Smoke Machine, an elusive Taiwanese techno brand with outlets in Berlin that has managed to develop somewhat of a cult following not just in Taiwan but mostly amongst techno elitists based in Europe and around the world.
As for the rest of Asia however, Smoke Machine is still relatively unknown and usually draws blank stares whenever we bring it up making it time to learn about the local label and their podcast series, which has so far delivered 163 podcasts from local and international artists like Rødhåd, Nobu, Kobosil, Ø [Phase], Gunnar Haslam, Etapp Kyle, Minilogue, Xhin, Efdemin, Eric Cloutier, Vril, Ulf Eriksson and more.
That said, Smoke Machine could seemingly care less if the artist delivering a podcast plays at Berghain or in their own basement – their skill lies in curating a podcast series that delivers blissful and subliminal techno and they have long been way ahead the rest of Asia in seeking out standout techno talent making them a trusted source for playlists worldwide.
The SoundCloud account started 6 years ago and has since been used by Smoke Machine to share Taiwan's unique sounds while also introducing international techno titans like Ø [Phase] and Rødhåd to Asia long before most people in the region knew who they were.
The Taiwan based account now has almost 26,000 followers and delivers hour long podcasts every month or so.
What you might already know about Smoke Machine is that they base out of Taipei’s one and only but very awesome underground music venue Korner and their events tend to pack the three-room venue with a near sold out crowd of black-clad Taiwanese techno heads, a stark contrast from neighboring countries where crowds at techno events are mostly made up of foreigners.
It’s also the same name behind Organik, Taiwan’s annual 3-day techno festival that takes place on an idyllic swathe of land looking out over the Pacific with a line-up boasting artists from labels like Ostgut Ton and Giegling.
Interested in submitting a podcast? Good luck, the notoriously clandestine brand is meticulously selective about who they associate with but you can connect with them anyway via their website or Facebook.
Here are five standout podcasts to get you familiar with Smoke Machine. The are 158 on their SoundCloud account so you're pretty much set for playlists for the rest of the year.
Rødhåd's Smoke Machine podcast might be 3 years old but techno tends to be timeless and the mix is still receiving regular attention and a steady stream of listeners. The 84th Smoke Machine podcast is one of the most listened to with over 65,000 plays.
DJ Nobu from Future Terror in Chiba, Japan has been making himself known to the rest of the world and in the process become a regular on the line-up at places like Berghain. The Japanese native was recently invited by Ben Klock to make a Klockworks appearance but he's always been a favorite of Smoke Machine and regularly collaborated with the brand.
Smoke Machine's own diskonnected is a local Taiwanese DJ that delivers a terrific techno performance that is on par with his European counterparts and could easily have been recorded in Berlin.
4 Prince of Denmark
An air of mystery surrounds Prince of Denmark and you could say the same for this haunting hour long mix, which is Smoke Machine's most listened to podcast. The German artist is a Giegling mainstay who also releases music as Traumprinz and DJ Metatron, Smoke Machine's most listened to podcast with almost 75,000 plays and some of the strongest reception from commentators.
Ostgut Ton's Kobosil delivers a typically trippy set with a chilling intro that's a favourite amongst purists.
[photo via Smoke Machine]
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