2003 Ver. 1
2003 - so what's install for the local Dance scene? Who the funk knows,
but whatever it can only be better than last year, certainly here
in GP anyway. Here's my version of 2003:
The big news is
that it's the year funky techno arrives in Joburg. It all started
with Josh Wink at Dreamscape on New Years Eve. Up tempo improvised
beats got people dancing in ways they did not think possible, stimulating
minds at the same time. Someone said something about Detroit Techno.
And about DJ's making music from music. So a few brave funksters got
together and started a monthly funky techno night at a very cool underground
venue - it was a fresh vibe where lovers of music and dance united
as never before. Punters discovered they did not have to get trashed
to have fantastic time. There was something different about this scene,
something very healthy. It attracted a wide range of people. Inspired
by the African American roots of this music, Y-FM started a weekly
funky techno show hosted by DJ Funktron, which drew a record number
of late night listeners.
It wasn't long
before the good vibes spread, inspiring a new wave of promoters to
put on some quality parties with class international acts: Richie
Hawtin at Carfax, Mistress Barbara at the Spark Gallery. Jeff Mills
even made an appearance at a very underground party in downtown Joburg:
all will go down as epic moments in SA dance history. And to top it
all, AE Productions brought out Laurent Garnier for the 2004 New Years
Dreamscape - his 8 hour eclectic house-techno set left a packed dance
floor screaming for more like never before.
2003 also saw
independent crews delivering more excellent underground parties. The
progressive house monthly night put on by the Blue Nova crew packed
intimate venues out to capacity. What a vibe: great tunes, friendly
people, no attitude promoters, no bouncers, no bozos and no spectators!
Hot House continued their tradition of excellent parties with a return
to their roots and two great productions at stunning venues just out
of town. Brainstorm were a bit quiet for the beginning of the year
due to parental obligations, but soon recovered to throw a weekend
party on a train ride that just never seemed to let go. The trance
crews Lunatech and Mushroom Mafia did not dissappoint with several
great parties where the new progressive trance sound continued to
draw a fresh crowds. The highlight was a collaboration for a September
long weekend trance party at a stunning venue in mountains of the
north western Free State, with a (Vaal) river running through - something
to do with a meteorite impact 300 milliion years ago? (if anyone has
any brain cells left over from that party please let us know more
For most of the
Joburg clubs, it was business as usual and funky house continued to
rule. However racist door policies at some venues hit the headlines
with several criminal charges being laid by incensed ravers, and in
the true spirit of PLUR, clubbers voted with their feet. However a
positive development was a trend for club owners to open up their
venues to other promoters, which meant a few innovative nights with
an independent flavour.
There were very
few big parties, the exception being Mealiefields, a fantastic festival
just out of Joburg in the valleys of the Magaliesburg, the likes of
which we have not seen since those legendary ICE Freedom Festivals.
The best clubs & independents had tents which were rammed the
whole night, and there was something for everyone. Although the party
only ran from Saturday noon to Sunday morning, many of the 30000 who
attended made a camping weekend out of it, all the facilities were
really excellent. The main arena hosted top local DJ's but it was
Carl Cox who stole the show with a four hour set that left few survivors.
Oh well, no
harm in dreaming is there?
SpinOut Productions & The MilkyWay Foundation