02 Jun 2021
by michelle.ng | ES RADIO, Interview
Taking things into the belly of Taiwan’s underground music scene in the next mix for Electric Soul Radio #6 is Venci, a Taiwanese techno DJ fresh on the decks.
Accountant by day and DJ by night, Venci takes techno music as seriously as she does food. Experimenting with both trendier electronic music genres and retro, analog tunes, Venci has carved out a quirky yet modern spin on techno with acid breakbeats and minimal psy. Venci has very strong ties to her hometown Taitung, with the end goal of bringing out the cultural heritage through the local electronic music scene.
Together with her exclusive mix, Venci shares more about her techno journey, her musical inspirations, and - of course -her recommendations on where to go if you’re ever in Taiwan for a nightclub event or a festival.
Electric Soul: Can you introduce yourself to our readers out of Taipei?
Venci: I’m Venci, and I’m from Taitung, Taiwan. I’m currently doing tax-related work in Taipei. I started releasing songs in 2019. Since then, life has been filled with happiness from multiple sources; providing a channel for stress relief and a chance to broaden social circles. After joining the Audio Mixing Club back in university, I became interested in DJ culture. Since then, I started to listen to hip hop and electronic music, as well as participating in various parties which are considered sub-cultural by the public.
Electric Soul: 可以跟我們的讀者介紹一下你自己嗎?
ES: Where does your passion for techno come from?
V: I’m currently into techno’s heavy and solid drums. I listen to techno to help me manage stress, and when I go to parties, I would only feel like dancing when I hear techno. Techno changes, whether it is from the time evolution on the vertical axis or the same period on the horizontal axis. Techno is diverse, where each track is just as charming and suitable to be inserted into a set. At parties and in life, I like fast-paced and energetic techno music the most.
ES: Are there artists you look to for inspiration?
ES: Would you name an up-and-coming DJ that people should pay attention to?
V: Evaporate’s Koliseum. His ability to select and arrange music should not be overlooked. His skills are worth the attention of many.
ES: 有那一個未來之星的DJ 大家應該注意的嗎？
Photo: Daniel Imanga Photography
ES: What is your favourite place to go in Taiwan？
V: I actually think the location is only the second most important thing. What’s most important is who you go with. XD If you insist, I’d say I love places with good music. For example, various music parties that are held at Beat Square in Ximen every month, such as the Riverside Party in Dazhi, Eden Hill Festival, Organik Festival, and of course Taipei’s B1, Pawnshop, and FINAL - each has their own uniqueness that appeals to me.
V: 其實我覺得地點是其次，主要是和誰去 XD，硬要說的話，有好聽的音樂的地方都滿喜歡，譬如每月會在西門舉辦的節拍廣場還有各種音樂派對，例如：大直的Riverside party, Eden hill festival伊甸高原派對、Organik Festival有機派對，當然台北的B1,Pawnshop 和 Final也各有特色，我也喜歡。
ES: What are the must do in Taiwan?
V: A. Taitung; a. Green Island’s Asahi Hot Springs, because there’s only three undersea hot springs in the world; b. Green Island’s Prison: It will help you to gain a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s early history; c. Green Island’s Snorkeling, because the seabed is really beautiful.
V: Ａ. 台東：a. 綠島朝日溫泉，因為世界只有三處海底溫泉；b. 綠島監獄：對於台灣初期的歷史可以有深刻理解；c. 綠島浮潛，海底真的很美。
B. Taitung: A solo drive along Provincial Highway 9, from Zhiben to Taimali Township. The sea view along this section of the south-bound highway is beautiful. If the weather is good, you can also spot Orchid Island. Orchid Island is also another favourite place I’d recommend.
C. Taitung: The hot air balloon and paragliding in Luye Highland. You can enjoy the scenery of East Rift Valley, which has a spread of luscious green paddy fields and mountains that are incredibly breathtaking. I would recommend that you visit the place early in the morning, because morning is when the chances of hot air balloon lifting off is higher! When that’s over, you can make a trip to Luye’s Long Tian Cycling, where there’s a boulevard you can cycle comfortably on. Very comfortable!
D: Taipei: Savouring the Dou Fu Hua (tofu pudding or douhua) in Qingguang Shopping District. It is addictive from the first bite! It is hard to find a flavour like this elsewhere. Compared to the Dou Fu Hua from Hong Kong and Macau, the traditional Taiwanese Dou Fu Hua is very different in taste. It’s worth trying!
Photo: Zolima city mag
E: Taipei: Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and all three branches of the National Taiwan Museum (the main museum, the Nanmen Park, and the Railway Department Park that was opened recently). The ticket price is cheap, but the rewards in return are plentiful!
F. Tainan: Chimei Museum, a place you must visit at least once in your lifetime. You can visit the place the entire day, and it would still not be enough for this enormous, private museum! The collection in the museum is rich and varied; it is simply spectacular!
G. Tainan: There are night markets every night in Tainan, although I only ever went for two. However, the snacks in Tainan are abundant and cheap, I would highly recommend them! (it’s sweeter in taste, so it’ll take some time to get used to, hah!)
ES: What do you think about the future of Taiwan's electronic music scene?
V: Its future definitely has more diversity and vibrance in it. Every genre of music has its own budding potential. Especially the recent warm up of Taiwan’s coronavirus epidemic, many people could only listen to songs, play them, and arrange them at home. So, my guess is that when this epidemic is over, it might experience a more vibrant growth. But electronic music now is still considered non-mainstream. Since I listen to a lot of this genre of music, there’s really very few people around me who listen to it. But we will strive to promote it, diversify its audience, and disperse its target age group more. :P
ES: Can you describe your state of mind during a DJ set?
V: Very nervous and incredibly enjoyable. The pressure is enormous but once it’s over, it’s a huge sense of relief. I feel immense pressure because for every event and activity, I’d like to put out different songs. I invest a lot of time listening to them, buying them, and then practicing them. What I find relieving is when I see the dancers enjoying themselves when the music is played, the pressure disappears 😅.
ES: Which festival would be your dream to play at?
V: Frankly, I don’t really have any particular music festival in mind for now, because I still need practice hahaha! So long as I’m able to play music, I’m already more than grateful for it! I will continue to work on it! ;-)
*Interesting fact: “大大武花大武花” (literal translation: The big, great martial flower, great martial flower) is a phrase used by local Tainan people to remember which night market is being held each day in Tainan. It’s an acronym of the first character of each night markets’ name in the order of their turn to operate in a given week.
Translation: Wei Yi Pua
Listen to Venci’s exclusive guest mix for Electric Soul below.