Indie Electronic Music had always been a minority in the Asian market, but it didn’t stop Huang Shao Yong from exploring its hidden beauty. In fact, he has been keen to spread this music genre across Taiwan. Having founded Dark Paradise Records in 2013, Huang has released one after another compilation albums, hoping to find more talented musicians and change the perception of electronic music. In recent years, more and more Taiwanese musicians mix electronic music with their own genres, encouraging Dark Paradise Records to continue their hard work and effort.
We were lucky to have a chat with Huang, whose label will soon be holding a tour – “Dark Paradise: Label Night HK 2018” in Hong Kong, to talk about his ambition, the music scene of Taiwan, his collaborations and more.
1. Why did you establish Dark Paradise Records?
A: Dark Paradise Records was founded in 2013. At that time, there was no label specifically for indie electronic music. Most of the record companies were for DJs or partying. I’ve always been interested in running a label. That’s why I’ve founded it without too much planning.
2. Since the birth of Dark Paradise Records to now, what do you think have changed in the scene of electronic music in Taiwan?
A: Electronic music is practically sweeping across the world. There are plenty of artists infusing electronic music into their music, even in the mainstream music. Besides, the number of large electronic music festival is increasing. In Taiwan, however, indie electronic music is still a minority. Yet, I’m happy to see that there are more electronic music producers than ever and that their exposure is climbing up. Underground electronic party is rapidly growing too.
3. Electronic music is still a new type of genre to most of the public. How can you introduce it to more people?
Dark Paradise Records has released 6 electronic music compilation albums since establishment. We’re hoping to introduce various types of electronic music like indie electronic, experimental, EDM, urban, and synth through this channel. Personally, I love listening to those tracks in compilation albums released in the States or in Europe; they always manage to find and feature those fresh but talented musicians. For us, we’ve been organising parties from time to time, hoping to reach more potential music fans by showcasing a different way to appreciate music.
4. Dark Paradise Records has created many tracks that’re truly one of a kind. The music is refreshing and it broadens our imagination of what electronic music could be. When people speak of Dark Paradise Records, what do you hope people will think of?
A: The scene in Taipei (2013-)
5. When finding potential music artists, do you have a prefered music style?
A: Someone whose music is fun, someone who, rather than follows suit, has a unique music style and be himself/herself.
6. Your collaboration with Sophy Wong – “Leaving Home” and “Brave New World” – have received lots of praises. Will there be more collaborations between you and Sophy? Do you have any other Hong Kong musicians in mind for collaboration?
A: We’ve already been following up and discussing our next collab, so you can expect our release coming. This April, when Sophy Wong was in Taiwan, I did have some live shows arranged for her and had a chat with her about how the music differs between Hong Kong and Taiwan.
She’s a really talented young woman, and I hope there will be more collaborations with her. That aside, I’ve also cooperated with a few pop singers. If you’re interested in collaboration, I’m very open to that.
7. It’s Dark Paradise Records’ first time to perform in Hong Kong as a label. What’s your expectation?
A: Actually it’s our first time to hold a Label Night outside of Taiwan too. I’ve been looking forward to the performance, hoping that the audience can find out how fascinating the electronic music of Taiwan is.
8. All four performers seem to get a nickname, MATELIN is called “Animal Voicer”, Ruby Fatale “EDM Maleficent”, Dizparity “Trend Leader”, “Waves of Doppler” is called “Electronic Music Player”. Do you mind sharing the meaning behind those nicknames?
“Animal Voicer”: MATELIN (Chinese name: 林瑪黛) has long been an advocate for animal protection, telling stories between human and animals using her style TripHop/Electronica. Most of her MVs are animation and talk about different animal issues. It’s MATELIN’s second time to perform in Hong Kong (her first time is at Little Taiwan Calling Musical Festival), members are preparing a whole new track and visual for this Hong Kong tour.
“EDM Maleficent”: The style of Ruby Fatale spans from Stoner, Glitch to Doom. The mystery vibe with violent visuals has appealed to many music lovers and brought praises from various festivals. Her live performance is fascinating, with cold industrial timbre and stunning visuals, she makes sure you get a breathtaking experience.
“Trend Leader”: Dizparity is a rapidly emerging electronic music producer in Taiwan. Influenced by the British Bass music, deep house, drum & bass, and Jazz, he incorporates the elements and mixes them into a trendy, futuristic style. His live show is definitely bombing, bringing us waves of blasting bass performance.
“Electronic Music Player”: Waves of Doppler infuses experimental with classic, he’s actually an ambient techno producer and excels at playing special rhythm and melody. His live performance combines synth with the above music elements, delivering a dark and fierce Techno at TTN.
9. Whether it’s MV production or live performance, Dark Paradise Records always manage to surprise us when it comes to visual. What can we expect for this tour?
A: For this tour in Hong Kong, We’ll have two VJs taking care of the visuals, so the style be very different than what we had.
10. Composing music aside, you’re also a music instructor now. What advice do you have for those interested in electronic music?
A: Having your own music style is extremely important. If the opportunity comes, you should not be afraid to show your work.
Dark Paradise Records : Label Night HK 2018
Saturday 8 Sept 2018
7pm, This Town Needs
Advance HKD250 | Double HKD450 | Door HKD300