Chicago house sound, is a defining moment in the country's musical development.

Two years ago it was difficult to attract any international DJs to these shores, so Carter's appearance represents the culmination of an intense period of development in the local dance music scene.

Carter's show confirms that dance music has come out of the shadows and has moved away from its association with a hard-edged industrial techno sound and drugs, toward a more varied and international sound that encompasses popular dance culture (clubbing) and electronic musical innovation (as shown by the Fourtet gig last weekend).

"Taiwan has matured as a dance market," said Canadian DJ Coffey, of Connect, one of four promotion companies that banded together to bring Carter to town. "There's definitely a larger acceptance of dance music. People now think it's more than just head shaking to head-shaking music. There's the jazz, the fusions, the lounge nights and a lot more different kinds of artists."

"Carter is the guy we grew up with, he was our favorite on the scene in Toronto 10 years ago. Here, in the last two years, there has been rapid development. It's gone absolutely crazy, so we wanted to do something special, to give back to all the people who have been coming out to listen to us," Coffey said.

"We went to the kingpin because he's still at the cutting edge of the scene."

DJ Edmund, one of the country's top five DJs and playing tonight at Luxy, said that anyone who knows anything about dance music recognizes Carter as the master.

"He's an inspiration to all house DJs. All the DJs [in Back 2 Back, his promotion company] agree that he's the man. I think that people who only know Tiesto in the trance area should open their minds and find out who is the man in the house arena," Edmund said.

"Tiesto may be the god of trance, but Carter is the god of house."

Edmund said that most people in Taipei have got used to the darker sound that was a feature at the long-running and influential club TeXound (sadly no longer).

"Carter is funky, the groovier side of house music. The fact Carter has come here means that the dance scene has arrived in Taiwan. ... We're still learning and developing as DJs but this is an important part of that process and

inspiration."

Dominik Tyliszczak, who has been helping run Citrus promotions for the past two years, said the first club to put on international DJs was @live (which later became 2nd Floor).

"When we started there weren't really many different international DJs unless they were on the trance side of the house scene. Nowadays you can get people like Derrick Carter and we get the whole spectrum of dance music,"

Tyliszczak said.

"With Derrick Carter we've got the classic classic. We're putting this show on not just for dance fans, and everyone else, but for ourselves as well, to validate what we're doing, to show that Taiwan can have a full range of music, instead of just popping pills and listening to hard house.

"It used to be just cranked-up music for cranked-up people, in places like Sonic Lemon. Now we have a choice of what we like, what suits our mood and the quality is higher."

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