The Vinyl Word

By Olivia Wycech  /  Contributing reporter

Fri, Jun 07, 2013 - Page 10

Simian Mobile Disco is a name synonymous with the finest idiosyncratic electronic music. But James Ford and Jas Shaw are more than just that. Their stylistic range has even associated them with groups like Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem. But actually, their sound is closer to the best damn techno you’ve ever heard. After many years of effort, The Wall (這牆) has finally booked Simian Mobile Disco to perform on Thursday.

The electronic dance music duo usually caters to a more purist audience, and has little to no interest in going mainstream. In fact, in an interview with the Taipei Times, Shaw said there isn’t much correlation between underground electronic music and mainstream electronic pop, besides the name.

“EDM [electronic dance music] is a pointless catchall term that’s as blunt as ‘guitar music,’” he explained. “It appeared as a title for the maximal mainstream electro that has become popular in the US over the last 3 years. Anyone who thinks EDM refers to all electronic music is clueless.”

Together as Simian Mobile Disco, Ford and Shaw have released three studio albums as well as live and remix albums. They go into the studio with one goal: to produce something that has its own identity. Anything that sounds too much like something they’ve already heard, they scrap. Their studio houses some pretty unusual equipment, and Shaw called their production process needlessly complicated. But it’s this process that leads to different results. Results that set them far, far apart from other electronic dance music producers.

Their most recent album as Simian Mobile Disco is called Delicacies, where many of their songs are named after culinary experiences throughout their years of touring. “Delicacies are usually pretty odd-tasting things,” Shaw said. “They are disgusting to many people but utterly delicious to people who consider them delicacies. We like the parallel that has with music.”

And what better place for eating edibles than Taiwan? “James loves to try delicacies, particularly offal. Please bring him treats!” said Shaw.

■ Simian Mobile Disco plays Thursday from 9pm to 3:30am at The Wall (這牆), B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1). Admission is NT$800 at the door and includes a drink. Tickets in advance are NT$600. More information is available at

Scorching summer temperatures are here, but thankfully there are pools to cool off in. Frog in a Sock kicks off a season’s worth of pool parties Wednesday, a public holiday, and has linked up with Red Bull Music Academy to push the boundaries of summer fun.

“What we are trying to do is redefine the pool party experience in Taiwan,” explained Marcus Aurelius, a Vinyl Word contributor and Frog in a Sock organizer. “We want people to come up to the newly renovated country club and relax while hearing some of the best music in the world.”

Frog in the Sock has already confirmed dates with Taiwan’s best DJs and bands, plus with artists like Fool’s Gold’s Nick Hook, Dave Nada and the always entertaining Sammy Bananas.

■ Wednesday from 11am to 9pm at the Taipei Country Club (台北鄉村俱樂部), 1 Qing Yun St, Taipei City (台北市信義區青雲街1號). Entrance is free from 11am to 1pm. Admission after 1pm is NT$300 for women and NT$400 for men. Includes a drink.