***Written by Papa Afrika
Having not have been able to participate in this years “spring has sprung” shenanigans I was ever-so excited to make my way to Earthdance 2012. Chomping at the bit, is slightly more accurate therefore decided that I would attempt to cover as much of this festival as possible. I made it my mission to hear at least every act at Earthdance
Off the bat I would like to congratulate the production team behind Earthdance as it fulfilled all the necessary requirements that are needed for a world class event. All that weren’t impressed are possibly allergic to dust, wind, sun, fantastic music, good times and large amounts of fun but I digress…
Arriving at Nekkies with the crew in tow, receiving a life changing car-pass and basically parking inside the Music Box stage got me so excited that I started drinking Red Bull again. This was an excellent start to the season with my first taste of music being what could only be described as a “Bashmorish” sound, supplied by Headphase. Bouncey as fuck! Aside from being one of the nicest guys in the game, this dude has brilliant track selection with fluid transitions. Nice treat to start the eve. With plenty more “encouragement” spurring me on I meandered through the ever stationed stalls to the psy floor to find a very large, very happy Desypil, bouncing around and playing his version of progressive psy. Slightly tougher than most of the music played on the friday but it worked beautifully and received set of the evening for me. At this point the Music Box stage was in full effect with Gunz n Lazers throwing down as they do, the Riot Squad boys showing us why they belong on the stage and the forever rising DJ Sideshow playing a well constructed transition set to keep the crowds beene and brains warm. Another quick sprint back to Nok who was great but very diluted due to the excessive prog being played on the night. That is my only gripe with the party, which is pretty miniscule, but a gripe nonetheless. I get why the organisers did this as it is a 3 day festival and you have to be concerned with the rigs life span as well as the peoples life span but prog at 4 am is a bit much by anyones account. By the time we decided to duck on the saturday morning there was a horde of progressive Patrices and Patricias lurking back to their tents, still “riding the pony” like no ones business. Yoh, sidetracking here, back to the music…
I am very aware that I am a “slight” Haezer fan-boy and watching this guy perform in the wee hours of saturday morning proved exactly why I feel this way. I asked a good mate of mine what he thought about the performance and he summed it up in one word: “mature”. I have seen Haezer destroy dancefloors before by playing his regular version of destructive electro but this, this was something else. The man played a couple of new tracks mixed in with the old atop serious techno undertones. Massive rolling basslines with his trademark crunch caused the crowd to erupt in a dancefloor massacre that I was honoured to have witnessed. This man earned set of the festival on all floors everywhere. Deal with it.
The Fog Show finished up after Haezer with an always to be expected understanding of all things techno. I was very impressed with the boys as they managed to rebuild a dancefloor with perfect track selection and tight mixing. Having to play after the main set when you don’t play any of the music played prior is tough but these gents stuck to their guns and blew those lucky enough to have hung around away. Ms Candice Heyns from Blush and Bass closed off the floor with a barrage of deepness that tickled my fancy to the nth degree. She ended off the evening superbly.
After arriving home on the saturday morning I had some time to reflect, wash, eat and take a nap. This nap turned into a full on dos and I managed to miss out the entire happenings of saturday. I was really hoping to see White Nite, who is in my opinion in the top 5 djs in this country as well as being the most underrated dj in this country (people will learn eventually I guess). I heard from a few reliable sources that he did not disappoint, at all. iLL Gates is the international artist that played and I am rather bummed that I didn’t get to have a butchers as I have been listening to his work for some time. Oh well, such is life.
The team was now well rested again as we departed from Cape Town at 3am to take in the final day of Earthdance 2012. We arrived back in Rawsonville to find that someone had left the AC on, on full blast and the waiting game for the sun to rear its glowing head began. It didn’t last long as I find that lank brandy seems to make you care less about most things, the cold and wind got shafted this time as they are uncontrollable factors that need not be complained about.
Enter the fray and Mad Piper is playing his mix of Deliriants acclaimed “Chronic”, bam! “This is going to be a seriously awesome day”, I thought to myself while watching the relevant crowds exiting their domes of solitude or making their way towards the nearest comfort they could find. The music continues amongst a couple cdj malfunctions with Sway and Static Flow opening the floor up for the Commercial Hippies. They played an extremely tough electro influenced set which packed out the Origin stage.
In between all this madness I managed to run back to the Music Box stage to catch glimpses of Big Space who is truly the Lexington Steele of deep house and Lady M who is on the serious rise due to her very sleek 4/4 selection accompanied by her mixing which could put so many others djs to shame. My brain had now had a slight reboot and was time to head back into the pit…
Pixel’s live set was a spectacular follow on from the Hippies but all seemed irrelevant once SA’s greatest export hit the stage. Bloody Headroom!!!! Wowzer this man is extremely talented and its evident as to why he gets flown around the world to represent us. Completely new set with completely new energy and the crowd goes wild (cheers, etc). Once Cooks had done what she usually does the Earthdance team made the announcement that Nok would return for a live set to close the party. By this time the mist of dust was making it impossible to see. Upon wiping away any mud tears you could manage a peek through squinted eyes to see that the revellers were there to stay until they were forcefully removed. “You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here”, seems pretty fitting.
I would like to extend a personal thank you to all involved for making this festival a brilliant opener to the season. There were no fights, no real security issues and everyone was keen to get loose in a semi-respectable manner. This is how it should be. Keep up the excellent work.
Papa Afrika out 🙂
Pics by Emlyn Nield