Fri, Jan 15, 2010 - Page 15 News List

THE VINYL WORD

By Leo Shia  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

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In an industry where facades and inflated egos are not only nurtured but championed, it’s often the most established artists who cause the biggest problems.

DJ, journalist, boutique owner, clothing line CEO and occasional model, Lin Zhe-yi (林哲儀), better known to partygoers as Mykal, has plenty of reason to be enamored with his accomplishments. Yet, upon sitting down with him at his M@M Boutique, one can’t help but be disarmed by his humble and gentle demeanor.

“Is it alright if I eat while we do this?” he politely asks.

A 15-year veteran DJ, promoter and pioneer of the Taiwanese club scene, Mykal’s playlist is as diverse as his accomplishments, running the gamut from rock and drum ’n’ bass to hip-hop and electro.

“When I was just starting out, I had the opportunity to play with Paul Oakenfold,” says Mykal. “He told me that a DJ can only get so good before they hit a wall. And the only way to break past is to really know your music. The more you know, the better you’ll be.”

Mykal undoubtedly took those words to heart, as he now boasts a resume that few, if any, in Taiwan can measure up to. But even though he’s shared the stage with the likes of James Lavelle (UNKLE), DJ Shadow, DJ Krush, Andy C and Adam Freeland, and held residencies at the now-defunct Spin and Party Room nightclubs, as well as a brand new monthly in Luxy’s Onyx room, Mykal attributes his success to “good timing.”

“I used to go to Spin just to hang out and listen to new music,” he reminisces. “They always played songs I had never heard before so I would always ask the DJ for track names. Eventually they got to know me and offered to teach me ... I never intended to actually become a DJ.”

Now, after over a decade of rocking parties, Mykal finds himself in a predicament. Several of Taiwan’s cutting-edge clubs have closed, giving way to watering holes that play Top 40 music. But Mykal remains optimistic. “Although current club culture [favors] commercial hits,” he says, “it’s up to DJs like myself, who are still in a privileged position, to go against the grain and provide an alternative. The point isn’t to get rid of Top 40, but to have a balance. It’ll be tough, but it can be done.”

Mykal’s upcoming performances:

▲Decadence with Mademoiselle Yulia and Verbal (m-flo) tomorrow at The Wall (這牆), B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Tickets are NT$600 in advance, NT$900 at the door. On the Net: www.the-wall.com.tw

▲Louder with Diplo on Thursday at Luxy, 5F, 201, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市忠孝東路四段201號5樓). Tickets are NT$600 pre-sale and admission is NT$800 at the door. On the Net: www.luxy-taipei.com

▲The second Wednesday of each month in Luxy’s Onyx Room with Noodles

M@M Boutique (mamboutique.blogspot.com) is located at 4F-3, 112, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市忠孝東路四段112號4樓之3). To learn more about Mykal’s clothing line, Brainchild, go to brainchildclan.blogspot.com. To listen to Mykal’s mixes, go to

www.myspace.com/djmykaltaipei.

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