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 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.

Vortex: talk about a foreign trip...

Capetown ladies sing this song

Cape Town
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 friends with the posh Camps Bay girls, barefoot 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. “If you’re adventurous, there’s another club 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.

The aptly-named Table Mountain

Mujava

Vortex: peace and love

[[1L]] june 2010

south africa

otion
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 18/6 Slovenia v USa 20/6 Brazil v Cote d’ivoire 21/6 Spain v Honduras 23/6 ghana v germany 24/6 Slovakia v italy

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

Johannesburg

Culoe De Song DJ Dexterity

Getting By Durban
‘Howzit’ is an informal way of saying hello. Drop it with flattened vowels and you’ll fit right in. if you want to be really street, use some Kasi slang, which originates from the townships. ‘Heita’ mean hello, a ‘klipa’ is a r100 note, ‘diski’ means football. Make sure you check the dress code before going out – some places won’t accept trainers and caps. Trainers in South africa are called ‘takkies’ (pronounced ‘tekkies’. So if you’re turned away for wearing takkies, that’s what they mean. a beer should cost you around r15 (£1.30). Clubbers in South africa are a friendly bunch and always up for a party, so leave your screwface at home. They’ll be more than happy to show you a good time. if you’re driving, make sure to keep a few coins handy for the ubiquitous car guards on the streets who will watch your vehicle for you. Don’t drink and drive – it’s very strict over there, especially during the World Cup. South African Airways flies both domestic and international routes. Check flysaa.com for details.

The scene in johannesburg isn’t as developed as in Cape Town but if you’re prepared to do a little digging, there are some great parties. The Thesis Social jam Sessions happen every month in Pimville, Soweto; it’s a little hard to find, so go with someone who knows their way around – it’s well worth the effort. Kitchener’s Carvery Bar in Braamfontein is joburg’s second oldest pub and home to some great parties. “It features live acts and retro grooves during the week, house and techno on Fridays and joburg’s only real dubstep night on the occasional Saturday,” says Dj Dexterity. The Woods in nearby newtown recently hosted emerson Todd, and Tokyo Star in Greenside draws a trendy crowd. Dexterity reckons CCHQ is probably the most interesting venue in the city – “it looks like an antique shop,” he says. It’s music policy is varied, so check sites like jhblive.co.za to see what’s on. For real South African house music – the kind you’ll hear pumping out of the taxis’ sound systems – head to Capital in Rosebank, where South Africa’s biggest house label Soul Candi hosts nights. Look out for Kid Fonque’s sets, which go down rather well with a Martini.

Jo’burg: beautiful

13/6 germany v australia 16/6 Spain v Switzerland 19/6 netherlands v Japan 22/6 nigeria v Korea 25/6 Portugal v Brazil In Durban life revolves around the beach, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a decent night out. Head to north Beach to check out the surfers, then get a drink at joe Kools, a bar that stretches over three floors and becomes a club after dark, playing house and club classics. Another popular Durban bar is Bean Bag Bohemia, which is more of a laid-back affair. They have a great cocktail list and the music policy is pretty innocuous, but there are bands and one-off events so it’s worth popping in to see what’s happening. Back in the city, head to Florida Road where you’ll find the best clubs, bars and restaurants. If you fancy some good-old South African bass-heavy house, check out the De La Sol cocktail bar where local Djs like Vinny Da Vinci play. It’s a smart affair, so make sure to dress up. Another club on this strip to check out is Society, which is also pretty upmarket. It plays commercial dance music,, but it’s a good spot for people-watching. Durban has helped put South Africa on the dance music map thanks to producers like Black Coffee and Culoe De Song. Coffee is the country’s most internationally recognised house Dj and producer. Culoe is probably the most exciting producer to come out of South Africa in recent years. not yet 20, he’s signed to Innervisions and his deep, Afro tech-house productions have a maturity that belies his age.

Thesis: back to the old-skool

Durban: shore thing

june 2010 [[2r]]