You are on page 1of 2

World In M

We’re following a blue car down a dusty road in Soweto, the vast
township to the north of Johannesburg. Years ago this million-strong
settlement, where the languages range from Zulu and English to Sotho and
Vortex: talk about
a foreign trip...
Tswana, was the crucible of South Africa’s civil rights struggle. Today,
though, people are gathering for another reason. Thudding beats resound
from a hazy corner up ahead. A DJ mixes slowed-down 4Hero with the local
sounds of a Kwaito jam. After parting with the equivalent of less than 80p at
the door of the makeshift open-air club, it’s straight to the bar for a bottle of
equally cheap beer and then to the impressive speaker stack for a rave
under the stars with a crowd of enthusiastic locals.
Whether it’s a word-of-mouth party like this one, hosted
each month by Thesis Social Jam Sessions, or an
enormous psy-trance rave in a forest on the outskirts
of Cape Town, South Africans know how to party.
There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate – or
commiserate – between games. The electronic music
scene is booming; South Africa has the biggest
house music market per capita on the planet,
according to Joburg’s DJ Dexterity. “The likes of
Charles Webster are mainstream daytime radio
music here,” he says. What’s more, top labels like
Warp and Innervisions have snapped up producers
like Mujava and Culoe de Song, who are now enjoying
a real international buzz.

Cape Town
Capetown ladies
sing this song The aptly-named
Table Mountain
11/6 Uruguay v France
14/6 Italy v Paraguay
18/6 England v Algeria
21/6 Portugal v Korea
24/6 Cameroon v Netherlands

The Mother City is South Africa’s clubbing

capital. It’s home to the legendary Vortex raves,
which have made Cape Town a firm fixture on
the psy-trance scene. They’re held out in the
wilderness and go on for a few days, so you
can get lost in the experience and make Mujava
friends with the posh Camps Bay girls, bare-
foot travellers and various whirling dreadlocks.
Within the city, The Assembly is the hottest
ticket at the moment. The club hosts bands
on Saturdays, and Fridays are dedicated to
dance music with a mixture of sounds
including dubstep, glitch-hop and techno.
Steve Aoki and A1 Bassline have played there.
Local producer and DJ Richard The Third
recommends Fiction on Long Street as the
best underground club. It has dubstep, d’n’b,
techno and indie-electro nights. It’s small and
has a balcony that overlooks the street. Vortex:
“If you’re adventurous, there’s another club peace and love
on Long Street called La Reference,” he adds.
“It’s dark and dingy and a little scary, but it’s
the only solid South African house club in the
city. There you’ll hear DJs playing the filthiest,
sexiest township house, like Mujava.”
When it comes to local artists, look out for
YouTube sensations Die Antwoord, Spoek
Mathambo, who’s involved in projects
including Sweat X and Playdoe, and Mix ’n’
Blend, a local live electronica outfit.

[[1L]] june 2010

south africa

otion South Africa: go for the

World Cup, stay for the amazing
club scene, township raves
and huge forest parties…
Words Helene Dancer Photos Hannes, Scott Smith

Culoe De


DJ Dexterity
11/6 South Africa v Mexico
12/6 Argentina v Nigeria
14/6 Netherlands v Denmark
15/6 Brazil v Korea DPR
17/6 Argentina v Korea ‘Howzit’ is an informal
18/6 Slovenia v USA way of saying hello. Drop
20/6 Brazil v Cote d’Ivoire it with flattened vowels
21/6 Spain v Honduras and you’ll fit right in.
23/6 Ghana v Germany
24/6 Slovakia v Italy

The scene in Johannesburg isn’t as developed

Durban If you want to be really
street, use some Kasi
13/6 Germany v Australia slang, which originates
as in Cape Town but if you’re prepared to do Jo’burg: 16/6 Spain v Switzerland from the townships.
a little digging, there are some great parties. beautiful 19/6 Netherlands v Japan ‘Heita’ mean hello,
The Thesis Social Jam Sessions happen every 22/6 Nigeria v Korea a ‘klipa’ is a
month in Pimville, Soweto; it’s a little hard to 25/6 Portugal v Brazil R100 note,
find, so go with someone who knows their ‘diski’ means
way around – it’s well worth the effort. In Durban life revolves around the beach, but football.
Kitchener’s Carvery Bar in Braamfontein is this doesn’t mean you can’t have a decent
Joburg’s second oldest pub and home to some night out. Head to North Beach to check out Make sure you check the
great parties. “It features live acts and retro the surfers, then get a drink at Joe Kools, a bar dress code before going
grooves during the week, house and techno that stretches over three floors and becomes a out – some places won’t
on Fridays and Joburg’s only real dubstep night club after dark, playing house and club classics. accept trainers and caps.
on the occasional Saturday,” says DJ Dexterity. Another popular Durban bar is Bean Bag
The Woods in nearby Newtown recently Bohemia, which is more of a laid-back affair. Trainers in South Africa
hosted Emerson Todd, and Tokyo Star in They have a great cocktail list and the music are called ‘takkies’
Greenside draws a trendy crowd. policy is pretty innocuous, but there are (pronounced ‘tekkies’.
Dexterity reckons CCHQ is probably the most bands and one-off events so it’s worth So if you’re turned away
interesting venue in the city – “it looks like an popping in to see what’s happening. for wearing takkies,
antique shop,” he says. It’s music policy is varied, Back in the city, head to Florida Road where that’s what they mean.
so check sites like to see what’s on. you’ll find the best clubs, bars and
For real South African house music – the restaurants. If you fancy some good-old A beer should
kind you’ll hear pumping out of the taxis’ sound South African bass-heavy house, check out cost you
systems – head to Capital in Rosebank, where the De La Sol cocktail bar where local DJs like around R15
South Africa’s biggest house label Soul Candi Vinny Da Vinci play. It’s a smart affair, so make (£1.30).
hosts nights. Look out for Kid Fonque’s sets, sure to dress up. Another club on this strip to
which go down rather well with a Martini. check out is Society, which is also pretty Clubbers in South Africa
upmarket. It plays commercial dance music,, are a friendly bunch and
Thesis: back to but it’s a good spot for people-watching. always up for a party,
the old-skool Durban has helped put South Africa on the so leave your screwface
dance music map thanks to producers like at home. They’ll be more
Black Coffee and Culoe De Song. Coffee is the than happy to show
country’s most internationally recognised you a good time.
house DJ and producer. Culoe is probably the
most exciting producer to come out of South If you’re driving, make
Africa in recent years. Not yet 20, he’s signed sure to keep a few coins
to Innervisions and his deep, Afro tech-house handy for the ubiquitous
productions have a maturity that belies his age. car guards on the streets
who will watch your
Durban: vehicle for you.
shore thing
Don’t drink and drive –
it’s very strict over
there, especially during
the World Cup.

South African Airways

flies both domestic and
routes. Check
for details.

june 2010 [[2R]]