Fri, Nov 19, 2004 - Page 15 News List

The Vinyl Word

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

Who can match Chozie?

PHOTO: JULES QUARTLY, TAIPEI TIMES

The appearance of Chozie at Shag and Luxy last week proved, regrettably, that there are few genuine star DJs on the Taipei dance music scene.

The Australian who now lives in China but was a fixture on the local news and in the downmarket rags two years ago because he "had one leg" (有一腿) over TV personality Momoko (陶子) showed that he can still pull a crowd and puts on a good show.

At Shag on Thursday, Chozie played a house music set that lifted the spirits and forced the feet to dance. At Luxy he played breaks. As the DJ who came after Chozie tells it, "He's a hard act to follow." Not only is he a real showman -- flipping records, smiling for the camera, geeing up the audience -- he's technically sound, has a deep knowledge of music and practices hard. He takes the pulse of the crowd, always picks the right record, hits the spot and slides it in. They say it's like good sex. It is.

It's a shame to say, but Beijing and the US are two drains down which the talents of Taiwan disappear. Another DJ who I rated highly was J4, who is now in America.

As for the rest, well, Victor Cheng (Ricochet) is the most talented and the only local DJ with factor X, or star quality. But he's gay and plays his best sets at AXD. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but the majority of hetero metros don't want to go there, even though the AXD sound system has been tweaked to near-perfection and the crowd is uninhibited and prepared to dance at the drop of a needle. Victor's supporting cast includes Jimmy (Taipei 101), Tiger and Eric Huang: all good DJs. If you don't believe it, check them out at the monthly Lady's Night tonight. One of the world's top trance DJs, Sasha will be turning up at AXD next Friday.

While in the realm of trance, DJ Joe Ho gets deserved respect and his Resident*001 debut album made its mark, but he needs to break out. DJ Edmund is known for his silky smooth skills and he has his disciples. When he's good, he's very good, but when he's not he's horrid. DJ @llen (tomorrow at Eden) has been in command of the decks in Taipei from the beginning and his contribution to the local dance scene was seminal. Currently, however, he's more influential because of his La Groove organization and a stable of DJs that includes Nina, Gravity, Dark, Da and Zeon.

As for Ministry of Sound and its resident DJs, they are all capable without shining that brightly. MoS is for the occasion rather than the music, unless it's got the big-name imports passing through. Damian is talented, but could do better. Buff is possibly the most versatile DJ in the country, but that does not make him the best.

SL and Saucey have made a name for themselves at Luxy and now at Eden with their Deep Inside sessions. My colleague said Saucey was the best DJ in town and the crafty Canadian says so on his fliers. SL has a nice touch. But both DJs are playing to the converted and would do well to introduce something new for me to rave about them.

Other DJs who have tickled my fancy include Chewie, Lim Qiong (林強), Chi Funk and Vertigo.

An Internet vote on a local Yahoo club a few months ago pretty much confirms the above, but adds Reason (deservedly) to the list. He's No. 1, with Victor and @llen following. It's not far off the mark, with the caveat Victor is the top of the pops now because he's got the length, the breadth and the rhythm to satisfy any dance music enthusiast.

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