If you want to hear good techno, you go to Korner. But sometimes, independent promoters step in and shake things up. Ultra Dance Society (UDS) is a not so new initiative by local promoter Tan Yuan-chun (譚元淳), who is best known by his alias Disk0kidz. Tan is also known for taking the much-loved basement venue and brightening it up by throwing parties whose music direction caters to more than just hardcore electronic music fanatics.
Instead, UDS embraces a variety of music and artists, Tan said in an interview with the Vinyl Word, because he never wants his parties to be specific to any one genre. Nu-disco, funk, house, electronica, hip-hop, techno, breaks and UK bass are all styles of sound that he explores when looking for artists to book. The diversity is apparent in past bookings like Breakbot, Jupiter, Adam Freeland, Evil Nine, Surkin and French Kiwi Juice, which UDS has all turned into household names in Taiwan.
“UDS in Taiwan is labeled as underground music, and as the EDM scene rose so fast in Taipei, less clubs and venues were willing to cooperate with us because of our different environment — this really frustrated me for a while,” Tan said.
He added that he hopes mainstream clubs become more open to all kinds of music and promoters, no matter what music they bring, so long as the quality is good.
“After all, the music is the main thing on the dance floor,” Tan said.
It’s hard sometimes, however, to draw people to your dance floor when the DJs you book are relatively obscure. Well, obscure by local standards but quite the opposite to the rest of the world. So Tan goes about promoting UDS parties in a way that teaches people about the musical culture. First, his music policy puts quality over any sort of quantity, and in doing that he has built himself a solid reputation as a promoter with impeccable musical taste who doesn’t necessarily care about how many fans he draws. Then, instead of repeatedly blasting his event on social media, he takes the time to blog on various forms of social media about his artists, promoting their backgrounds and their musical catalogues, and blasts that instead. It helps him educate while spreading the word.
His latest discovery is Cherokee, a French house duo from France. When asked why his bookings tend to usually hail from France, Tan said that he finds French dance music samples a lot of music from the 70s and 80s, when music had a more melodic groove. Compared to other dance music genres, it’s music that can be played anytime and anywhere.
Cherokee, made up of DJs Darius and Hana Yori Kichou Na, bring their interpretation of French house to Korner tonight, which Tan describes as being a cutting edge rare and re-edit of disco blended with a lot of sexy sounds. To get an idea, listen to their slow and sultry remix of Daft Punk’s Something About Us, which garnered over 40,000 plays in the first few days of release. It now sits at over one million. It perfectly captures the essence of the French house movement and who Cherokee is, and especially what Ultra Dance Society wants to be.
■ Cherokee plays tonight from 11:30pm to 5am at Korner (inside The Wall, 這牆), B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Tickets are NT$800 at the door, and admission includes one drink.