As today’s music shifts, blends and twists, new genres are popping up left, right and center. Conrank (real name Diccon Mayfield), who flies into Taiwan from Shanghai for a mini-tour this weekend at Revolver and Brickyard, has been busy in the studio producing drumstep, an amalgamation of drum ’n’ bass and dubstep.
“When I started making it, I actually didn’t know what I was making at the time,” Conrank told The Vinyl Word earlier this week. “I was on my own little musical adventure and then a few months later, people were telling me it sounded like drumstep, which is essentially drum ’n’ bass but with a more dubstep rhythm and almost a hip-hop flow to it.”
Conrank cites LTJ Bukem’s emotive drum ’n’ bass as an influence.
And how does he go about creating a new sound?
“I definitely have a process, that’s for sure, and it usually starts with synthesizer pads,” he said. “Once I have the right lush and ambient sound on a pad, I find a nice chord sequence and then build on that with little plinky plonky bits and then the drums come in. It’s not till later that the bassline gets added.”
Unsatisfied with being a DJ and a producer, Conrank has his fingers in many pies, including running the Rankadank record label. “One of the things I love about the label is hearing a demo, falling in love with it, and then being able to sign it and push it out to our fan base and, thanks to the Internet, the world.
“I am currently on the lookout for Asia-based producers, so demos can be sent to Rankadank on Soundcloud [www.soundcloud.com/rankadank].”
Conrank is no stranger to Taiwan. This weekend is his sixth time performing here, three times as half of the Super Milkmen with Joseph Shell. “I loved being part of the Super Milkmen, we had a lot of fun and made some good tracks, but deep down it wasn’t really where I wanted to go musically,” Conrank said. “Taiwan is an awesome country, and the people are so friendly and I just feel really lucky that I keep getting brought back. The women are pretty amazing, too, which is why I’m marrying one of them in 2012.”
Personally and musically, the future looks bright for Conrank. “I’m just going to keep hitting the studio and seeing where it takes me,” he said. “I want to find a nice balance between emotional and atmospheric sounds and bass-heavy, dancefloor smashing rhythms.”
What can people expect on the mini-tour this weekend? “Big basslines, jungle rhythms and lots of energy,” Conrank said.
■ Conrank at Revolver, 1-2, Roosevelt Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路一段1-2號), tonight from 10pm. Admission is NT$300, which includes a drink. He deejays tomorrow at Brickyard, B1, 507 Jhongshan 2nd Rd, Cianjin Dist, Greater Kaohsiung (高雄市前金區中山二路507號B1). Admission is NT$300 for gents and NT$150 for ladies. Open bar from 10pm to 11pm and two-for-one mixed drinks from 11pm to midnight. Students with a valid ID get in free before 1am
Flemish techno producer Peter Van Hoesen makes his Taiwan debut tomorrow night for Organik’s 10th party. As the head of two labels, Foton and Time to Express, Van Hoesen will have four hours behind the decks to conduct a musical journey featuring his interpretation of techno.
■ Organik presents Peter Van Hoesen tomorrow from 10pm to 5am at Pipe, 1 Siyuan St, Taipei City (台北市思源街1號), tel: (02) 2364-8198. On the Net: www.pipemusic.com.tw. Admission is NT$600 with a drink