***This review was done by Matty Wise. Expect more from him in the near future!
Whenever it comes round to that time of year when The Village throws its 2nd annual party of the year, I’ve noticed a certain kind of excitement starts to build up whenever I have (inevitably…) come to the conclusion that I will land up being there. It’s not that kind of nervous excitement, it’s like the kind of excitement you get before going on a rollercoaster. You know you’re getting yourself into something awesome, you know the experience is not going to disappoint or let you down and you know you’re gona love it. That’s exactly what The Village is like, and this latest installment was no exception.
We got there shortly before 5 AM, found a spot to park, prepared ourselves a few bevs and made our way towards the dancefloor. The first thing that became apparent to me was the venue setup. It had been changed slightly. The last couple of parties The Village have thrown at that venue have seen the main parking area atop a hill that can be quite a mission to walk up to at the best of times. It was different this time. The cars were much closer to the dancefloor and they had set up the other dancefloor in a way that sort of entwined it with a few of the stalls and a sick little chilling area, in my opinion it was definitely an improvement from the last couple of parties there. I’d really like to see that setup is used again.
We got to the dancefloor just as Strain was finishing off his set, I only caught the last track or two he played, so I can’t really comment on how his set was, but his last couple of tracks were a nice little welcome for us and set up the place perfectly for what was to follow. Eqlipse took to the decks next and played what turned out to be one of my favourite sets of the party. It was forceful and elemental but at the same time it was also quite melodic, brilliant stuff! And for me, 5h30 to 6h30 is a perfect time to hear a set like that.
As she was finishing off it started getting a little bit lighter, the first signs of daytime and rays of sunshine from under the horizon were tentatively showing themselves as the dark blue twilight sky was becoming gradually more illuminated. I love trance party sunrises! Twisted and trippy projections of shapes and patterns were being beamed onto what I can only describe as a Psychedelic Tipi. The décor was also quite incredible. Looking around at all the vivid colours, intricate designs and Aztec motifs really did make for an epic visual experience.
After Eqlipse things got cranked up a bit slightly as Archive and The Jester got underway with some proper sunrise potency. It was full on psychedelic power and explosiveness; they tore that place a new one. It also turned out be just another Tequila Sunrise and things obviously were getting out of hand early as by that stage I had somehow managed to cut my lip, but it was fine, it wasn’t bleeding for too long and didn’t take long either before the pain dissipated and the numbness in my face started to set in. Gees!
Next up was Xatrik, who delivered that usual twisted thumping Xatrik sound we have all come to know and love. Unfortunately I didn’t catch much of his set, it was getting warmer by that stage and it was time to venture back to the car as jeans and hoodie were to be substituted with shorts and hat.
We made our way back to the madness and up next was The Skragg, Rabdom L’s DJ project, and similarly to The Village as a whole, this guy just does not know how to disappoint. Every time I check one of his sets I am always blown away, they are always excellent. This oke knows exactly what he’s doing; he reads the crowd brilliantly and gives them exactly what they want. His set at The Village was no different. It was quality!
It was then time to go Pitch Hiking. When I started going to parties a few years ago, Pitch Hikers were the first act I saw that really left me in awe and made me fall for psytrance, and their set at The Village reminded me why. I love Pitch Hikers, their live sets are always a real treat, and as usual they wreaked havoc this time around again. They left that place in ruins, but there was more destruction to come…
Before I get to that though, I must just say that by this stage what was obvious was the intensity and ferocity of that rig. It was some seriously potent stuff, I’m not sure exactly what rig was used but it was perfect; loud and clear, in every sense of the phrase.
Then the one we like to call Deliriant was next in the DJ box and now it was really time to fasten seatbelts. I think it’s got to the point now where I might actually get angry if I meet someone who tells me this guy is not one of the best psytrance producers in the world. Because he really is, and it was just the latest episode in a long line of epic Deliriant sets.
And I do sincerely apologise in advance if what I have to say next offends anyone who has made him play at night but to me it’s so abundantly clear by now that his time to play is when the sun is up. For me his music is tempestuous uplifting bliss, and I really do think it is better to hear in the daytime. He’ll always deliver a quality set no matter what time he plays, but there is just something a little bit more special about his sets when they are during the day. The Village have got it right both times this season and I really do hope other organisers follow suit.
The vibe at this party was absolutely phenomenal by the way, okes definitely gave 110%. There was an amazing crowd all the way through, the sickest people came out to play (including one or two special appearances from some of our brothers and sisters from the 011…) and the last few sets ensured that the party ended with just as much brilliance as had been on show throughout.
It was e-Mind, Kineticz, Sonic and Skarab who eventually closed things off. Each of them whipped that place up into proper groove mode; it was a powerful yet tuneful and exhilarating way to end off the party.
It really was a magical day. It has been said many times before but The Village really never disappoints. They always throw an amazing party and this one was no different. They have their little piece of heaven there in Franschhoek and the awesome music, vivid décor, brilliant people, sick vibes and killer high energy are always the common denominators, the only thing that seems to change is the date.
Big thanks and huge credit must go to Lee, Phill, the rest of The Village crew and anyone else involved with the sound, lighting, visual production and anyone who worked the gate or at the bar and helped put together one hell of a party. Thank you to all the artists who provided us with yet another audio magic show and most importantly thanks to all of you, my fellow trancelets and bush ravers, you’re the ones who really make it what it is, you help create the ultimate experience and it really wouldn’t have been the same without any of you. The Village always rocks, it never disappoints and they always turn out to be some of the best parties of the season. Big ups to all involved and keep up the incredible work! GEES!
All pictures courtesy of LV Star photography.