The Vinyl Word has not been a big fan of Party Room in the past but we were last week when jungle music's "favorite son" Andy C turned up in Taipei for a one-night stand. The sound system was set up for optimum aural pleasure, the sprung floor was bouncing in time to the bass and it was a full house of tuned-in ravers, despite the lack of publicity for the event.
It was probably the best drum'n'bass gig in Taipei, ever. Andy C's skills were immaculate, his energy levels were set on maximum and he had a sweet touch, pushing the progressive sounds of the genre into uncharted territory. There are vanity DJs out there who think they are producing music but in fact they are simply playing the work of other DJs, producers and bands. Andy C is a musician and his decks are instruments that play pre-recorded notes and sounds. He's the real deal. It was a pleasure to watch and listen. A nod also goes out to MC Beemer, who wisely let the music do the talking most of the time and whose words provided oxygen for Andy C to burn.
We spoke to Mr C, an Essex lad made good, before he played and we chatted about girlfriends, Chinese language, the state of drum'n'bass and comparative costs in international cities -- the usual subjects back home, minus soccer. He said the drum'n'bass scene was strong in the UK, still bubbling up out of the ghettos and providing the authentic sound of the underground.
Earlier in the evening on Thursday we checked out a muted Red-I and The Riddim Outlawz, at Luxy. Though enjoyable, it wasn't the most impressive debut for the club's live Thursday nights and one DJ leaving early called it "reggae-lite." Red-I admitted there were "unseen factors involved" that put a dent in the event. "No sound check was the biggest [problem], but worse for myself was when I fell off the stage and fucked up my ankle badly." Teething troubles should be sorted out in the coming weeks and we are still big fans of the man with reggae's musical plan for the city. In the Lotus Room the same night the Merry Monarch dance collective put on a street-smart show that provided a welcome break from wall-to-wall 50 Cent, which is how most hip-hop nights in the town seem to turn out.
Tonight at Luxy the good-looking and impressive-sounding James Zabiela will be popping in for what should be a night of hypnotic beats and lulling melodies. Also, those party people at Liquid Lifestyle are presenting "2 Legit" in the Galleria, featuring Hammer Time, old-skool beats, hip hop, reggae, some R'n'B, and beer bongs.
Lava Bar has hip hop and R'n'B and promises sexy girls and shots of Jack Daniels and coke or tequila shots for NT$100. Sounds like a winning combination. Lava Bar is at B1, 86 Songren Road, Xinyi District, Taipei (
In what should be a busy night out tomorrow, Purple will be holding a "Rave Dance," so don't forget your whistles. Love Groove will be getting it on with @llen at Eden for "Superfreak," with sexy disco, funky house and some fresh DJing blood from the University DJ Group. Mini skirts are in again at TU, so what you see is what you will get. In Neihu, meanwhile, one of the world's acknowledged trance masters, Ronald van Gelderen from the Netherlands, will be mashing up MoS. In the center of town, Taiwan's own trance king Joe Ho will be spreading the love at Luxy. "Oishi!" at Naomi will be the smart-set's choice with Beat Digger and DJ Kook. They will be slaving over a hot stove and dishing up '60s, '70s, funk, soul, jazz and Brazilian style grooves. Naomi is at B1, 65, Anhe Road, Sec 1, Taipei (台北市安和路一段65號B1).