With the need for a sonic adventure I decided Europe and ultimately Berlin would be the place…not only was it the best dancing experience, it was a solid electronic music education and proved everything it claimed to be in the world of house and techno. Besides holiday time, it was also the first time I would be gigging abroad..excitement! Heading first to Amsterdam to visit fellow DJ Bart Hendriks, I had my first gig on the friday night in the bar at the Conservatorium Hotel. The space was alive with wealthy socialites and musically I had to set a tone and create a vibe, so I played a two hour downtempo and deep house set. Playing on the night too was the hotel’s resident DJ Hero De Janeiro, also a well known street artist in the city.
I went to Berlin the next morning and felt an immediate change in atmosphere when off the train. The street culture was so powerful, from urban art everywhere to fast paced people to echoes of melodies from buskers in the streets and bullet holes from the war still visible in buildings. That night I was supposed to play a secret location ‘open air’ but it was unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather. Instead we went to Katerholzig, an underground club on the Spree in Kreuzberg. Andhim was headlining for the night so I found my place on the wooden dancefloor inside a dark and moody room pumped with custom Function 1 sound…it was amaze!
During the next week we went to Weekend, a multilevel club in Mitte where Andre Crom and James Zabiela were playing, we visited Club der Visionaere where Guido Schneider was casually grooving at 126 bpm’s behind the decks, we tried to get Superflu at Suicide Circus but didn’t have list and were not keen on the queue and we also did a media launch for a Cologne Hip Hop/Rock band ‘Muso’ at Noiser.
That Friday night I played at Rita Bar in Kreuzberg with another Cape Town DJ, Malcolm Scene. We played back to back on turntables and after a four hour gig of deepness we went to Watergate to catch a fat line-up of Slow Hands, Pillow Talk, Death on the Balcony, Two Armadillos, Catz n Dogz and Voices of Black. I wish I could have stayed longer in Berlin to see Berghain/Panarama Bar, but nevertheless it was the best…the party-goers are serious for their music and live, eat and dress techno and the DJ’s are totally focused on their delivery and creating a journey. Its a darker atmosphere compared to Amsterdam which is more social and mostly tech house. I also got to record stores Spacehall and Hardwax in Berlin and did the routine shopping, sightseeing, coffee drinking and eating, including a meal at a well known joint ‘Whitetrash’.
Saturday evening took me to Munich to techno club ‘Harry Klein’. It was a local label night with some great djs, deep tech and twisted decor. The next day we headed to Greenfields festival where we raved out to Davide Squillace, Loco Dice and Marco Carola back to back, and a five hour set from Sven Vath (he IS king!!). Maceo Plex was advertised on the line-up but didn’t play due to some politics between him and Sven apparently.
I headed to Cologne for a hip hop party at Odonien, a cultural venue that morphs into a club playground at night. After two days I returned to Amsterdam, did club NL and club Air and also Welcome to the Future festival. This was a crazy saturday with six dancefloors, Function 1 sound and monster line-ups. My favourite sets were from Art Department and Steve Bug and Josh Wink who played back to back on the mainfloor. I also saw Homework, Dennis Ferrer, David August and Solomun but unfortunately had to leave before Seth Troxler to make my gig at the Supperclub. Supperclub was festive after the dinner show from the eccentric performers. I played after DJ Roelove, one of the residents, and had a great set of deep and tech house. Having to make my flight straight from the jol was a bit tricky though!
Overall it was great to see most of the big djs still playing on vinyl, some on cds and obviously some performed live with laptops etc but never was there a sync button. It’s good to know djing is still about the art of mixing in the big world. Sound quality is top priority, I have never heard such powerful bass and kick drum until I entered Germany. Djs played two hours or longer and all clubs were set up with cdjs and turntables. As a wrap and something for SA to venture towards is that open air techno parties, with mad sound and production, is where its at!
Sat 18 Aug @ Butterbox, Origin – DBN
Wed 22 Aug @ Equinox, Fiction – CPT
Fri 24 Aug @ The Hiive Weekend Shakedown on Mutha FM, La Bottega – CPT
Sat 25 Aug @ Cape Train to Cuba party – CPT
Sat 1 Sep @ Lusaka, Zambia (TBC)
Fri 15 Sep @ Under Construction, Assembly – CPT
Sun 23 Sep @ Music Box Stage, Earthdance – CPT