It seems there is a new genre gaining popularity quickly. Or you could say it’s making a comeback. House music has officially returned to dance floors, captivating not only a throwback audience but also young souls that are growing tired of the homogenized sound streaming into “house music” clubs around the world.
When I say house, I don’t mean electronic dance music: I mean the kind of sultry house music that Miguel Migs played when he turned the lights down really low and transformed The Loft into a sophisticated den of musical soul and sex last week.
In case you’re wondering, it was exactly as red-light special as it sounds. It was perfect. And people had so much fun that promoters probably went home and e-mailed every other DJ like Migs before even kicking off their shoes.
Fortunately, they snagged DJ Rescue (real name Brian Hein). The Colorado-born, Bangkok-based DJ sounds a lot like Migs, and that’s because he pretty much started deejaying because of him. That happened in the late 90s, and Migs still inspires him so much that even to this day he is still playing music from that time. Migs is the perfect example of someone who is adept at changing with the times while staying true to the scene he loves, Rescue says.
Staying true is not an easy thing to do in an industry fueled by bottle-popping herds of wealthy sheep. Look at what happened to Mark Farina in Miami last year. The undisputable maker of mushroom jazz and kingpin of house music was asked to step off the decks after getting complaints from the table service crowd, who thought they were there to hear house music — commercial house music, that is.
Rescue says he doesn’t care: He’ll never conform. “If I’m not enjoying it, then I don’t want to do it,” he says. “I’d prefer to bring my sound to the true house heads around the world and stay connected to this scene I’ve been working hard in for so long.”
But just in case, to ensure that what happened to Farina doesn’t happen to him in a world full of affluent sheep with plastic power, Rescue keeps his sets fresh by ensuring they are musically diverse and technical. He is always mixing at least two — and sometimes three — tracks continuously and if it doesn’t cause dance floor mayhem, he says he tries new things until it does.
What pleases him most, however, is when dance floor mayhem breaks out because he’s dropped one of his own productions. The first time this happened, Rescue knew he had finally made it. “There are few things as satisfying as seeing such intense emotion on the dance floor, and knowing that it came from something you worked hard to create,” he said.
In the pursuit of dance floor mayhem in an international setting (and perhaps also of warmer winters), Rescue has been based out of Bangkok for the last six months hoping to make a lasting impact on the house music scene in Asia. It’s something he feels can’t be done with just a short tour. Who can blame him; most of us came here for “one year” and look at us now, still here. One thing can be said about those of us who just can’t seem to leave Asia behind, and especially those of us who find ourselves on Rescue’s dance floor tonight at Room 18 — we’re definitely not sheep.
■ DJ Rescue plays at That Dirty House tonight from 11pm to 430am at Room 18, B1, 88 Songren Rd, Taipei City (台北市松仁路88號B1). Admission is NT$700 and includes two drinks.