Serious Loss of Perspective Syndrome, or SLOPS, is a debilitating condition that afflicts many an expat in Taiwan. Sufferers can easily be identified at after parties as they make audacious and absurd comments about their own self-worth and status, such as, "I'm a musician, writer, director, freelance graphic designer ... teacher." Though everyone knows someone with SLOPS, what's not common knowledge is that the term was coined by house and electro DJ Nicola Kriz, Swank resident, native Scot and party physician/physicist.
Kriz, 27, moved to Taichung six years ago to write a book, The Geography of House, and has devoted most of the last 10 years to researching the best house music and fine-tuning her party philosophy.
"My mum had a … clothes shop and when I was little I would sit in the shop playing with my toys, listening to synth pop on the radio, while the industrial sewing machine ferociously rumbled away ... . I think all of that heavily contributed to my love for house and electro," Kriz told the Vinyl Word.
After working four part-time jobs at the age of 17, Kriz bought her first decks. "That was me addicted to house," she said. "There was no decision, no choice. When you're that into something you don't think about what you're doing or why."
As a purveyor of house music, Kriz knows much about the genre's many styles. "I play all kinds of house, mostly electro and funky, but I also love deep and progressive. I used to think that I needed to settle on one particular style, but as my experience and awareness matures I think it's more of an advantage to be diverse." Fellow Swank resident 3B is more gushing: "Never seen anyone as beautiful as they sound, (except Prince)."
Working in Taiwan afforded Kriz ample time to fund some serious house music research in Ibiza, Tokyo and at Burning Man. She looks for DJs who are pushing the boundaries of house. "Desyn Masiello and Paolo Mojo are mind-blowing. They are extremely good at making a mix build ever so carefully, adding in each layer perfectly. Trentemoller and Erol Alkan are fantastic for managing to throw so many different styles into their mixes without ever losing flow."
After deejaying for so long, Kriz has drawn her own conclusions. "The laws of party dynamics are three strong. The first law of party dynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed, therefore the total fun to be had at a party is equivalent to the amount of energy you put into it.
"The second law of party dynamics dictates that entropy is always increasing and thus if you lose your shit once, you will lose it again. The third law of party dynamics is that the universe always waits until you are completely trashed before revealing to you its most absurd characteristics."
Kriz's first law is often seen in action at her parties. "Long-distance charades, house-volleyball, house-golf, house-baseball, chair Jenga, chop-stick-challenge, invent-a-game and guess-my-thought have all been popular. Our after parties are also characterized by the awarding of a gold medal to the last person standing ... , a secretly disguised but well-stocked prop box and at least one official meeting to discuss what's on the agenda, with minute takers."
Kriz's brand new mix, downloadable at www.myspace.com/krizspace, is out today. Draw your own conclusions.