The Polar Bear Ice Skating World (北極熊滑冰世界) in Ximen may be the country’s only ice skating venue to provide access to a fully stocked bar, directly on the ice.
Fried Ice returns tomorrow, its third edition, with a party titled Attack of the Crease.
If you’re wondering what the Crease is, you’ll have to wait for it to make an appearance, at which point people will be able to shoot hockey pucks at it.
Can’t skate? Walking on the ice is permitted, but plenty of beginners have braved the blades in previous years. Besides, after a few drinks, no one can tell the difference.
This year, a new mobile DJ booth has been built for the party, which will be manned by five DJs. The lineup features two newcomers.
Digital D, real name DaTron DeShuan King, might be an unfamiliar monicker on the party circuit, but he’s no stranger to music. The native Texan began deejaying 10 years ago, but put practicing on the back burner when he came to Taiwan with his wife four years ago.
“When I moved here, I had to leave the hundreds of pounds of records I owned in the States and turntables are also not carry-on friendly when flying. So I actually abandoned deejaying for a bit because I didn’t have any equipment here,” said Digital D. “I used to be a vinyl purist. I was a huge critic of anyone using Serato.”
Digital D is hoping his gig at the ice skating party will help him get noticed. “It is like a mafia here,” he said. “Party organizers have their DJs and there’s no room for anyone else it seems.”
Although the DJ dabbles in drum ’n’ bass and hip-hop, he prefers to play house music.
“I just don’t understand how people can listen to other types of music,” he said. “To me, a lot of stuff people make these days is just noise. It can’t even be considered music and a lot of it gets mislabeled as house and it isn’t.”
However, branding him a house DJ would be a misnomer. He says that partygoers can expect his alter ego, D. Nasty, to take over at some point.
“I have a completely different set of skills that I haven’t heard from any DJ here,” he says. “You can’t do the same thing for all types of music, so depending on what I play, I bring a different set of skills.”
Better known as a bodybuilder, Jay Murf, real name Jason Audie Murphy, is putting down his weights for a night in favor of turntables. He’ll appear behind the decks as NeKbrace, and promises to play a set of all hip-hop, R ’n’ B and rap classics, except for Pitbull.
“In most hip-hop sets you hear the classics played throughout their mixes, or they play ‘club’ hip-hop like Pitbull. That’s not me. I’ll give you forgotten classics, and some very memorable ones, and the new fresh songs others haven’t heard yet,” said NeKbrace in an e-mail interview.
The aspiring DJ, who arrived in Taiwan from Nova Scotia, Canada, four years ago, only jumped on the decks a little less than a year ago.
“It was frustrating. A few times I felt like using a baseball bat on my turntables,” he said.
The heavyweight, who dedicates two or more hours a day to both deejaying and weight training, compares learning to DJ to his gym regimen: “Bodybuilders need a goal, and they must try their hardest each time they work out. I treat my practice sessions as workouts. Going into it with the mind-set that ‘I will be better at this by the end of the night’ helps.”
Catch both of these DJs alongside Marcus Aurelius, Robi Roka and Mr Uppity at the Polar Bear Ice Skating World tomorrow night, 8F, 13 Chengdu Rd, Taipei City (台北市成都路13號8樓). The entrance is directly across from Ximen MRT Station (西門捷運站), Exit 6. Doors open at 10:30pm and the party runs until 4:30am. Admission is NT$300, which includes rental of skates and safety equipment. Dress warm.