Fri, Sep 04, 2009 - Page 15 News List

THE VINYL WORD

BY Queen Bee and Tom Leeming  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTERS

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DJ Dragon (劉龍江) has been at the forefront of the psytrance scene since 1997. He used to be a resident DJ at Taipei’s legendary (and notorious) club, Edge, during the period when Goa trance took Taipei’s clubbers and ravers by storm. Although the club was later shut down because of drug and mafia issues and the music slowly lost its popularity, eventually going totally underground, Dragon has kept the torch burning by organizing parties and composing music. Moreover, he’s one of only a few jet-setting local DJs, having traveled as far as England and South Africa to perform.

VW: How do you see the progression of the psytrance scene?

D: The scene has always been very underground but I think it’s getting a whole lot better as far as drug abuse is concerned. Although psytrance seemed to be a major hit at the time when Edge was open, its prosperity didn’t last long. The music began to get a bad rap because a lot of people who were into it were on drugs. But the times have changed and the people have also changed, the younger generation is now able to enjoy the music in an intuitive way. And there are more people getting into music production and injecting new vitality into the scene.

VW: Tell us about your company 26D.

D: 26D was formed by me and some friends in 2001. There are producers, DJs and installation artists amongst us and we throw parties and produce music together.

VW: What is it about psytrance that appeals to you the most?

D: The unrestrained structure — psytrance doesn’t have a formula like many other kinds of music. It’s very free-form. And the abundant layers and sounds are especially enchanting when you hear them through big outdoor sound systems.

VW: When and how did you start to make music?

D: It was the complexity of psytrance that got me intrigued and I started making music about five years ago. But I wasn’t actually so serious about it until I came back from my South Africa tour in 2007. In South Africa I got to visit a famous psytrance producer’s house and it totally blew my mind — what he used to produce music was just some basic stuff: a small monitor, a somewhat out-dated computer and headphones! It wasn’t till then that I realized we should be satisfied with what we have in Taiwan. That had a huge impact on me and really pushed me forward.

VW: You’ve been working in the broadcasting industry. Have you ever thought about hosting a psytrance radio show?

D: I’ve been offered the opportunity, but I passed on it. I don’t think the time is right yet. I want to wait until Taiwan has more psytrance producers because I believe that playing music that’s made in Taiwan would be a good way to approach the local audience. Right now I see more and more DJs starting to make their own music, and if that trend continues, it’ll probably be just another year or two before everything’s ready.

On the Net: tw26d.com/bb (Taiwan’s psytrance community); www.indievox.com/kerlivin (DJ Dragon).

DJ Dragon’s upcoming dates: Sept. 11 at Earthfest Revolutions, Kunlun Herb Gardens (崑崙藥用植物園) in Taoyuan County; Sept. 12 at After Eclipse in Osaka, Japan.

Last Friday at Luxy, the small crowd that showed up witnessed a treat in the form of drum ’n’ bass DJ Makoto from Tokyo and MC Deeizm from London. Prior to their arrival, Spykee, as was expected, threw down an epic set, filled with twitchy, rocky beats that had everyone in the Onyx room on the floor and provided further evidence that Spykee truly is one of the best DJs in town, no question.

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