After the rush of the holidays is over, lots of DJs resolve to start producing music. After all, production is the next logical step in the process of gaining an international name. But Ben UFO (real name Ben Thompson), who will be playing a set at Korner tonight, altogether eschewed this process and instead made a name for himself with his technical prowess and fearless musical selection.
“There’s so much brilliant music around already that I feel saturated by it to the point where even now, with deejaying as a full time job, I couldn’t possibly listen to everything,” UFO told Taipei Times over e-mail.
“I’ve also often felt as though learning to produce would somehow detract from my enjoyment of listening to electronic music. I think it’s possible that being fairly blind to the production process might have put me in a position whereby I’m able to trust my instincts a little more,” he said.
UFO got into deejaying by accident when he started buying singles and getting more into dance music. By the mid-2000s, UFO was a part of the growing dubstep scene in London. It was then that he launched record label Hessle Audio with his friends.
“A lot has happened in the past few years, and I couldn’t have predicted the music we’d be releasing or playing now if you’d asked me 6 years ago,” UFO said.
“There is, I think, a pretty clear line between what we were releasing in 2007 and what we’re releasing now, but it’s not been a straightforward or linear progression. I would have been extremely surprised to learn that we would predominantly be playing in house and techno clubs, but it’s a transition that makes a lot of sense in retrospect,” he said.
Tonight, Korner-goers can expect the unexpected, as Ben UFO doesn’t even know exactly what he will be playing.
“Generally speaking, my DJ sets are entirely improvised. I might have a rough idea of where I’d like to start, and certain tracks that I know I’d like to play over the course of the set, but I’ve found that I enjoy myself much more when I’m not tied to a pre-planned selection,” he said.
Ben UFO plays tonight with Yoshi and Initials BB at Korner from 11:30pm to 4am, B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Admission is NT$750 at the door and the ticket includes a drink.
On the other side of town on the same night at the same time, a party is happening that is different, but slightly comparable. DJ Nina (also known as Nina Chien, 錢嘉珍), is hosting her second installment of That Dirty House Volume II with DJs NDU, Sona, Dark and HiFive at Room 18.
“I guess it’s a bit similar to Korner’s underground vibe but with a lot more funky, soulful and deep house music,” Nina said.
Her first event at Room 18 in October of 2013 was headlined by DJ Rescue. “Rescue has always been one of my favorite American underground house producers,” she said. “Knowing that he was coming to Taiwan, I just felt obligated to put together a party for him since I think I am probably his number one fan in Taiwan.”
That Dirty House Volume I was a smashing success so Nina decided to do more. “The turnout of that party was so impressive that I had no choice but to keep it going,” she said.
Nina feels that her parties are different because people that come aren’t there just to be seen and to look cool. “The people come to dance and for the love of music that they rarely get to hear and dance to in other clubs these days,” she said.