For the Love of the Music
Interesting things happen when the Godfather of Taipei’s dance scene and it’s Grandaddy of party-production reunite. Degenerate factory grounds come alive. Strangers gather in the darkness, following the bass that permeates the walls. Lasers illuminate surreal paintings and structures left by advant-garde artists. A wave of people bob in rhythm to the drums and bass. Matching the tempo changes and dropped beats of the DJ like a symphony directed by a conductor. The chains of the mundane are broken and new bonds are made in the shadow of “Moonlit Ruins”.
These “Moonlit Ruins,” being the abandoned Nangang Bottle Cap Factory(南港瓶蓋工廠), provide a unique venue and set the tone befitting the sounds which were produced there. Unconventional parties are not a new concept to party producers Just One Fix and AB Koo. Having both (independently) visited London in 1993, they brought back with them the sounds of Electronic Dance Music and ushered in a new genre to Taipei. In 1994, DJ @llen (Chen Wen-hong /陳文宏), the mastermind behind Just One Fix (then Bin Lang Productions) hosted the radio show “Tekno Invasion” in which Keith Brown of AB Koo (AB褲) would guest. It was the beginning of a long drum and bass filled career for both of them.
In 1995, DJ @llen organized “Finally… The Party.” Set on a flood plane at the edge of the city, it was the first ever outdoor music party in Taipei. “…it was so liberating to have a party that was on our terms, and not those of club “lao bans” (owners),“ Keith Brown says in regards to “Finally… The Party.” In the same year DJ @llen organized “The Second Coming,” the second outdoor rave in Taipei history. “For a few years from 1995, I (DJ @llen) was the only one throwing (an) underground rave party here. So people who came to my party know what we are going to give them.” Since then, DJ @llen has reached beyond the borders of Taiwan and his events have included influential DJs and artists such as singer/producer Lim Giong (林強), DJ Da (the first drum and bass DJ in Taiwan), DJ Stingray from Singapore and many others.
AB Koo, on the other hand, exerted its presence in 1996 by organizing parties under the Hua Zhong Bridge (華中). It was not long before DJ @llen and AB Koo were partners, nurturing a music scene that would still hold today. “AB Koo quickly became known as the only organizer pushing Drum ‘n’ Bass. We did about 10 parties (all of them free) under the Hua Chung Bridge,” said AB Koo. “We’ve always been keen to include DJs playing other musics however, so our parties have had House, Breaks, Speed Garage, Two-Step, and other forms of dance music in there.” AB Koo and Just One Fix have found their home and heart in the underground. “We’ve flirted with the big-time a little, by bringing out big-name DJs such as Adam Freeland, Matrix, Tayo, Lee Burridge, Phil K and a few more, but even with those names we have always stayed close to the underground.”
The early days of underground parties in Taipei were about nothing more than doing it all for the love of music. By bringing in new creative styles of music and international flavor, things were being shaken up a bit, and Taipei’s music scene was feeling the influence. However, in the mid 2000s, things would have to be put on hold. In 2004 AB Koo needed to take a breather. “I took a 7-year hiatus from party organizing. I’ve got two kids who were born during that downtime, so it’s pretty obvious why I took that extended break.” Around the same time, DJ @llen left Taiwan to go on tour, taking his music and parties with him. While Taipei’s underground has continued to thrive, with two of the most memorable players absent from the scene, things have quieted down some over the last couple of years.
Jump forward to 2011/2012. DJ @llen’s career brought him home to Taipei after 6 years abroad. Seven years into AB Koo’s adjournment, it returned to the scene organizing the event “I七CH.” It was not long before DJ @llen and AB Koo were working together again and “Moonlit Ruins” was born. Taking place Moon Festival weekend it would hold true to their underground roots. It would hold true to their unique and unusual party venues. It would be a party to remember. Once again, it would be all for the love of the music.
The vibe of Moonlit Ruins’ was one of respect, nostalgia and eagerness to get down and dirty with some old school, vinyl spinning DJs. It’s a rare event in which the old meshes so well with the new. Old buildings full of new purpose. Old school parties with a hip young crowd. Throw back prices (NT$50 a Carlsberg) for today’s thirst. Moonlit Ruins brought talented DJs together to spin for a diverse crowd. Bringing out the young, old, Taiwanese and foreign alike.
As for the future. AB Koo is content “just going to other people’s parties,” but Just One Fix doesn’t seem to be slowing down. On October 20th, Just One Fix is teaming up with Cliché Records and Frog in a Sock to bring you, “The Lost Paradise Project V. 04” with an amazing line up headlining Duke Dumont. Just One Fix is also partnering with Base Kitchen Taipei to bring you “Bass Kitchen 3rd Birthday [ 三周年倉庫派對 ]” on November 16th which includes international DJ’s Juan Maclean from New York and DJ Kent aka The Backwoods from Tokyo. It’s gonna be a beat dropping, bass bumping, dance filled end of the year. Let’s hope your ready to party.
OCT 20th: The Lost Paradise Project V. 04
NOV 16th: Bass Kitchen 3rd Birthday [ 三周年倉庫派對 ]
JUAN MACLEAN (DFA Records)
DJ KENT aka THE BACKWOODS (Ene Records, Force of Nature)
DJ @LLEN (Just One Fix)
BB (Bass Kitchen)
MINIJAY (Bass Kitchen)
YOSHI NORI (Bass Kitchen)