Fri, Feb 18, 2005 - Page 15 News List

The Vinyl Word

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

DJ Nina


We met up with DJ Nina, the winner of the Taipei Times Top DJ poll, in Ximending and spent a couple of hours taking photos and talking. Like all cool Taipei girls, Nina used to hang out in the area when she was at high school.

"The concept of Ximending now is pretty much the same as when I was at school 10 years ago. Then it was bell bottoms and high heels and Japanese fashions. It was a little bit different, but you know, fashion just keeps coming around again."

"I was not into any kind of dance music then, more into US Billboard top 40 music. Then, at college I got into alternative indie rock and electronic music. ... It was at the Chinese Culture University on Yangminshan where I got into dance music. There were a lot of parties then, like with DJ Da and AB Koo -- a lot of drum 'n' bass parties, A-Bomb, all these British DJs. Also DJ @llen and Victor [Cheng] were spinning at those parties then."

Nina said she got into DJing over four years ago when she was doing a post-graduate degree in Los Angeles. "I bought the gear and started collecting records when I was living in LA."

"I came back to Taiwan and soon after that I was introduced to Dr DMT and Shwan, K Fancy and Lady J and played at their parties. I also organized and promoted parties at Mao Cafe and Deep."

"I would go out and dance at pubs and clubs a lot. There was a lot on. In Taoyuan [where she was based then] the music was pretty good, not the Cantonese hard-house style."

Today, Nina is part of the La Groove stable of DJs with @llen and plays at Eden, Luxy, other capital city clubs and around the country. She is at the center of a group of local DJs such as @llen, Victor, Edmund, Jimmy Chen, Joe Ho and Reason, who have the potential to reach a wider international audience.

We liked her latest CD, which featured a lot of old-school tunes and had a firm bass throughout that linked the set, with a freaky twist to make it a little zesty.

As for the "godfather of Taiwan house" @llen, he made it another first last Friday by being the first local DJ invited to play a main set at Ministry of Sound (MoS).

"I think it was great that I could play there," @llen said. "People seemed to be up for the funky house music I played and I'm glad MoS is starting to put on local DJs."

@llen will be playing at MoS every third Saturday for the next three months and supporting Adam Freeland next week.

Tomorrow, he's throwing a party at Club 70s, at The Core Pacific Mall and is offering Taipei Times readers free entry if they bring along a copy of this article and give it in at the door. Maxxx and Pierre will also be playing.

The gig of the week should be the welcome return of LTJ Bukem and MC Conrad tonight at Luxy. They were great last time round and for our money, Bukem has been one of the top performers on the scene for a long time now.

Also in Taipei, at Vortex on Saturday night, the four-girl band from Taichung, Orenda, will be playing blues, jazz and originals. (302, Zhonghe Rd, Zhonghe, Taipei County). NT$350 with a beer.

In Taichung at Bobos tomorrow, it's Housecats, featuring tech and funky house with A100, ChiFunk and D'Jones. It's Saucey's birthday party so he's organizing a trip down to Taichung to celebrate. "We are renting a bus, it will leave around 8pm to 9 pm Saturday and will leave taichung sometime in the wee hours. ... Please email me at," Saucey asked.

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