Although yes, I am a music reviewer and am required to keep an open mind about all music I listen to (I do try to do this to the best of my abilities), I do have to admit that EDM isn’t exactly my favourite genre. So I wasn’t too sure what to expect from today’s showcase featuring greats such as My Skin Against Your Skin, Poetek, Starr Chen and Nick Chou.
As My Skin Against Your Skin took to the stage to kick off the performance, I was pleasantly surprised by lead singer Andrea’s kind and gentle voice, which I especially appreciated in their second song “Youth”. In the Andrea’s conversation with the audience I saw a spunky confidence that had been bred by years of performance experience both in Taiwan and overseas. However, I was less than impressed by their set of songs. This being the first time I had heard them, not many of their songs were memorable and managed to stay in my mind, as to me many were set around a limited melodic range with Andrea just going up and down on the same notes, cooing and purring with no real direction. Their song “Number 8” basically copied Jolin Tsai’s singing style which I didn’t really appreciated I also noticed that although the lead singer tried to engage the audience with her body language and movements (mostly quite sexual based), she kept awkwardly returning back to the same set of moves, even when it didn’t fit in with what was happening in the music. Overall, although I was quite excited to hear this opening act, ended up quite underwhelmed. But maybe it’s just me, who knows?
Second up was Poetek, one of this year’s nominees for Best Newcomer and Best Album at the Golden Melody Awards. His performance was one I could totally get into. From the moment I stepped into the room, I was immediately attracted to his subtle and comforting voice and his flow which was dynamic yet unique. Something interesting about him was that he’s not one of those rappers who’s always raving and shouting ‘put your hands up!’, and instead has more of a comfortable aura to him, treating the audience as people he’s having a one-to-one conversation with. Every song I heard I was into, including the likes of “We Can”, “Little Rain”, “Testament”, and not to mention his collaboration with special guest and this year’s Best Newcomer winner, Eli Hsieh. I fell for Eli’s music upon first listen a few weeks back, and I must say, the two have an incredible chemistry performing together. Jamming on Eli’s own track “Wu Li’s Song”, Poetek fit right in busting his own rhymes while on Poetek’s hit single “Keep In Touch”, Eli’s soulful vocals really added to the song in a way only he could. Although I couldn’t hear the lyrics of “Keep In Touch” too well due to the venue, I checked it out a few days after, and was literally moved to tears. I kid you not. In other words, Poetek’s definitely an artist I can get behind, and he was in my opinion one of the best artists of the night!
Next up was famed EDM and hip hop producer Starr Chen who got the crowd going with his interesting remixes of popular songs, such as Show Luo’s “Enough” and Jolin Tsai’s “Play”, both of which were produced by him. I guess I’ve never been too knowledgeable about remix culture, but I did enjoy his set, and felt that the way he DJ’d truly had transformative qualities on the several songs he picked. The way he felt and smoothly orchestrated every drop in the music to really move audiences to feel something was terrific.
Last, but not least was Nick Chou, the talented singer-songwriter-producer who had recently picked up DJ-ing. Although I’d like to say his DJ-ing skills weren’t as slick as Starr’s, I still enjoyed myself immensely. The fact that he was able to pick it up basically overnight says to me that he’s just going to get better an better at it real soon! Wasn’t a fan of the models he had up on stage dressed in skimpy costumes, but what I noticed throughout was that Chou didn’t even look at them once, and only had eyes for his DJ equipment. Chou definitely had a more outgoing personality than Starr, and his passion for music shone through as he bounced around the stage like an energizer bunny, feeling every drop and change in the music with his heart and soul. Remixing popular US songs that even I knew, I really did have a fun time during his set. And looking out across the audience, I know they did too.
So I guess I’d say I learnt a little something about appreciating EDM and Hip Hop music. I kind of like it now, but don’t think I’ll be attending a rave anytime soon (I’d rather listen from the comfort of my own home).