Fri, Feb 07, 2014 - Page 10 News List

The Vinyl Word

By Marcus Aurelius  /  Contributing reporter

D-Rakkas from South Rakkas Crew flashes a big smile at last year’s Urban Nomad party.

Photo Courtesy of Steve Leggat

Instead of burning down Luxy’s dance floor with the brain-rattling EDM that is usually played in the main room, DJ Claptone, last Sunday night’s international headliner, went in the diametrically opposite direction. He calmly lit the fire, let the dancers simmer on the embers for a while, and then turned up the heat by playing his warm and welcoming deep house tunes for everyone to enjoy. Clad in a golden bird mask to conceal his identity, Claptone showed why he was one of the hottest producers of 2013 as he played his various remixes, his ode to the Wu-Tang Clan, Cream, and ended on his biggest track, No Eyes. House heads had wide smiles on their faces all night long.

Tonight, Urban Nomad hooks up with Super ADD to throw a party at Revolver called Neon Play Room, an “art party project.” Headliners for the event, Japanese retro-electro band Mop of Head, will also be playing at Go Chic’s album release party at The Wall earlier in the evening. Lead singer Takashi George Wakamatsu is also a “techno, electro, bass and rock” DJ, so he has joined the Urban Nomad line-up, which includes Mad Decent’s South Rakkas Crew, Cotton Disco and the Bounce Girlz playing together for the first time in two years, and (full disclosure) yours truly.

■ Super ADD and Urban Nomad present Neon Play Room tonight 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$400, which includes a drink.

South Rakkas Crew will be hitting up Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung this weekend for the second time. The crew is really just one man, Dennis “D-Rakkas” Shaw, who from the outside looking in seems like he spends most of his time touring around the world. “I tour in spurts,” D-Rakkas said in an e-mail interview.

“A week here, a month or two there, a weekend over here, etc. I’m still home most of the year. I need to be because it’s a lot easier to write new music when I’m at home. It’s just about finding a good balance.”

This year will bring a lot of new music for D-Rakkas as he’s been busy working with people on different parts of the planet.

“I have a new project featuring an artist based in Copenhagen named Kinck. The project will be called Rakkas Kinck and we’ll have an EP out this summer,” he said.

“I’m also working on a D-Rakkas EP. With this project I’m focusing more on the electro rather than the dancehall. I feel I have to give this side a new identity and really take it further than I have before.”

D-Rakkas keeps many different weapons in his DJ arsenal for the wide range of shows he has to play because every city he goes to is distinct.

“The crowds in Asia can vary greatly with locals and expats, different cultures, musical tastes and musical exposure,” D-Rakkas said. “I’m a versatile DJ and if the crowd is open I will play electro, reggae, dancehall, house, old school hip hop, trap and dubstep.”

Last year, D-Rakkas played Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung, so how do the scenes compare?

“I had a great time last year. I got to spend a week in Kaohsiung but only one day in Taipei, so it’s hard to really compare the two. I really like the vibe in Kaohsiung and it is actually now one of my favorite places in Asia. I hope I have a little more time to feel the good vibes in Taipei,” D-Rakkas said. “Musically Taipei seemed more up on the electro-type vibes, but I played for the Urban Nomad Film festival party so it was promoted differently than Brickyard in Kaohsiung which was pushed as a reggae and dancehall night.”

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