* aural cavity located on the sides of the head for insertion of local music scene

The COMPASS Group > January 2009

Ronald Lin


After two decades, L.T.K. is still storming Taiwan's shores

By Ronald Lin (Host of the HitFM Radio Network)
Translated by Ann Lee
Pictures by Andy Lin





For those who have spent their years listening to local alternative rock, Loh Tsui Kweh Commune (aka L.T.K.) should be a familiar name. On the flipside, those just getting started with Taiwanese rock should know that their local rock culture experience is not complete until they have taken in an L.T.K. live performance.
In reality, L.T.K. is a rarity in Taiwan; unlike most of its peers, it's almost impossible to define or categorize into a genre of any kind. You could say that it is arguably the most authoritative rock band ever in the history of Taiwan's independent music scene, or peg it as being solely about mixing political views and music. The band was established in 1989, when it gave its first public performance.

nstage, the band members are riotous, creating noise that challenges conventional musical forms. Their works are also strong expressions of their political views, often related to controversial issues, a political consciousness which in early years distinguished them every other band in Taiwan. Over the last two decades, L.T.K.'s performance have always been as much about "action" as "music", and meticulous prop planning for every show usually taking longer than music rehearsals. This means audiences can expect quite an on-stage spectacle.

If, however, you were to assume that L.T.K. places its attitude and left-wing ideology over music itself, you'd be wrong. Their music is just as impressive, containing elements of post-punk, hardcore punk, heavy metal, folk, Taiwanese folk (nakashi), industrial and even a bit of electronic. With this mix, they have created a unique localized rock form that isn't duplicated elsewhere. The punk rock orientation and contentious, progressive political views have been in force since the band's debut album, "Music Collection of Anal Stage" in 1995. In the "Taik's Eye For An Eye" album, released in 1999 and another classic piece of Taiwanese rock history, listeners detected a fuller, more complex mix of genres added into the songs, and also a big, highly-praised step forward in recording and post-production quality. This achievement won the band a bigger music industry name and position.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, L.T.K. will be releasing its brand-new, fifth album, "Sapphire". Fans will no doubt be waiting to hear what statements will be made about Taiwan's present political situation, not to mention a good number of fresh live performances. If you're a rock fan interested in learning more about Taiwanese rock culture, don't miss this chance to listen to and experience one of the most influential bands in the country.

L.T.K. L.T.K.

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