This past five-day weekend was full of parties: a 1,000 person strong rave out in Jinshan, a Hat Jam at Club Crystal, as well as the usual assortment of happenings in Taipei's busy club scene. But for the highlight of the Moon Festival celebration, one had to return to the classics. The jam that blew the rest away was Kevin Saunderson's Monday night gig at Luxy. Hailing from Belleville, Detroit, Saunderson is, alongside Juan Atkins and Derrick May, one of the Belleville Three, the unofficial group widely credited with creating techno music in the 1980s. Since then, he's had a long, storied career in the techno underground.
As part of his Elevator World Tour, his set on Monday night showcased the best of that twenty-year career. The music: pure, visceral techno. Low, punchy bass lines, stuttering 808 drums, and short, repetitive vocal samples set to a hurtling rhythm kept the crowd dancing until 5am. All the while, Saunderson scratched and mixed his Elevator Tour graphics using Pioneer's DVJ technology, transporting the Luxy crowd to the industrial zones of Detroit. The trip left the packed house sweaty, shattered, and desperate for more.
Another long-time member of the dance community, Junkie XL, drops into Taipei tomorrow. Starting with nu wave pop, then moving onto industrial, XL finally started producing his famous blend of big room house and trance in 1997, with his debut CD, Saturday Teenage Kick. Throughout his journey, XL continued to make music for commercials, films, and video games, where he's found the most success. His reworking of Elvis' A Little Less Conversation for a Nike 2002 World Cup ad reached number one in 24 countries.
As a live act, he's no slouch either, having played alongside such luminaries as The Prodigy. Fun, lively, animated, and equipped with huge records, Junkie XL knows how to work a big space. The show starts at 7pm at Nankang 101 (南港101) at 71 Xingnan St, Nangang Dist, Taipei (台北市南港區興南街71號). Tickets cost NT$1,200 each.
A prolific DJ on the local circuit, Junior celebrates his birthday this weekend at J.A.M. Session's Wig Out party. The bash will be held at Deluxe tomorrow (behind Taipei Arena). Junior and Megan, Hooker and Marcus Aurelius will man the decks.