*** THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN BY MR WISE!
I think this is the first review I’m going to write where the planning, promotion and organisation of the party are to be lauded more than the actual music. Which is not to say the music wasn’t good, I loved it and thought it was absolutely brilliant. But it was clearly evident how much time and dedication had gone into putting this event together, truly making it one of the most unique parties I’ve ever been to.
There were so many factors that made this party special, I’m really not quite sure where to begin, so I guess I’ll start with what’s at the forefront of my mind right now; Portal. Having known Daniel quite well for about 3 years now, it’s safe to say this party presented a moment that he and all the friends that have accompanied him on his journey so far had been waiting for. The 2012 Equinox New Guy Winner was to make his debut at a Cape Town outdoor, a dream set to be turned into reality.
I don’t usually find myself at the parties that much during the night anymore, but obviously there was no ways I was missing my buddy’s big moment. I had heard some of Switch’s material and was very keen to hear his live set as well, and the rest of the night-time lineup seemed tasty enough to me so off we headed at about 10 PM. The venue is conveniently close to home and within an hour of walking out the front door, we were standing on the dancefloor listening to the magic coming out of that massive Turbosound rig. No complaints about volume and clarity from me, both were exceptional. We could hear the beats clearly from the car, and as one got closer and closer to the dancefloor, you got the sense of just how slick and sophisticated this event actually was. There were lights in the dry river-bed on the way to the dancefloor, not still lights fixed in one position though, spinning ones with rotating heads, beaming rays of blue light in every direction.
The décor was a visual treat, and the circular DJ box was unlike most I’ve seen at parties in Cape Town. It was more like the ones I’ve seen in photos from parties overseas. There were visuals rotating around its border, and that was quite incredible indeed, but wasn’t even the best part of the DJ box setup… Just behind the stage, a 6m water screen with several rows of pipes had been erected, creating a flow of trickles of water behind the DJ. Then, by adding rear projection, displaying images on the water, what was probably the most impressive visual display I have ever seen at a party had been created. It really was something special. At this stage it’s Deadbeat FM blasting out a driving progressive sound that was just perfect for that time of the night at a prog-psy party. Up next the first of the two international headline acts, Switch (also one half of Coming Soon!!!), took to the decks and it was just an extraordinary exhibition of some of the best Israeli melodic full-on I’ve ever heard, a live set of the highest quality.
Shortly before the end of Switch’s set, I noticed Portal appear up in the DJ box, preparing for his first set at a Cape Town outdoor. He started progressive with the first few tracks, incorporating several massive, booming drops, before moving onto a more cadenced, upbeat style that characterised the remainder of his set. His transition from prog to full-on was seamless, he pulled off a great set and I’m fairly certain we’ll be seeing the name Portal on more than a few outdoor lineups over the months and years ahead.
Following Portal, another fairly new DJ on the scene, LinEQ, had started to work his magic. He upped the tempo just the right amount, and was the perfect act to pick up the pace slightly following where Portal left off with a set of elemental proportions. Here is yet another hugely promising up-and-coming DJ to keep an eye on. Just as LinEQ was finishing off, weariness was starting to take its toll, and it was decided due to how close the venue was to Cape Town, we’d head back there for a bit before coming back to the party after sunrise. Unfortunately we missed Corona, Bionic, Tuneraider, Dala & SiLo, but got back to the dancefloor at around 10ish, just as Gandalf Grey had started to play. That place was going wild as Gandalf whipped up his own driving progressive blend, similar to what I’d heard from Deadbeat FM the previous night, but more uplifting and suited to the morning. By this stage a Wimpy special had been taken advantage of and a jumping castle had been jumped on. Ah Equinox, you are far too kind! Following Gandalf was Gokon Rave, an act fast making a serious name for themselves in the CPT scene. They brought their usual groovy tech-influenced sounding progressive concoction, which was the perfect precursor for what was coming next.
The second headlining act, Coming Soon!!!, were up next and it didn’t take long to realise we were in for something special here. I know many people are not yet fans of the type of progressive that they make, but it is music that certainly has it’s time and place at CPT parties. Coming Soon!!!’s live set and DJ set, as well as Stereotype’s set to close off the party, were all wonderful exhibitions of it. It’s that techno infused style of prog and I know it’s something that’s still relatively new and experimental when it comes to parties in Cape Town. But I have noticed a shift in a more progressive direction, and it is becoming more and more commonplace, and yet there are still many people who are pretty unfamiliar with it and there’s sectors of the party-going community in CPT that don’t like or accept the way things are going.
And I know no one can force people what to like or enjoy, especially when it comes to something as subjective as taste in music, but to those people I will say this: I really hope that you’ll eventually realise what myself and many others have been fortunate enough to; it really is very good music. Don’t stand there complaining saying “this is shit!”, because it isn’t, it’s you that doesn’t like it, and if you know you’re not going to enjoy a party because you know the music isn’t going to be full-on 145+ BPM throughout, then much the same as I will never go to a Slayer concert, don’t come to a prog psy party where you know your enjoyment will be affected due to the music on show not being what you’d ideally hear. You may not like it, but there are tons of people who do. Progressive is fairly new in Cape Town but the more it grows, there are more people starting to enjoy it, it’s almost like there is a progressive movement, and Equinox, with their annual outdoor event and the madness that’s been happening every Wednesday since April, are right at the heart of it!
And with that I would like to give my sincerest thanks to Herman, Tania, Ryan, Mark V, Byron, Dan W, Yadin, Don and the rest of the Equinox team, not only for throwing one of my best ever parties, but for being the pioneers of this progressive sound that has hit Cape Town. Thank you all and keep up the excellent work, I can’t wait for Equinox 2013!