Spotlight Exclusives, the event that pays homage to the extended DJ set is back after an 18 month hiatus and this time It’s AND & TOY TOY’s Fabio that joins the Spotty family to tell his story.
The event aims to encapsulate the career of scene stalwarts in an extended 5-hour set where they get to take you through the beat-journey that’s seen them arrive where they are today.
Whatever he chooses to play and however he decides to do it, you can be sure that it’s been considered ahead of time, because by his own admission and in his own words: “It’s the music that keeps me coming back week after week, searching for that moment the music flows and that wonderful exchange with the audience begins to happen, it’s like nothing else.”
The format allows the featured artist to book the supporting act they personally feel best suits them and Fabio has chosen Kyle Russouw to set the tone for him before he takes control on the night.
We asked Fabio a few questions ahead of his set to give you a glimpse into the mind of the man and what goes into getting ready for something like this – the interview is below.
Although sporadic in occurrence, these events have warmed the ankles of seasoned local dancers who appreciate each artist’s journey, and indulge the sonic catalogue as it plays on the night. Wear comfy shoes and bring your best moves. Ladies free before 11pm/R100 at the door.
It’s all going down at Modular on Friday, August 3rd from 10pm and you literally, do not want to miss a beat.
Check out the event link for more information.
SL: Tell us about your journey prepping – and packing yourself musically – for Spotlight – sonically, mentally, even emotionally, what are you finding?
Fabio: Most of the time I am feeling quite daunted by the prepping process, so I started early and just started putting a single playlist together. I am focusing on music that I have played out and has worked in a club or party environment with a particular interest in stuff I think will work at Modular.
SL: Joburg and Cape Town are two different beasts; how do the sounds and the dancers differ between the two cities?
Fabio: Good question. I have always felt like Cape Town adopted and got bored of music styles quicker than in JHB. From a distance you can see how quickly things change in CT. In JHB, things take longer but tend to stick around for longer. In terms of the dancers, you really cant fault either, they are always great to play to and when the energy from a floor is right it doesn’t matter which city you are in.
SL: You’ve had a few marathon sets in your time, share one of the best memories with us…
Fabio: The stand out sets without a doubt in my mind are with my Digital Rockit team mates Gforce and Dogstarr. We have played together for years now, from small intimate events to festivals and big stages but the most profound moments come when we can settle down to a really long set and stretch our musical legs, sometimes even at house parties with a small group of friends. This always transcended music formats and technical set-ups, it has always been my one of my most happy places when it comes to music. 6 hour sets at Rustlers Valley (the birthplace of Digital Rockit) will always be close to my heart.
SL: You have a broad spectrum of sounds in your repertoire, and an affinity for interesting and obscure sounds; how do these get air in your mixes and club or festival sets? (aka how do you know when to play them)
Fabio: I have learnt to watch the crowd, see how they moving, are their eyes open or closed. At the end of the day I love all the music I buy, so in there somewhere is something that will create the impact I require with the dancers. I also tend to change things up regularly and try do that with maximum impact. So I might get deep and dreamy for a while and then shift gear into something more energetic, I feel these twists and turns create energy and enjoyment. Sometimes it works and sometimes it has less impact that I thought but thats what I love about DJ’ing and its why I have never gotten bored of doing it.
SL: The night is yours and the crowd is willing – Fabio, how do you prepare for that elusive 5 hour set and what can we look forward to on the night?
Fabio: I always feel like the more I prep the better time I have in the booth. First and foremost I listen to music, carefully, it really helps me to understand the mood and energy of a song. Dance music is so nuanced and the hallmark of a good DJ is tapping into those nuances and using them to create a mood or shift in mood. I will then spend time in creating playlists that I feel will give the night a good flow and order the playlists accordingly. In terms of what the crowd can expect, I dont intend to get very retrospective, I would like to focus on playing what I play now, with a few older tracks that I feel fit in that context.
Co-founder of TOYTOY and half-owner of & Club, Fabio is the quintessential 80’s kid. A product of the music video generation he grew up taping 80’s pop shows to VHS so he could listen to them again and again. But it wasn’t until he began attending raves in the early 90’s that he was first exposed to dance music.
This new sound awoke something in him and he began to seek it out, eventually moving to Europe, working in record stores in London and Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and becoming obsessed with music from Detroit, particularly techno and electro. The characteristic driving rhythms and melodies of which can still be found in the music he plays today, almost 18 years later. Fabio’s style itself is characterised by smooth mixing that transitions easily and he tends to limit his use of effects and gadgetry, letting the music speak for itself. That said, his choice of music can be quite experimental in the right environment, exploring disco, 80’s, indie and electro sounds.
SPOTLIGHT shines a light on the story of each of its artists. Each event gives the artist the opportunity to take you on a journey of what makes them who they are, musically. In the form of an exclusive, all-night set, each Spotlight artist will take you through the sonic elements and genre’s that have shaped them. In addition, they select their own supporting act, someone they feel is suited to compliment what they have planned on their night. With the emphasis on the DJ, Spotlight aims to offer the punter an authentic experience, one stemming from a place any music enthusiast knows well: a place where good nights out are shaped by meandering journeys through beat-mapped jungles and top-end peaks.