The Vinyl Word

By David Momphard and Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Fri, Nov 21, 2003 - Page 19

After experiencing the Sturm and Drang of Dusseldorf's hardcore trance scene with Timo Maas, it may seem natural to seek more ambient aural climes this Sunday afternoon at Bacchus.

The new "disco lounge" in the Warner Village area has been open for around four months and is responding to the shameful lack of any serious after-party-parties in the city.

Urban Sunday sounds like the place to be if only because it's "kinda like a Sunday tea dance. We don't want no druggy people going there," said Jimmy Chen, DJ and partner at the notorious TeXound. Think soulful house, latin and groove, with a jazz vibe. "The music's lazy, so you can feel easy."

Jimmy will be joined by friend and urban legend Victor Cheng on the decks, along with Mitch Tsai and guests. And the beauty of it all is there's no cover charge before 2pm.

The local Chinese-language press has been frothing a bit over Japan's Fantastic Plastic Machine and with good cause. Set to appear tonight and tomorrow at Moshi Moshi, Tomoyuki Tanaka is a dilettante in the best sense of the word. He was a fashion editor and the host of a pop culture radio show, but now he has metamorphosed into the smooth operator of new groove.

Tanaka has put out three albums since 1998 -- The Fantastic Plastic Machine, Luxury and Beautiful. He also does production for other artists and puts out the occasional single. His music is said to mix Bacharach-style samples, dance floor beats and electronica, with a sense of humor.

Not this weekend but coming up next week is a free concert from Chi2, with DJ Alex 36 and special guests. The two sisters from London town have been here or hereabouts in Asia for the past six weeks and this is their big performance.

Sarah and Liz Liew said they would be incorporating sounds based on their Taiwan visit, along with the mix-and-match style of classical electronica the pair has been developing for an upcoming album on the sidelines of their high-profile session work with the likes of Moby.

Highest on the weekend horizon is Timo Maas' set tonight at 2nd Floor. Though he's described himself as an underdog of progressive house music, Maas is one of its top dogs as well. He's produced or remixed more than 85 tracks in the past three years, including titles with Fatboy Slim and Madonna. His debut album of original material, Loud was released last year and has dominated the dance charts since. Vinyl Word caught up with him through e-mail.

Vinyl Word: Is this your first time here?

Maas: It's not my first time in Asia, but it is my first time in Taiwan. I'm looking forward to it a lot. I love playing places for the first time.

VW: What in your record case is getting a lot of rotation?

Maas: Well, ever since I started running my own label (420), I support a lot of the breaking artists on that, especially LocoDice. Martin Buttrich, my producer and friend, did a remix of the new Locodice, so that's getting the most spins at the moment.

VW: Do you prefer DJing or producing?

Maas: I definitely prefer DJing as that is my first love and I have been doing it for so long. I love the traveling and the clubs and the crowds. When I am in the studio with Martin it involves a completely different mindset. Martin and I tend to smoke a lot to try and keep the groove on.

VW: Loud has been better received than a lot of "artist albums." Any plans for another?

Maas: Martin and I are currently working on a new album. We have all the instrumentals ready now and are beginning to look for vocalists and vocal ideas. The record will be out sometime next year. That's all I can tell you.


Urban Sunday is at Bacchus, B1, 12 Songshou Rd, Taipei (台北市松壽路12號B1), in the Neo 19 building next to Warner Village. Open from 1pm to 7pm, no cover charge before 2pm, NT$250 with one drink thereafter. For information, call 2345 6928.

Fantastic Plastic Machine, at Moshi Moshi, 108 Da'an Rd, Sec 1, Taipei. Tonight and tomorrow, 10pm to 3am, NT$800. For information, call 2778 9667.

Chi2 is a British Council Taipei performance, free at 8pm outside the Taipei Artist Village on Thursday, at 7 Beiping E Road, Taipei (台北市北平東路7).

Timo Maas appears tonight at 2nd Floor. Tickets are NT$900 at the door. 2nd Floor is located at 15 Heping W. Rd. in Taipei (台北市和平西路15號).