While scouring through Bicycle Corporation’s SoundCloud page, the remix for the hauntingly beautiful song, Mad World by Gary Jules, jumped out at me. Bicycle Corporation had added a bit of prog techno to the minimal piano parts until Jules’ melancholy voice kicks in halfway through. They didn’t change much, but what they did rearrange kept all the goodness of the original and added just enough to make it special. This is a testament to the production abilities of Marco Mei, one half of Bicycle Corporation, who will be displaying his deejay skills tonight at the Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村).
Mei, who is residing in Taiwan for the whole year, has been into music for more than three decades. “Everything began at the beginning of the 1980s, when I started to attend the first New Wave nights on Fridays in a small club in my city, Torino, Italy,” Mei said in an email interview with the Taipei Times. “On Saturdays, my brother and I always went to listen to afro beat, funk and world music. This was when I started building my background in music and learning what was giving me the great emotions each time I put the needle on a record.”
When Mei was at the clubs, though, getting his groove on wasn’t really his thing. “I was completely absorbed by the music so I didn’t feel like dancing as much as watching those people putting their music on and making people dance,” he said. “So I started thinking how much I would love to make people dance, too.”
With the decision to play records made, Mei got his first gig in 1991, and he has been deejaying and producing ever since. Mei describes his style as global beats. “It’s simply a mixture of pure house music with different influences, sometimes deep and sometimes more techno,” Mei said.
In 2004, Mei experienced the highlight of his DJ career when he landed a summer residency at Pacha in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. “I feel really lucky having had the pleasure and honor to play all around the world in so many places and fantastic clubs,” Mei said. “But after playing Pacha, I felt I really had been playing in one of the most important clubs in the world. The experience that you can get from playing for a crowd of 3,000 people is just amazing. It leaves you speechless.”
Meeting by chance in 2008, Mei joined forces with Stefano Ugliano, also known as 6884, to form Bicycle Corporation. “We’re a great duo in each one complements the other,” Mei said. “He really is an incredibly skilled guy … young and talented. There wouldn’t be any Bicycle Corporation without him and I hope he says the same thing about me!”
Mei and Ugliano have collaborated on more than 50 tracks that have been released and plan to keep on working together on many projects in the future. “Since the beginning, it has all been an experiment trying to define our own style and doing many different things,” Mei said. “We are proud of where this is taking us.”
While only half of Bicycle Corporation is in Taiwan, Mei is still excited about the show tonight because he likes to use the location of his gigs as inspiration. “It’s fascinating because it won’t be the usual exhibition in a club, but it will be immerged into arts, and that’s the perfect scenario for music, which is first of all, art itself,” Mei said.
■ Marco Mei and Wanghart, tonight from 9pm to 2am at the Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村), 7 Beiping E Rd, Taipei City (台北市北平東路7號), tel: (02) 3393-7377. Admission is NT$300 and comes with a drink.