Fri, Sep 07, 2007 - Page 15 News List

The Vinyl Word

By Queen Bee  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Rob Solo likes to shake his booty.

Photo: Queen Bee

The party scene in Kaohsiung is looking up, partly thanks to the efforts of Rob Solo and his crew. On the promotion front, the team has been busy for the past four years establishing the city as southern Taiwan's party central, organizing events and hosting DJs from other parts of the island.

As a DJ, Solo spins an eclectic mix of house, booty house, break beats and jungle, and has introduced partygoers to sounds they've never heard before.

"I actually came here to do something completely different than DJ. The scene where I lived was kind of stagnating and there wasn't as much going on. I really felt I needed a change," Solo said. "But my friend convinced me to bring one bag of records when I moved … . We ended up doing our first party three weeks after I moved here. The place held about 40 people but about 120 plus showed up. It was bananas, ... people spilling out all over the sidewalk and causing a ruckus."

Even though throwing a good party is not as easy as it sounds, Solo's past experience as a full-time promoter/DJ in Ottawa stood him in good stead. "After that [first bash], there was just no other choice but to keep doing parties! I still enjoy it. I enjoy planning a party, from the flyer design to ... playing music in front of a crowd."

Having deejayed for 14 years, Solo started out at an "alternative" club playing everything from Brit-pop, hip-hop, alternative and industrial to electronic. "Funnily enough, I only owned three CDs at the time," he said. "We were eventually fired from that club for playing too much 'weird electronic music,' which was mostly stuff like old Prodigy and Dust Brothers."

Soon after that gig, seeing a "real DJ" mixing records one night inspired Solo and prompted him to buy a pair of decks. He then learned to mix house music. Solo's penchant for cheeky booty house distinguishes his sets from other DJs', and his critically acclaimed mix-tape series, Strictly Booty, (one edition was chosen as first runner-up for mix of the month in Muzik Magazine) showed that the sub-genre could be serious business.

"As I got into Chicago house I learned about the old booty house songs, the 'If you got a big old booty say yeah! If it's really big throw your hands in the air!' kind of stuff ... . I started collecting that. That led to ghetto tech (tracks like Assault's Ass 'n' Titties) and now its latest reincarnation seems to be Baltimore club [a blend of house and hip-hop], which I also quite like."

According to Solo, the club scene down south has improved since he arrived. "Back then it was hard to find any clubs to go to, regardless of what music they played," he said.

And for out-of-town clubbers who are clueless about the city's best night spots, here are Solo's tips: "Nowadays, Private Party Club and Roof Park are good places to go if you want to hear some good DJs playing electronica."

Roof Park is located at 165, Linsen 1st Rd, 15F, Kaohsiung City (高雄市林森一路165號15樓). Visit www.roof-lounge.com.

Private Party Club is located at B1, 10 Szuwei 4th Rd, Kaohsiung (高雄市四維四路10號). Visit www.privateparty.tw.

To keep abreast of Rob Solo's upcoming events and listen to his mixes, visit www.myspace.com/djrobsolo.

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