Review| Rezonance Was Having it Hard and so was I!

***This post was written by the Dirty Mexican himself, Lloyd.

As the year 2012 was drawing to a close at an alarming rate, the last thing on my mind was whether it was going to end or not. I wasn’t concerned with the fact that the year had flown by so fast. Cliché’ I know but it felt as if 2012 came and went by as fast as people’s memories of the terrible John Cusack film of the same name. What was on my mind was: what the fuck am I doing for the new years eve celebrations. At one stage I figured I would be adventurous and journey to Coffee Bay on my lonesome. I thought about going up with friends to Ceres. I was annoyed with the amount of outdoor parties popping up and some of the drama that came along with it. But in the back of my head I knew where I would probably end up, and that was Rezonance. In a very late effort I contacted Liza who is the goddess behind the ever successful festival, to ask for a complimentary ticket. In return I promised this piece and of course the photographs I had taken with my newfound love “Sheila”, my new camera.

It’s hard to believe how far I’d come in the last year.  At the previous Rezonance I was a wayward soul sporting a bad hipster haircut (half a Mohawk, undercut thing), who was at the festival partying his face off. This time around I was still partying my face off, but I now had the pleasure and privilege of being one of the smiling faces on the dance floor as well as one of the team backstage, albeit a crazy ass guest star who was there to document, capture moments and provide many a laugh to many of the DJ’s , producers, security and all kinds of awesome people involved in creating the best Cape Town NYE experience.

Upon arriving at the awesome, close to home venue that is Contermanskloof in Durbanville, I was immediately flooded with nostalgia from my previous visit. Once I reached the dance floor with Sheila in hand I was immediately greeted by an already furiously happy crowd and I felt at home and like I had made the right decision in how I was about to bring in the new year.

I got to work immediately, on some beer and some vodka energade mix  while snapping some shots of the Sunday crowd. (which in this case felt like the Friday of a three day festival for many of us).

I gazed around and was immediately impressed by the decor. I remember thinking to myself at last year’s Rez:  “How the heck would they top this?”. They did.  The insane combination of a wealth of eye popping colours which popped in daylight and of course more so at night under UV lights was magical, the shapes and carefully planned patterns carved from wood, the serene way that the wind flowed through the silken like coloured material covering the dance floor, the pillars which lit up resembling the feet of some alien spacecraft – all of this combined to form the most intensely powerful decor I’ve seen at any festival.  The sounds of Dave Mac was caressing my ears and teasing my legs and before I knew it I was having it – black label in one hand, camera in the other.

When I eventually found my way backstage and onstage, Humerous was kicking off his set bringing some nice sunset thumpers for the hungry stompers to groove too. I always find myself grooving in a more bouncy, sexy manner to this guys choice beats!

Following the Miller twin came Corona and then Dala, both acts providing more early evening beats, warming up our muscles and getting us ready for the night ahead of us.

The ever popular and rising star that is Mad Piper was next and there’s not much more to say other than that as per usual this producer rocked it. Kicking up the tempo a couple of notches this dance floor killer took the party to the bonus level, rousing the crowd up to a demonic level!  Probably the perfect person to take to the stage next, EMP stepped up to man the controls of the beast and played another powerhouse set. People who haven’t been attending previous parties where he dropped his new tracks were going absolutely gonzo when he dropped Thrones amongst the crowd favourites we’re all familiar with. It was great to hear EMP’s epic creations upon an epic throne that was the Rezonance 2012 – 2013 rig.

The international, ever technical genius that is Gerhard Olivier or Lost And Found was up next and it’s easy to see why this locally born talent has become such a success abroad.  His production techniques are flawless and his penchant for making fresh and thumping good night time beats are why myself and Dom Irla of Psymedia are so taken by him.  Good to see that he’s been in Cape Town for so long and I hope to see him at more parties this season.

The night never seemed to end as I started to grow more and more inebriated. I was contemplating my famous four hour catnap between four and seven in the morning, but then Hiyarant was on stage. Besides Stuart being a champion of twilight beats he’s also one of the most epic people to watch and photograph on stage. There was no sleep for me. None in sight. As usual this twilight god showed everyone the way to break their backs and legs. Great set as always and I got some killer photographs while he did it too. Myzo was up next showing off the more bouncy side that she has crafted with twilight full- on beats, sleeping was now a distant memory to me as I happily snapped away some great shots of another great set all the while taking breaks to go bump and grind R. Kelly style with all my female friends on the dance floor!

I continued my drunken romp as it was too late to sleep now, Biorhthym was up next and I was going into animal mode. I snapped some shots and found myself on the floor doing a number of crazy things. The crazy line up arrangement coupled with my blatant lack of sleep and intake of interesting things made me bring out what some people call me : The Dirty Mexican. Or the MMN aka Mexican Mal Naai. From wrestling females using my tiny knowledge of Jiu Jitsu, to sporting my life jacket and pretending to be a dance floor referee to bumping and grinding and motor boating my female friends – in a nutshell: I was having it!

But through my chaos and fun I managed to snap some great shots of the awesome Painkiller who I told it was his fault I was awake and behaving like the dirty Mexican I am and I managed to remember the awesome set played by him.  Well barely. But I can say this the handful of Monday morning survivors on the dance floor gave it their all as Roy played a killer set setting the tone for the beginning of the new years eve day.

No sleep. No sleep. I couldn’t now. The sun was blazing, the beats kept getting better and the crazy fun small dance floor was just too amazing to abate. And X-noiZe. They wouldn’t let me sleep.  Still managing to shoot I got some photographs and I was back on the floor jamming my little tits off.

The day progressed so quickly from here on out. My pattern of shooting and jamming continued through  the likes of Shockwave,  Dillan M and Gandalf.  Dillan M once again played the perfect blend of psychedelic daytime trance and of course he had to play that adored track – the Shaly’s Remix of Bob Marley’s “Is this Love?”.  At this point in an attempt to make Wendy laugh, I placed my foot upon the DJ table and licked it. The “Lick your Foot” track made me lick my foot yet again. It also prompted Dillan to boot me offstage again. Good times!

It was during Gandalf’s set that I found myself running low on gas. Apparently I passed out behind the stage for a good two hours. I don’t remember that. My next memory  was walking solo to get a burger and chips before passing out in John’s tent as mine had been taken by the rising gale force gods.  I decided to sleep until ten pm . I got the rowdy Afrikaans kids in the tent next to John to be my alarm clock. I passed out hard and when they woke me I was still not ready to take on another night/day of playing hard and working hard. I eventually crawled out the tent round quarter to eleven, grabbed Sheila, some beers and made my way back to the main floor.  I got there as Satori was closing her set and it seemed her choice of night time beats was getting the now massive crowd ready for that eleven into the new year set.  The Commercial Hippies had the honour of bringing in the new year and boy did they do a great job! Starting off with a track that I love so much, the remix of “Heroin Mary” by the super talented Cape Town band Lark, it was clear this was going to be a superb set to bring in the new year.  Before I knew it was countdown time. I decided I was going to be a part of the crowd, but having lost all friends I was wondering aimlessly in a sea of people.  I eventually found Jason Borland of Infectious fame and we enjoyed the countdown together.  This is where Rezonance shined yet again bringing along with the intro of A-Teams set: a puppeteered light up dragon complete with flaming nostrils spewing out the same stuff that those sparklers create, people on stilts in the most decadent of costumes and of course the most bad ass laser and light show I’ve seen thus far into the season. I thought to myself , I wouldn’t want to be at any other big outdoor celebration right now, Rezonance was having it and so was I!

I must admit I’m bummed that I never got any photographs of Bliss and Painkiller doing their thing as the A-Team but it was impossible to pull myself out of that crowd during such a phenomenal set. I found myself thrashing about, throwing my money-maker around to those sexy, hard drops, after each track telling myself : “One more track and then I will grab some shots!”. Before I knew it their set was over and Deliriant followed –  and the same thing occurred!  I got onstage eventually as Mike and David of Plusminus took the controls and pushed the party into overdrive once again playing a killer set, which I heard many people say was their favourite set of the night! Big ups to Plusminus ending it with a track I hold dearly this being Iliuchina’s “The Black Dawn is Coming”, which immediately fuelled me with a hefty dose to nostalgia as it took me back to the previous Rezonance when I heard it for the first time when Chemogen dropped it during his sunrise set.

Up next came Cybernetix and Warren and Tim flowed in perfectly behind Plusminus bring with them all the power and fury one could handle at three-thirty am!  I snapped some shots but being all hyped up now I quickly found myself repeating the previous nights’ romp! Skarab was up next and it was great to jam to yet another killer set. This guy had me rolling around, or better yet being rolled around in the mud pit at Village a few months back so I was really excited to get down again. It wasn’t long before I reached that point where things became blurry, how could I help it with the music being so great!? Skragg was next but I missed his set as I found myself returning camp side and then decided to relieve myself in very clean toilets and then took the longest shower, sipping on a fresh cold beer while doing so.

When I eventually returned to the dance floor I discovered I had missed Bliss’s set which was another bummer as I would have loved to have snap some shots of one of my favourite international acts. Jason Borland asked me to introduced him to the legend and off we went. Before this encounter I had an encounter with a good friend who traded what must have been at least ten grams of quality hash for one of my beers! So when a bunch of stompers gathered around Bliss, Jason and I to invite us for a morning “sandwich” on the bank of the dam I gladly added a little touch of Afghan bliss to it! There we were – on a perfect Tuesday (Sunday stomp) sitting at the bank of the dam passing around the biggest “sandwich” ever made. This day couldn’t get better. But it did. We chilled for awhile getting to know the humble legend while being kissed by the sounds of Bruce’s set as the tunes travelled across the water to us. At one point a guy in the dam screamed at me wanting to know why I wasn’t in my life jacket and on lifeguard duty. I replied by saying it was Bliss’s shift to which Bliss replied: “It’s okay I’m here, if he drowns I will save him”, chuckling then passing the “sandwich” back down the line to his gathering of disciples.

Upon my return to the dance floor I was greeted by the sounds of the amazing Avalon. Having only heard his name prior to this festival  I decided to not listen to any of his music before the festival. I was very impressed with my decision and the set he played.  After he was finished playing I quickly told him about my decision and how impressed I was with the style of music he plays, Leon as he introduced himself could not have been any humbler than he was, otherwise he’d be Jesus as he thanked me and told me to hit him up on facebook once my photographs were up!

The lovely and amiable veteran DJane Tune Raider was up next, upping the rate at which we throw our bodies to the beats and as always looking great doing so.  As per usual she played a set responding to crowd so well that at one drop, whilst I was snapping a photo she dropped a beat, the crowd reacted so well she was taken back and responded with a huge grin that read: “Yes? You like that don’t you???! Then realising I caught that reaction on camera she found herself laughing silently all the while I was snapping away cementing the photo digitally.

I was jamming furiously once again when Broken Toy was up on the podium, running around up to my usual antics, with people like Ross Fenner in tow, as well as Barry Dylan Botha who was singing along with me to Broken Toy’s slammer  “Talk Talk”! When I found myself creeping on stage to get a shot from in front of James, I found a small treasure. A white granny style bra! I got James’s attention, threw the bra to him, which he wore on his shoulder before shooting into the crowd upon my request. It hit a bouncer instead who leered at me, but I quickly pointed at James who shrugged it off with a smile and dropped his next thumper.

After having a bit of an argument with a security guard who decided he no longer liked myself or Jeff Marsh (one of the stage managers for the weekend and Mungus Fungus Co-Owner) and wouldn’t let us backstage,  I decided it was time to stop shooting as I could no longer get backstage.  Off I went to absorb the last few sets of the day , which involved buying many a shot of tequila for myself and friends who I needed for moral support while I threw mine down the ole gullet,  the usual life guard duties which included whistling to the beats of Chabunk (this didn’t last long as friends of mine got annoyed fast haha) and of course the usual dirty Mexican habits of bumping, grinding and dance floor shenanigans.

By the time Major 7 played their crowd favourite “Drugs”, I was already dreading the campsite mission of packing my shit away. But I carried on jamming for as long as I could before I realised that I had to go back and start the inevitable mission. I missed the end of the closing set, but that was okay as I had by this point given it my all and was ready to pack up and move on.

On the way home I was already grinning ear to ear thinking back at the amazing memories I had made and dreaming about the next Rezonance festival.  A big thanks goes out to Liza and Colin for giving me a ticket and the opportunity  to document this amazing experience with both words and pictures, a big thanks to all involved with the behemoth task of running such a huge festival. Of course with big festivals there are always issues, theft, fights and other aspects but I must go out on a limb here and say that despite this being such a gigantic party , Rezonance 2012 – 2013 definitely felt special, more special than many parties I have been to in the past. There definitely was a better energy and crowd than what is usually found at these huge parties. If I’m in Cape Town come the end of the year you can definitely expect to see me running around doing my Dirty Mexican thing again.

Photo’s by: Lloyd Newkirk Photography, Emelen Photography & Aumega photography

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Rumoured to have the blue-prints for Krang's TechnoDrome, stolen straight from Dimension X, he’s the type of guy who exudes so much coolness that he adds whole countries on Facebook at one time instead of just people. Always up for a party and a Tequila shot or two this is the guy who we always call first, both before and after a night out…

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