Words: Tom Meek
“Spring is sprung with bursting hearts this is where the party starts.”
So as I’m sure most of us know, it’s that time of the year again. And that time is… OUTDOOR SEASON! Kicking off this season… as they do every season was Alien Safari’s “Sprung” one of the longest standing trance parties happening in and around Cape Town. I decided to make this my first trance party since my hospital party (which wasn’t much of a jol anyway). I got to Sprung midafternoon to hear the sounds of Skitzo being played to an already sizeable crowd and some of the freshest unicorn décor I have ever seen rigged up and looking delish. Tonight I and that unicorn will dance!
Geometric Flux came on next playing funky progadelic epicness which got the crowd; what some people would say as “quite loose”. But “quite loose” is good and before I knew it my paper and pen were tucked away safe and I was getting quite loose myself. Kicking off his set with a sample out of Insidious Geometric Flux played a scary good debut outdoor set.
Being a big Growling Mad Scientists fan since my early trance days I couldn’t imagine hearing them at a Cape Town outdoor let alone meeting them. But this wasn’t GMS it was their second project Riktam & Bansi, who play a more chilled out techno style of progressive trance. They played a straight up Dj set controlling the crowd with their flawless precision on the decks mixing in some of the most listened to tracks of the last few years.
Mr. Suit, or more commonly known to the trance world as Echo Logic, came on next dressed in a white shirt and bow tie. Playing an in your face prog set loaded full of silenced drops, solid breaks and tons of vocal samples, it was a very easy to dance to style of music. Sadly he didn’t play an Echo Logic live set but the Mr. Suit set was more than pleasing.
Humerous mixed in next taking the party up a gear with the crowd now completely filling the dance floor which was reminiscent of a miniature version of Vortex Circle of Dreams even with a river behind the stage. Dynamic range took the party into Sunday playing a potent full-on set with bangers such as Dynamic Range – The Bomb which is quickly becoming one of my new most played tracks.
Local favorites Hiyamyzo played next with ever increasing technicality in their mixes which have been described as a psychedelic roller-coaster ride amongst other things. This super high energy duo hailing from cape towns “dirty south” have been pioneering their own specific genre over the past 4 years with a large following internationally as well as locally. They have just recently released a free bootleg Hiyamyzo EP with a Nero – “Me and You” remix that should get crowds stomping up a storm.
By this time of night I had already drunk my way through a bottle of coconut deliciousness (you go Vin Coco) and was busy trying to drink out of a sealed papsak which tasted a whole lot better once a friend opened it for me.
Contemplating a quick power nap before the Italian international Phobos from Looney Moon Records I decided a quick wade around in the river was a better plan and seeing it was close to 2am I would have the whole river to myself.
After my quick dip I made my way up the bank to find the venue covered in a low hanging mist which was creating a very eerie feel to the party. Arriving back at the dance floor to catch the last of the long running act Cybernetix being pumped out of the small looking but punchy rig.
Up next was Phobos who plays a fast sounding groovy psychedelic sound had me dancing constantly for the entirety of his set mostly with my eyes tightly shut. He has easily become one of my favorite artists and I’m sure we will see a lot more of Looney Tunes Records artists on SA Shores.
Another debut set was Telepathy who was recently signed to a big international label “Bom Shanka Music”. Telepathy has been a familiar face on the scene for a long time playing as Hysteria his original project.
Having been kept in the dark about the new project the crowd didn’t know what to expect. Telepathy played a smooth psychedelic set fitting in perfectly where Phobos left off.
The Elusive Gluon made up of Glitch and PsyTekh (also a debut set) came on next deciding that the crowd had been chilling long enough and that it was time for us to pull our socks up and put our shoes on and start dancing… and dance we did. With a very phat bassy full on sound The Elusive Gluon played a scientifically precise set leaving the crowd hungry for more bangers such as The Elusive Gluon – Manipulation Consciousness.
The kaleidoscopic act Technicolour took the helm at the decks shifting the music to their unique squelching psychedelic morning sound. By now all the people who had decided to sleep at the party were waking up to hear some of the lovely new tracks they have released such as the new track Plastik which has vocal samples from an interview with Richie Hawtin who some will know as a founder of the early 90’s techno scene in Detroit.
Growling Mad Scientists aka GMS were up next playing a live and Dj set for the next two and a half hours. For those that don’t know (or have been hiding down in Sméagol’s cave since last millennium) GMS have been at the top of the psytrance game for well over a decade now started by Shajahan Matkin (Riktam) and Joseph Quinteros (Bansi) from Amsterdam originally but residing in Ibiza since 1997. They have managed to keep up with the ever changing genres and sounds of the psytrance community extremely well. They played one of the most energetic sets of the party keeping the hordes of partiers on their toes for the full two and a half hours each drop or break making the crowd resonate with excitement. GMS have sold over 400000 copies over there long career and have also won the “Psy-Trance” category of the Pacha Ibiza Dj Awards twice.
Next up was Dave Mac playing his funky blend of progressive tracks which always gets the crowd stirring. Dave Mac is taking over as a lot of people favorite Sunday fun day Dj. Dave Mac is the owner and editor-in-chief of local magazine IDM Mag having previously owned both Muse and EDM Mag Dave Mac knows a thing or two about the electronic music and what the crowd want to hear.
Another longtime local artist Gandalf the Grey came on next spewing out some amazing daytime tunes for the mid-day stompers who had by this time turned the dance floor into a soft squidgy mud pit. Shoes off feet in the mud it was time to dance the rest of the party out and with Mr. Suit playing the last set I wasn’t moving off the dance floor till encore had been called and the speakers had been turned off.
Mr. Suit played his vocal and bass driven prog for the crowd which didn’t disperse until the last note had sounded and Mr. Suit had left the stage.
A big thanks to Liza, Colin, the Alien Safari crew and all the artists and stall owners for such an amazing start to what looks like a very very good season in Cape Town.
Photo credit: Aumega Photography