Saturday SXSW Showcases
Taiwan Beats8pm, Elysium
Despite the island nation's compact geography and proximity to larger markets, Taiwan's vibrant pop music scene resonates throughout Asia. Saturday's showcase, sponsored by music website Taiwan Beats, samples a broad swath of it. Queen Suitcase won the grand prize at New Taipei City's massive Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival in 2010. The quartet serves up a winning swirl of surf, psychedelia, girl-group vocalizing, and spaghetti Western-isms on their 2014 debut, The Carefree Hyperspace Band. Fellow Ho-Hai-Yan winners Trash deliver stylized alterna-rock laced with strategic blasts of raw power. Taipei trio April Red exquisitely combines sleek electronic and traditional Chinese musical influences. Ethereal vocalist Shao Shih provides the "it" factor. Spinning since age 15, DJ RayRay won Taiwan's Red Bull Thre3style DJ competition in 2013. Aristophanes scales new hip-hop horizons with her breathy Mandarin flow and esoteric tracks. Her stock increased dramatically after collaborating with Grimes on "Scream" from last year's acclaimed Art Angels.