TRA MUSIC CORPORATION
TRA originally began in the late 90's as the Taiwan Rock Alliance and was founded by Freddy Lim, the vocalist of Taiwan's symphonic black metal outfit Chthonic, as a way to solidify Taiwan's music scene with a national identity. Less of a record label and more of a concert organizer and promoter, TRA organized some of the first mega festivals in Taiwan featuring major foreign acts like Megadeath and Biohazard, as well as top Japanese indie bands. Coinciding with the rise of the big festivals, the company took advantage of the increasing homegrown scene releasing indie pop trio Tizzy Bac's first album Anything Can Tempt Me. Also, Chthonic's albums have been released under TRA label in cooperation with various other local and international distributors.
As a festival organizer, TRA has been responsible for the success of the annual Formoz fest which has expanded to include over five stages catering to fans of metal, punk, electronic, indie rock and even aboriginal folk. The company has also worked with left-wing political parties on music events like Say Yes to Taiwan held every February 28th in order to commemorate the 228 Incident while promoting ideals of Taiwanese independence. Since the first concert in 2000, Say Yes to Taiwan has been renamed to Spirit of Taiwan: With Justice We Cure this Nation and has featured several prominent politically charged bands over the years including local troublemakers LTK, Punk God from China, Softball from Japan and Prague's art rock dissenters The Plastic People of the Universe. Other festivals run by TRA have included Autumn Tiger, held in rural Wulai, and Megaport fest in Kaohsiung City. More recently, the company has been promoting individual concerts for foreign bands like Mogwai, Yo La Tengo and Japan's visual duo LM.C at Taipei's premier rock venue The Wall. A shift in political parties to the right has created a slowdown in activity, but the momentum built up over the past decade cannot be suppressed so easily.