It seems that dance music is starting to take a break from its own epic-ness and looking backwards towards the future. Marathon Edits (real name Ben Becker) and Studebaker Hawk (real name Justin Cohen) will be bringing their own unique disco sounds all the way from Boston via Hong Kong to Tin Pan Alley in Tainan tonight and Revolver tomorrow.
Marathon Edits threw Intelligent Dance Music parties from the mid-2000s on, but then caught the disco bug in 2011. “Marathon Edits is a concept,” Edits said in an e-mail interview. “I cut classic disco and electronic pieces from the ’70s and ’80s and rebuild them into modern anthems. All of my edits are extended lengths and full of energy from start to finish. Marathon is the term which best describes these tracks.”
While Edits used to enjoy his time at electronic shows, he now feels bored. “I think I make it 20 minutes at a techno show before I get tired and leave,” Edits said. “Disco on the other hand, has melodies and chord progressions that can really be quite complex. Each track is quite distinct and can go anywhere. That’s why it’s much harder to mix disco, and why it’s so much fun to edit.”
Studebaker Hawk, who got his moniker from the chromed-out 1950s sports cars, has made his love of vinyl into a business. “I’ve always been music obsessed and digging for records,” Hawk said. “When I was a kid I’d constantly make mix tapes for myself and everyone who’d take them. My brother bought a set of turntables and left them in my parents’ house when he moved abroad. I just assumed I’d start spinning and it ended up taking over my life, leading me towards buying old DJs’ collections, and dealing records as my main occupation.”
In high school, he enjoyed breakdancing to artists like Midnight Star, Zapp & Roger and D-Train, which turned him on to disco.
“As much as I love house music, disco and funk are really what moves me. The tones that really excite me tend to be deep cosmic synthesizers, found in a lot of European and Asian disco, and African boogie,” Hawk said.
But why would these two, who now live in Hong Kong, want to spread their sound to Taiwan? “I’ve had a lot of friends play Taiwan, so it just seemed natural,” Edits said. “Also, Taiwan is an island of rebels, and I love that. Let’s raise our own flag and carve out our own destinies.”
Fine Imported DJs with Studebaker Hawk, Marathon Edits and Lyova Lyubov is tonight at Tin Pan Alley from 10pm to 5am, 28, Beimen Rd Sec 2, Greater Tainan (台南市東區北門路二段28號). Admission is NT$150 with a drink. RAW1ST with Studebaker Hawk, Marathon Edits, CFB Flobare, Jay Zhidao, Dallas Waldo, Simon, Shorty, Puzzle Man, Hulo, Joe Record, Radio Ra, and Orine is tomorrow at Revolver from 10pm to 4am, 1-2, Roosevelt Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路一段1-2號). Admission is NT$200, which includes a drink.
For fans of Chicago house music, Bass Kitchen’s Deep Fried House featuring Tevo Howard will be quite a treat. One of the founders of Bass Kitchen, as well as a DJ of the night, Yoshi Nori, explained his thoughts on the booking. “I think it’s fantastic to dig new music, but it’s also important to study the history and roots of music,” Nori said. “We want to bring the rawest and most traditional form of house music to Taipei. Although Howard only started releasing streams of production in 2007, he has been in the middle of Chicago’s house scene since the late ’80s, and he still keeps the core of the Chi-town sound alive today.”