Rovo founder Katsui, contacted through e-mail earlier this week, explained that in comparison to DJed trance, “instrumental trance music [performed] by human beings with a band style…[is] more dynamic.” The goal, he says, is to fulfill music’s most primitive and ritual functions, “prayer and dance.”
“Rovo always thinks, what’s the root of music? What’s the purpose of music? Why did people need music in the beginning? We think it’s for prayer and dancing,” he said.
Rovo calls their music “man drive trance,” and when performed live it is somewhere between a psychedelic jam band and instrumental electronica. They also borrow freely from ambient, jazz, world beat and prog rock. It would probably be best to see them at a festival playing under the stars or on a beach, but an indoor venue with an intense light show will also do in a pinch. The band has so far produced more than a dozen albums (including a full album with only one track) and has become regulars on Japan’s festival circuit.
Rovo’s most recent album, Phoenix Rising, was produced in collaboration with System 7, the UK duo of Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy. The 62-year-old Hillage, a veteran of Britain’s psychedelic scene of the 1970s who two decades later went on to set up the first ever “Dance Tent” at the Glastonbury Festival, is in fact one of Katsui’s musical heroes.
“When I was young I dreamed of joining Steve Hillage’s band, and now my dream has come true. I’m playing with Steve Hillage,” Katsui says.
Though recent performances in Japan featured Rovo and System 7 separately, “In Taiwan we have only one set. We will entirely focus on playing in one big jam,” including “songs from both bands.”
Rovo and System 7 perform tonight from 8pm at Legacy, 1, Sec 1, Bade Rd (台北市八德路一段1號). Tickets are NT$1,500, or NT$1,200 in advance through www.indievox.com.
TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB CANCELS
Two Door Cinema Club, the Irish rock band launched by the French dance music label Kitsune, is young, disinterestedly good-looking and plays the kind of catchy pop tunes kids love to dance to. They were scheduled to play Sunday in Taipei, but have unexpectedly cancelled their Asian tour.
“We never cancel shows and normally we would struggle through any illness to play for you guys but unfortunately Alex [Trimble] is suffering from an acute form of laryngitis,” said the band in a statement that sounds like it was borrowed from a Brady Bunch episode. “It’s clear that there is no way that he will be able to sing for the next week at least.”
Other gigs continue to fill up the Taipei calendar. James Blake will play Legacy on Jan. 17 (NT$2,400), and Earwax has just announced a six-band mini-festival that will include Mogwai, The National, Daughter, King Krule and Youth Lagoon. The performances will take place over two nights at Legacy on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19, and early bird two-day passes were on sale Tuesday night at Franz Ferdinand — an awesome show, by the way — for NT$4,200.