And the winner of the first "Taipei Times Top DJ" poll is ... Nina!
Girl power put the Taipei-based DJ at the head of the list with over 8 percent of the popular vote. She beat 70 of the country's best male DJs in our poll and beat the "godfather" of the local dance music @llen, who was in second place, with Edmund third.
It was our first poll, so there were some teething troubles with hackers and block voting but the totals were fairly convincing in the end, as local DJs proved they're the best and Nina was recognized as the creme de la creme (see full results, after one week's voting, at www.taipeitimes.com/poll/dj).
Victor, not surprisingly, was in the top five, while glamorous SL proved he has genuine pulling power with a strong finish. Foreign DJs such as Marcus Aurelius and Rob Solo showed they have their fans and good self-promotional skills. We think hype is part of the art of being a DJ so we have let the results stand, despite Solo's admission he got all his friends to vote in Canada. Finally, Tiger and Reason (both DJs' favorites) deservedly made it into the top 10.
Last week's big night out was, without a doubt, Deep Dish on Christmas Day. Iranian duo Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi delivered a warehouse-sized wave of sound that kept 6,000-plus dance fans moving to their beat until late in the morning at the Luxy-inspired World Trade Center event in the Xinyi District.
Starting off with some of the big tunes and remixes that have been rolling out of their studio for the past 12 years, Deep Dish engaged the crowd, got it jumping and became progressively deeper, until the place was in a monged-out, k trance.
Compared with previous World Trade Center events, the crowd knew what it was doing and, instead of rubbernecking, immersed itself in the music and the atmosphere. In fact, those who have complained over the years that Taipei does not have an international dance music scene can now shut up. As we move into 2005, the scene has never glittered brighter.
On Christmas night, just before they were about to play, Deep Dish's two members sat down with the Vinyl Word for an interview that quickly ranged over their early childhoods in Iran and growing up in the US during the time of the hostage crisis when, "There was a lot of antipathy to people from the Middle East, as there is now. But then it was Iranians."
They said they had a "normal" background and were introduced by a mutual friend because they were both into music. "We're popular because we're good and we work hard and we're willing to embrace all styles. Also we try to keep one step ahead of everyone else. Then we have so many alliances, not only bedroom DJs but the movers and shakers in the industry, so that we can keep on the tip of the wave and dictate the sound of tomorrow."
"You take little baby steps forward and they feed you with money or with praise and that encourages you to keep going in the right direction. We're fortunate to make it. We've been at it for a long time and we've tried to be consistent over time. That is appreciated."
"There's an art vs. commerce aspect, but it's not as conscious as you think. A lot of it is just getting up the morning. You make music and hope as many people are affected by it as possible. It's just like writing an article, it's better to be read by millions rather than one or two."