Technodubfest at Rezonance NYE festival

Written by : Adriaan van Staden

Photography by : Mik Motola Photography

The year of 2012 draws to a close and we usher in the new year of 2013, what better way than a three day electro mania of everything that is electronic, high paced, bright colours, excellent décor and sound to match. This is my account of who, what and where. 

Contermanskloof Farm Mik Motola Photography

Contermanskloof Farm by Mik Motola Photography

The venue, which was at the same place as the last two years, Contermanskloof farm, a stones through from Durbanville. You would think that life must be a bit easier for organizers because the venue is that close. If only that was true.  On the Saturday the line-up for the Technodubfest stage was a line up right across the spectrum of music. This really set the tone for the rest of the three days. This year I had the opportunity of not only attending the festival, but also to work and experience life back stage and see what it is like first hand. One thing is for sure some DJs are the friendliest people you will ever meet and then on the other hand some DJs are so egocentric and big headed that you think they have won a Grammy or something. Names shall not be mentioned. I really have great respect for Glen Spekta, George Daniel and Dave Love. These three guys were the stage managers for the Technodubfest stage and seriously looked after the DJs like they were royalty and I don’t think any of the DJs who camped back stage can say otherwise. Trust me camping with the DJs and their entourages is very cool and to see the shit these people get up to. From topless girls walking around in the back stage area to people running around like it’s their 18 birthday all over again. You get the sense of a real brother like feel from the DJs and a real sense of camaraderie. I mean take Stewart Innes and Kyle (Das Kapital), they are by far two of the funniest individuals I’ve ever met, especially when it comes to pitching a tent the size of Texas in the dark. I must say it was a lot of fun though, we had a great laugh while helping them getting their mould infested tent pitched.

Das Kapital by Mik Motola Photography

Das Kapital by Mik Motola Photography

The acts that stood out most for me on the Saturday were the following: Khoza Culture, Sub + Trakt, Riot Squad, and Enough Weapons. If anything, the line up for most of the weekend was a strong contingent of some of the biggest names in Cape Town. On a serious note without a doubt the first night was in party terms: the hardest night for this little stage compared to the monster of a rig that was still being assembled, hence the switch over at 23H00. At that time the Technodubfest stage became the Prism stage and did not stop being the prism stage till round about 10H15 the following morning. It was then the first time that the system was turned off and an eerie silence fell over the festival grounds.

This is when the people you never see come out to see how the system is coping with all the dust, and punishment the rig is taking. A power surge during the course of the night had in fact caused the system to cut out several times and was an absolute nightmare for the sound engineers. If you’re a DJ, it’s even worse as the crowd automatically thinks it is your fault and you are the one to blame. As result of the power surge, 4 speakers got blown and the volume level went down significantly. This being the reason the crowd chanted for the music to be made louder. The engineers only got the opportunity to work on the rig as soon as the music got turned off and they could get their hands on the equipment. The first thing I noticed was one of the engineers with a fingerprint like brush, just brushing all the equipment on stage like the CDJ- 2000s, and everything else got a good dust down as there was a lot of dust and still a whole lot more to come as that was only the first night. One down two to go. The sound might have encountered some problems and glitches but the guys from Contraband with the 3D mapping, and splendid visuals, had no such problems working through the night to make sure that all went well at the stage and in the process delivered some of the best visuals there is in the business. Frank, Dave and the crew can surely be proud and stand tall for all the effort and hard work had surely paid off.

 

On the 30th, the brunch sets were very chilled and deep, not too fast, and they just put me in that lounge kind of mood, just loafing about and enjoying some good beats from the likes of LG Fritz and the live duo, Christian Tiger School. The crowd at that point was all sitting down and it was like as if the DJs were educating them in what is deep garage, slow beats. CTS = Christain Tiger School incorporated a bass guitar and it sounded perfect, it was seriously one of the sets I enjoyed the most that afternoon. Then this is where things became interesting as Hyphen vs. SFR had the slot of 15H00 – 16H30 in contrast to them usually getting the late night slots. This was an unusual situation for these two heavy weights of Cape Town, although once they were on and doing their thing you could hear the quality and the precision in the beats they play. They played to a sitting crowd as well. Quite a number of people came running and took a seat wherever they could find one and as the set carried on, more and more people started to stand and get in the groove. Hyphen even got the chance to play some trap and the crowd surely did enjoy that. Nearly to the end of their set the whole dance floor was standing and going bonkers. In my eyes, perfectly timed songs, at the right time and place in the set and the huge amount of experience by these two pioneers made sure that the Technodubfest stage was the place to be.

Fletcher and George Daniel might look like brothers and have one or two similar tricks up their sleeves, but the differences in their music choices sometimes set them miles apart,  yet they do have a similar kind of groove about them. They both had a more intimate crowd to play to because it was at this time that the Prism stage had opened up and the whole festival flocked to the other stage to see all the décor. This year the amount of effort that went into the décor was something to witness, but to get the full effect of the Prism Stage décor you had to experience it at night.

Haezer and Niskerone by Mik Motola Photography

Haezer and Niskerone by Mik Motola Photography

The evening session held big acts in store for TDF with names like Jam Jarr, Haezer and Niskerone.  Jam Jarr is one of the acts I love very much due to the incorporation of an extremely talented vocalist and a DJ better known as Rubix cube but when Jam Jarr is performing he is known as Soundproof, and what a combo they make. Good Lord!

From there on  it only got harder and louder. Das Kapital said he was going to play trap, and trap is what he played, but not only trap and he surely did keep the party going and made sure the international, Dubsidia had a bouncing crowd to play to. Dubsidia told me the night before that he just wanted to play what is big in Spain and maybe learn a bit of what is going on in Cape Town. When he dropped “Kill Humans”  (his signature hit), the festival grounds erupted. His set was well balanced with timely tuned songs and he layed down the perfect platform for Haezer. Haezer didn’t have enough bass, but he still played some of his bangers like “Troublemaker” and other tracks off his newly released “The Wrong Kid died” album. And it went off splendidly. After him Niskerone took to the decks for the rest of The Holy Coast Tour which was chanted by the crowd and MC Miki San made sure both these DJs got the proper introduction. Niskerone played a true Niskerone style set, double dropping tracks left, right and centre and it helps that he is such a nice person. His set was surely one of my favourites of the evening. Guns and Lazers was a sheer joy to watch Miki San with his huge afro jumping for joy and basically nailing their set. Yet I found myself wondering how come they don’t come to Cape Town more and headline more Cape Town festivals as they surely have what it takes to be at these festivals and give the crowd a real entertaining experience. Well done to the guys for booking this gem of an act. This brings me to my next point, Rudeone, this guy seriously parties as hard as the music he makes. He is a very laid back and a very easy to talk to kind of guy. As one of the organizers of Cape Towns newly found Drum n Bass evening, Pressure with Hyphen and SFR, he is surely moving in the right direction. Having spoken to him quite a bit, he reassured me the flood gates for Cape Town DJs to go up and play in Jozi and visa versa is on the cards, as he is also involved with some real big parties in the city of gold. His set was really good just what he said he was going to do; “ganit net bliksem bra” said the guy who played a gig in a town so small they do not even know who Skrillex is. Totem vs. ALXR closed off the stage with a pure gold set. All and all the wind did make life difficult and the sound did at times dissipated between the bodies of the crowd and the sound engineers really had to pull hard all night to get the sound up to standard and the choice was made to bring in more speakers the following day for the big push towards the new years, big up to them for working through the night!

The crowd by Mik Motola Photography

The crowd by Mik Motola Photography

On the Monday there were severe winds that had big repercussions. At the Technodubfest stage the wind nearly caused the stretch tent to come down, due to the wind both the stretch tents had to be pulled tighter and tied down sturdier to ensure safety from the Cape Doctor. The middle support beam came down at one stage and fell on a person this is were Sunette Strydom and I had to grab hold of the last support beam to keep the tent from collapsing. Luckily the people were on hand and had a “quick fix” to the problem. Unfortunately the trance or Prism stage also suffered. Due to the high wind speed the décor that made the roof for the trance stage had to be taken down as it was starting to tear and presented a safety risk. With the wind came and huge amount of dust as well and this never sits well at a festival rather to moan about it, make a plan and work with the elements.

With a new day comes a whole load of new DJs, which meant the back stage area was constantly changing and so were some of the faces, but there were some DJ’s that stayed till the end to support their fellow DJ’s. The morning started slow with Dave Q and Glen Spekta to follow. I felt a bit sorry for Glen though, as he, George and Dave worked really hard and they must have felt the strain. None the less, he still played a great set.  Mr Sakatumi, who earlier played a gig at Rock the River (which had a considerably smaller stage I was told) brought his new fresh funky sound and I loved every second of his set. His brother joined him on stage on the bass which made for great entertainment and the music from his brand new EP “Refried noodles” will make for easy listening any time of the day.

I must say that the food and drinks at the festival was amazing with anything from wood fire pizzas to small bite size samosas. We were really spoilt for choice and one definitely couldn’t go hungry or thirsty.

The afternoon sets from Rebel Clef, Big Space, and the diva that is Funafuji stood out most with their eccentric bass heavy sound. Blotchy made use of Miki San as well, and created an interesting flavour to this all familiar Cold Turkey sound. This built up the stage and crowd perfectly for PH fat, who could not have started their set any better than with the phrase: “What’s your favourite ice cream? Motherfucking Lightning”. They kicked the party off hard and made sure that the stage was set and ready for Sibot. While Sibot was playing, PHfat brought all these fishnet bags into the backstage area and I just could not understand what was inside these fishnet bags, until I saw a little pump, and then it hit me, beach balls!!!!!! As Sibot was having sex with his controller George, Sunette and myself help out with the blowing up of the balls which was quite a task, but all in all it went down smoothly, unfortunately poor Miki San lost his explorer boat, when Disco from PHfat attempted to stage dive with it. White Nite made sure the crowd still had a rad party and dropped uk bass hit after hit as we were creeping towards 2013. Narch was busy getting ready for his new year set and I knew when I saw him step behind the decks that we might get another glimpse of the boys from PHfat. Narch played the greatest “I-don’t-give-a-fuck” set which the crowd loved! At 00:00 all the DJ’s got onto the stage and Sibot grabbed the mic to wish everyone a happy new year. It was quite a big moment.

The venue by Mik Motola Photography

The venue by Mik Motola Photography

After the hype of the new year died down Richard the third delivered the goods in style and I can honestly say I’m glad he was the first DJ I heard in the new year. From there on out the music did become very chill and the hard dropping of the bass was over. It was now the time for the trance stage to have their turn “Sunday day trippers” is what they like to call it. With the majority of the festival still stomping on the 1s,t most of the people barely went to sleep as the trance was still going strong.

As a whole Rezonance is a die hard festival that can only grow stronger and surely only better every year in my opinion. I would like to thank the following people, Glen, Dave, George, Ruan Voges, Sunette, and all of the friendly people back stage as well as Frank, Myles and all of the DJs.

0 Comments

  1. Renate

    January 22, 2013 at 6:45 am

    this makes me feel so stupid for not going! great read! irie

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