Fri, Oct 20, 2006 - Page 15 News List

The Vinyl Word

By Robert Near  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

What looks like a slow week in club land is really just the city sitting low, hushed in anticipation of the upcoming Jay-Z concert. When a man of Jay's stature comes to town, nobody else can hold a candle to his ability to draw. Promoter's island-wide are doing the smart thing and saving their best for next weekend's Halloween madness.

That said, things aren't totally barren in club-land this weekend. The hottest ticket in town after Jay-Z's concert will, of course, be the official Jay-Z after-party at Plush. Featuring the three time DMC Champion skills of DJ Craze, this celebrity laden, red-carpet affair is going to be huge. All you ghetto fabulous types better get your white shoes buffed, platinum shined up, and suit jacket ironed for this night. Damage is NT$800 for guys and NT$500 for ladies, but a ticket stub from the Jay-Z concert gets you in for free before midnight.

For those who aren't mega-players, or don't pretend to be, VT Art Salon is starting a new weekly music night, Caress — Music Without Boundaries. Tired of the 100 percent hip-hop only, all-the-time climate of the city's clubs, promoters ESP Productions hope to foster an intimate space that plays music other venues “don't dare to play.” This Saturday, for only NT$400, which includes one drink, DJ Saucey and Hooker warm things up for adventurous music lovers.

Then in Neihu on the same night, MoS is hosting a We Love Breaks party. In most countries of the world, including Taiwan, house and trance are the biggest genres of electronic music. Not so in Australia. There, breaks rule the scene, with the genre's leaders playing stadium-sized tours (Krafty Kuts) and winning Most Popular International DJ awards (Adam Freeland).

It's fitting, then, that one of Australia's long-time breaks warriors, Phil K, is headlining. Nowadays, Phil is no longer just in his home country, but on the international stage, too, pushing his mix of progressive and breaks in England, China, and more. A wizard with the Pioneer 600M mixer and DVJX-1, there's a reason why the Kster is the most famous breaks DJ in a nation that grows them like weeds. Go to MoS on Saturday and you'll find out why. It'll cost you the regular fare at MoS: NT$600 before 12am and NT$800 afterwards.

But realistically, all genres are outdated. Breaks, House, Trance, Techno, Hip-hop: Each and every one is bleeding into one another. Accordingly, DJs the world over are getting wise to the game and jamming as many loud, bombastic genre-jumping tunes together in order to create a non-stop party.

The trend has hit Taiwan's shores, too, as evidenced by Kaohsiung resident, Rob Solo's new mix, Strictly Booty vol.4: Music for French Kissing, Heavy Petting and Dry Humping. Starting out with some played-out hip-hop mash ups (Please! No more of the Beastie Boys' Hey Ladies!), things progress into bhangra, funky show tunes (Shack Up (Wiseguys Edit)), nu school acid breaks, B-More, Baille Funk, and, finally, Ghetto-tech (DJ Godfather's Who Shake the Best).

A gaggle of genres with one thing in common: they are all upbeat, crassly party-oriented tunes. At times, Solo's mixing is awkward, but really, smooth mixing isn't the point here. The point is to create a debauched, raucous mix perfect for that early-AM house party. And Rob Solo has successfully achieved that with SB4. He'll officially release the CD on Nov. 11 in Kaohsiung, and then in Taipei the following week. Keep an eye on this space for details. 

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