One of the biggest challenges promoters face is popularizing indie music from around the globe to a scene that is years behind.
DJ/promoter Spykee Fat, real name Chin Hung-chieh (金弘杰), does his bit for the cause by pushing only artists that are little known to Taiwanese audiences.
In 2008, he brought Steve Aoki to The Wall (這牆), a gig attended by 500 people.
Three years later, Aoki played for thousands at the Halloween Massive on his third trip to Taipei. But Spykee had got there first.
His newest salvo is Gan-Ban Night at The Wall, featuring London-based DJ Erol Alkan.
But just what is Gan-Ban Night?
“Gan-Ban was first a record shop based out of Shibuya, Tokyo. It imported indie-rock and dance music. It became such an icon of Tokyo’s music scene that they launched a party series called Gan-Ban Night. Now, it has evolved so much that is has become the official party night of Fuji Rock Festival,” said Spykee.
Gan-Ban night has hosted electro stars like Justice, Boys Noize, Simian Mobile Disco, Busy P, Sebastian, Brodinski and Scissor Sisters. And now, it’s coming to Taiwan.
“For the first time, we have a really famous international indie-dance party series imported into Taiwan,” said Spykee. “Maybe this party will be the most suitable for The Wall’s vibe thus far.”
Erol Alkan, who is of Turkish descent, agrees.
“I feel that you have more opportunities in a small club, more options to experiment and take risks. As much as I love festivals, they are a celebration of a time and place, and your parameters are decided by that,” said Alkan in an interview with the Taipei Times.
In 1997, Alkan founded the London club Trash. To commemorate the venue’s closing in 2007, the Guardian published a story glorifying Trash’s 10-year stint, calling it “the place to see and be seen.”
During the club’s legendary run, it helped break artists like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peaches and Bloc Party. Its guest list was strict and the likes of Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson were turned away.
Between playing festivals like Coachella and producing songs for the Klaxons and Franz Fredinand, he has released official remixes for MGMT, Justice, Hot Chip, Scissor Sisters and Daft Punk.
“There is more music with Boys Noize, as well as some original music from myself, coming very soon,” said Alkan.
Alkan has an alter ego. He plays in the band Beyond the Wizards Sleeve.
“It’s just me and Richard Norris and [we do it] out of love for the psychedelic sounds and attitudes of a distant era. We released plenty of re-animations where we tried to bring the values of that time to modern music, and a modern approach to music of the 1960s,” says Alkan.
Dance Rock Taipei presents Gan-Ban Night featuring Alkan, Renaissance Man, Rory Philips, Spykee, Freaky Squeaker, Swing Child, Kurt and Inn tonight at The Wall, B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Tickets are NT$1,400, available at the door.
If that’s not enough electro, Agnst Asia and Dance Rock Taipei are teaming up to host an afterparty at China White tomorrow night. The lineup includes Kurt from Clash the Disco Kids in Singapore, Swing Child, Inn, Spykee, and Freaky Squeaker. China White is located in the alley beside Carnegies at 2F, 97-101, Dunhua S Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路二段97-101號). Entrance is NT$400 with a drink, and if you keep your stub from Gan-Ban night, admission is NT$300 with a drink. Doors open at 10:30pm.