Taiwan Beats Showcase: An Exercise In Global Musical Mastery

Feature image courtesy of AMW Group

For multi-lingual fans of indie music, the Taiwan Beats Showcase is nothing short of watershed.

Haven’t heard of it? Well, let’s change that, and dig into one of the most interesting, and potentially integral celebrations of world music of the twenty-first century.

It’s no secret that the far east has a rich, diverse, and varied musical and cultural history. Fans who find themselves perpetually genre surfing may well already be aware of the celebration’s merits, but for new fans, or one’s who are looking to take the next musical step in their exploration: you’ve come to the right place.

In 2021, SXSW’s showcase was a raving success, and so, for 2022, SXSW has expanded the field to include even more revolutionary Taiwanese artists including the likes of Elephant Gym, Sorry Youth, Olivia Tsao, Mong Tong, and DJ QuestionMark. For listeners, and viewers, the showcase serves as a literal smorgasbord of lights, sounds, and mind-bending, genre-imploding music.

The Austin Monthly raved, “One of the most visually compelling and aurally diverse showcases of the weekend.” And with good reason – it’s events such as this that celebrate diversity, and bring awareness to music that perhaps may otherwise be relegated, or confined to its home region.

The event kicks off with Sorry Youth at the storied Garden venue and ably glides into its next phase with DJ QuestionMark laying down a furious set in a culturally significant carnival truck. Olivia Tsao keeps things moving along with a wonderfully melodic, and angelic set against the backdrop of the Chuan Mei Theater, a venue which uses old-school, hand-painted posters, and is also located in Tsao’s hometown of Tainan.

If that wasn’t enough for fans, worry not, viewers can prepare to have their brains bent with the psychedelic moods of Mong Tong, who left their audience tripping on vibes during its quick two-song set at the modern-day, underground venue, Pawnshop. Indie electronic band Sleeping Brain, along with VJ Ludol777, turned the experimental venue WET BASE, located in the Tiaotong business district, a playground with visually stunning lighting installations.

Closing things out, Elephant Gym brings the house down with a searingly epic set containing tracks from their latest album, Dreams. The group paired its set with footage from their Megaport performance, which took place it’s the band’s hometown of Kaohsiung.

All in all, the 2022 version of the Taiwan Beats Showcase has proved to be integral to the region’s growth and continues to demonstrate Taiwan’s importance to the overarching independent and alternative scenes. I am of the opinion that the showcase will continue to serve as a proving ground for young and old artists alike, as they gain greater exposure and subsequent entry into the western zeitgeist.

If you would like to learn more about the Taiwan Beats Showcase, you can visit the event’s webpage here, and listen to the audio via SoundCloud here.

Interested in watching the full Taiwain Beats Showcase? Hit the link below:

Be sure to check out the full archives of Open Your Ears, by Andrew Daly here: https://vwmusicrocks.com/open-your-ears-archives/

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