Urban Asia recently caught up with the owner and founder of long-standing, electronic/dance group, ‘Tranquility Bass’.
Known for successful drum n bass/dubstep series such as ‘Rumble’ and ‘Syncopation’, the Taipei-based outfit celebrates its tenth episode of the Syncopation series at Triangle this Saturday.
Urban Asia: How did it all start?
Greg: Tranquility Bass Productions started out around five years ago when I was working at VU in Ximenting. I did not see anybody doing consistent local events where the whole night revolved around jungle. I saw a few nights where drum and bass was thrown into the mix for an hour or so. I knew most clubs were not in the mood to take a risk with a niche genre of music still unknown to most club dwellers. Initially I was asked to manage band events at VU but suddenly found myself having the freedom to put on DnB parties without going through a team of management bound to financial constraints. VU also had a dance floor size for underground electronic in any genre. It is pointless doing smaller scale parties in huge open areas as you lose the atmosphere that more intimate settings provide.
UA: For people who may not really ‘get’ drum n bass or dubstep, can you explain how you feel when you’re at a party and the music is really working for you?
Greg: The tempo and complex beat patterns of jungle can wash over people’s heads. You really do need to listen to it on adequate speakers to pick up on the low frequencies and sub-heavy bass synonymous with DnB.
For any party I am part of I make sure that the sound system has enough bite for my own satisfaction. I am an audiophile at heart so if I seem content then I assume most people are as well. If the atmosphere is right and the sound system is decent enough things can get electric on the dance floor for the true connoisseur. The presence of fog or smoke combined with laser light is a necessity for truly atmospheric experience. When it all goes without a hitch then for me it is about immersing yourself in the sub-bass while having half an ear on the tight, rhythmical aspects of the snare. I am a drummer so for me there is a lot going on as far as syncopated beats are concerned.
UA: You’ve been known to work with some pretty big artists and promoters, both locally and internationally. What are some of the events that you’re most proud of?
Greg: Working with Spunite Productions on the Rumble series was a probably one of our biggest highlights. Spunite does not gamble on sound. They are owners of Audio 6 who are Taiwan’s distributor of Funktion One. They understand the importance of sound and maximising the efficiency of amplifier power. This gives us confidence and reassurance as we are dealing with the best as far as audio proficiency goes. Being part of Andy C at Room 18 was also a big highlight. There was a magic ambience in the room that night. Everybody was firing and dancing madly. The DJ was on form. The crowd was on form. The MC was on form. It was one of those nights where the stars aligned and the rest is history. We have had over Digital a few times as well initially from Metalheadz Records who always plays a blinder and loves playing to enthusiastic crowds wherever he plays.
UA: You regularly deploy an MC at your events. What can a good MC bring to the table?
Greg: We have been blessed to have a resident MC at our parties by the name of Stoppa from The UK. He has a great talent in his approach to the mic. I compare to him to any of the best I have seen in the world and honestly can not see any difference in quality. A good MC brings a lot of game to the stage. Listening to any genre of music for hours on end can get monotonous so to hear someone in true rhythm with the music is a nice diversion at times. The unrelenting pace of jungle will soon get the better of anyone not truly up to scratch with their speed proficiency. In saying that, an MC can overdo it and end up smothering the DJ with their consistent rhymes when the core of any dance party is the music itself.
UA: How has Syncopation developed from its first show to the tenth?
Greg: The Syncopation series has seen a steady development from its initial incarnation. Luckily we got quick support from the local foreign resident DJs who were in the same train of thought as we were. From there, it was a good sizeable crowd of 100 or so for the next few, before we did an edition at Luxy in the Pulse Room, which colluded with my birthday. That introduced others who were not fully educated in things junglistic.
We did some at a few different venues before finding a home at Triangle which has sufficient sound matched with a nicely sized floor where you do not need over 300 people to create a good atmosphere to dance the night away. Matched with that is its location situated away from a populated residential area that could incur noise complaints for us which we have encountered before. The last in the series bought in around 300 people which was the biggest so far crowd-wise. People know what they are going to get when they come. No mixing of genres to satisfy diversifying crowds. If you really do like DnB or dubstep then you will know that we keep a roster of DJs who keep up to date with the latest releases and deliver on the decks.
For the tenth edition I have gone back to my roots and put on a couple local guys who expertise in dub reggae. My discovery in jungle came about from expanding my horizons spawning from dub reggae which I am heavily into.
UA: What does the future hold for Tranquility Bass?
Greg: There is no reason we can not keep the fire burning without overdoing it. Keeping it to once a month takes away any concern about potential apathy creeping in. I have no ambition to make this a weekly or bi-weekly occasion. As long as the people keep coming and there is no real threat of financial disaster on my part then we will continue to produce the best DnB and dubstep parties for what we have to use at our disposal.
*Thank you to Greggo for joining us on such short notice and writing in from Taoyuan International Airport like the true International jet-setter that he is 😉
Syncopation 10: Facebook Event Page: