People were going to great lengths to get into Paul van Dyk's gig at Luxy last Friday. The Vinyl Word got its hand stamped to go in but quickly ducked outside for a bite. There, we ran into a friend standing by the door, eyes darting around the room.
"What's the stamp look like tonight?" he asked.
"Like a little blue speaker that says Luxy."
He had a blue pen in hand and was hoping to copy the design on his wrist.
Sorry, friend, that trick still doesn't work.
Pity. He missed the best trance set the city has heard in two years -- almost to the day -- since van Dyk last rattled the rafters of Second Floor.
He stepped up to the same mixer Biggz had just used to get everyone's blood pumping, the same turntables, the same needles. But in van Dyk's hands the needles held a narcotic -- brimstone bass lines and celestial trebles.
Luxy was filled to fire-code and the crush of people in the Galleria meant dancing was restricted to head-bobbing, but the only folks who seemed to mind were the ones that Vinyl Word saw being carried off.
On the way out after van Dyk's set, we were handed a business card by some enterprising employee of dance club Purple. "Foreign nationals in Taiwan can bring 1 lady for free admission upon presenting their passports!!" it said.
"Just one lady?"
Yep. But the offer is good all through December, except Christmas and New Year's Eve.
And now to the mail bag and some choice cuts. Far from the maddening crowd in Taipei City, there were a few heads who took exception to an article a couple of weeks ago that basically said there wasn't much going on outside the capital city.
Gareth D'Jones lives in Taichung and DJs with Swank productions, so he has a fair idea of what's going on in Taiwan central. He said there were frequent parties but the big ones "haven't gone off too well ... I wouldn't say the scene is dead but rather scattered. In places like Sparc and Moon Island, it's not often busy until the early hours of the morning most nights."
Jones said he plays with the respected DJ Pierre on Saturdays at a small place called Oldies "where we usually play our deeper stuff. It's laid back and definitely a chance for folks to hear something a little different. On the same note, Declan (A100), Swank and myself are launching something new at Mash" next week.
Dubbed "Housecats," the music will be deeper, techier and slightly more underground, with a VIP visit from Trix. "Final word: A house music scene does exist outside of the gangster-oriented night clubs of Taichung," Jones said.
A man who should need no introduction, Felix the Housecat, is on tomorrow at Ministry of Sound; while AXD has Wonderland vs Kylie (dress as you please, please).
The pick of the week, however, will go to the ever-present Lim Qiong (林強), who will be hosting a free party under Huazhong Bridge in the park from 6pm in the evening until 12pm. DJ Zeus will get the party going, there will be some short films at 7pm, Stingray at 9pm, more short films and music, then Nylas feat. Punk Can to finish things off. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (0955) 666 740 if you need further information. But why would you? Just go.