For more than 15 years, Underworld has lived up to its name with smoky air, begrimed basement floors, tagged-up walls, bands just getting off the ground and a bathroom that looks like the one in the heroin overdose scene in Trainspotting. For some, these characteristics would be a turn off, but for others, they wouldn’t have it any other way because Underworld is the undisputed capital of Taiwan’s underground scene. Tonight, the vibe of a decade ago collides with music that is ahead of its time when AB Koo presents Night of Future Past.
From 2000 to 2002, AB Koo used to have weekly drum and bass parties at Underworld, which at their peak would be sweaty affairs with MCs going off on the mic and DJs making sweaty masses bounce off the walls. AB Koo founder, Keith Brown, took a siesta from parties to raise a family, but has been spotted organizing a few events recently. Since Underworld’s days are numbered, Brown felt this would be the perfect time to do one last AB Koo event at Underworld with a list of top-notch forward-thinking DJs including Katrina, Em Lee, Sylvain, Legacy and Huii.
■ Night of Future Past tonight from 11:45 pm to 5:00am at Underworld (地下社會) B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1), tel: (02) 2369-0103. Admission is NT$250 and includes a drink.
A huge community of hippies, beatniks, ravers and various non-conformists will be frolicking in the mountains this weekend for the fifth anniversary of EarthFest Revolutions Electronic Music Festival. The big news this year is the change of venue, as the 40-hour party moves from Kunlun Gardens in Longtan to the Yen Family Pasture (顏氏牧場) in Nantou County.
“We searched for a long time for a new spot after the old location was shut down,” said MC Insatiable (real name Kelvin Alders), who has been attending EarthFest since it started. “This new, fully loaded campground is amazing. It has great views of the mountains, higher elevation, good drainage, a great coffee spot, good shade, many camping options, awesome free hot showers, many new and clean toilets and a lot of great bed and breakfasts very close to meet all the festival-goers’ needs.”
Insatiable says the organizers have been putting in a lot of 12-hour days on the site.
“There are two stages, both custom built with blood, sweat and tears,” Insatiable said. “One is for psytrance in all its various forms, and the other is all kinds of other electronic music ranging from techno, tech house, electro, drum and bass, glitch hop, dubstep, dub and psydub.”
EarthFest has instituted a no-MP3 policy for all the 50 DJs so that the revelers can “feel the intensity of the 50,000 watts of high fidelity sound,” Insatiable said.
He added that decorations are also a very important part of the trip. “There are thousands of hours that go into EarthFest preparations, and half of that is on decor.”
While the venue, music, and lighting are important, Insatiable believes that what sets EarthFest apart from the other festivals is the community that has been built around it. “The people that come make EarthFest make what it is,” Insatiable said. “Many of them get involved and help out with the decor or setup or even the admin side of things. It is a big group of grassroots folks creating something different and fresh. We do it together just because we can. Our motto is go crazy, you are free!”
■ EarthFest Revolutions Electronic Music Festival, Yen Family Pasture (顏氏牧場), 28, Shushang Lane, Tao-mi Eco Village, Puli Township, Nantou County (埔里鎮桃米生態村水上巷28號). The festival runs from 7:45pm today continuously until 12:45am on Sunday. For the list of DJs and directions, visit www.earthfest.tw. Admission is NT$1,400.