Everyone knows the main players on the dance music scene. But besides Luxy, Room 18 and the like, Taiwan is home to some underrated spots for music-loving party people.
Soho’s Urban 9 Bar (Taipei): This five-story establishment boasts New York-inspired decor and is known more as a trendy cafe than a nightspot because the bar is tucked away on the fourth floor, and the only way in is by elevator. But once you get there you’ll find a sassy watering hole filled with cool music and off-duty party animals. Be sure to go upstairs and check out the glass-covered rooftop lounge and its terrace for a breath of fresh air and a splendid view. As for the music programming, “We play house music here most of the time,” manager Jennifer Yeh (葉宇真) says. “We have special events and guest DJs every now and then. And every Friday is our ladies night with Yoshi.”
‧From 9pm to 2am
‧149, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段149號)
Trio (Taoyuan): It’s been almost five years and Trio is still the only bar you can count on in Taoyuan for decent dance music and underground parties all year round. The owner Wu-Bai (吾百, real name Chiu Chih-Wei, 邱志偉) says he’s all about electronic dance music, drinking and having a good time, so running a bar like this is the perfect job for him. Wu-Bai and his DJ friends spin every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and the party usually goes on until dawn. The crowd is a mix of locals and expats who “don’t have to sit down to drink.” “I want people to stand while they’re drinking so that they can groove to the music at the same time,” says Wu-Bai. On Feb. 26, there’s a techno/breakbeat party with @l and Fion.
‧From 9pm to 6am
‧70 Minsheng Rd, Taoyuan City (桃園市民生路70號)
Amici (Taichung): There used to be quite a few hangouts that consistently purveyed quality dance music in Taichung, but it’s a different world now and Amici is everyone’s new favorite. On weekends this small Italian bistro gets busy and crazy late into the night and it doesn’t stop until 6am. Matty Diesel, Swank production’s promoter/DJ/party expert, is operating the place so the music is select and the parties get wild. Wednesday is hip-hop ladies night. Every Friday is resident night with Diesel mixing electro and glitchy tech. “Guest DJs man the decks on Saturday. We’ve had Ill Gates, Poppa Baer, and a tonne of other DJs from around Taiwan and the world playing the newest in house, electro, breaks and tech,” Diesel says.
‧From 10pm to 4am weekdays, until 6am on weekends
‧160, Dongsing Rd Sec 3, Greater Taichung (台中市東興路三段160號)
Tomorrow one of the most anticipated acts of the year hits Club Space. Sven Vath is in town — and with the Funktion One speakers that are being specially installed for the event, it’ll definitely be a night to remember. The superstar has been an important dance music icon for 30 years and he’s still going strong. His success speaks for itself. (Just search for “Cocoon party” on Youtube to see for yourself.) On the Net: www.clubspace.com.tw
‧From 10pm to 5am
‧B1, 171 Songde Rd, Taipei City (台北市松德路171號B1)
‧Admission is NT$1,300 at the door