My Techno set from Earthdance Johannesburg. Set in a beautiful forest near Haartbeeshoek Satellite Station, the venue is on the edge of the Magalies mountain rage, near Hartebeespoort dam. It was early on Saturday at 1am. I took over from a young DJ, named Rikay, who played a fantastic set. He got the crowd jumping!
My Techno sets at Earthdance always seem to go down really well. It winds between harder underground Techno and driving Acid Techno. The KV2 sound system was fantastic, driving hard and with a solid kick. Gavo took over after me and continued slamming it till the close at 4am. Tanks to Terence and Jade and Earthdance for the great opportunity.
Some DJ careers are built on hype. John Digweed’s career is built on substance. One of the planet’s most popular DJs, his sets never fall out of favour with clubbers the world over, as his relentless global gig schedule testifies. From ethereal, swirling cinematic soundscapes to energy-infused bass-bothering tech growlers, a new generation of clubbers are learning what we already know – that there’s nothing quite like being locked into a John Digweed set.
But John Digweed is much more than a DJ. Bedrock – his record label, promotions company and production partnership with Nick Muir – is a mothership of creative ingenuity and integrity that other labels orbit around. His vision for the Bedrock record label has been realized over 12 years, as he continuously seeks out mixes and remixes from the world’s best producers. Techno mainstays like Marco Bailey, Christian Smith and John Selway sit comfortably alongside hot new talent like Guy J in the Bedrock camp.
In a dance scene increasingly inhabited by inflated egos and gimmicks, John’s approach remains all drive, no drama, a heads-down crack-on attitude that has won him the respect of his peers. However, the fact remains that John Digweed has notched up a mighty list of groundbreaking achievements since he first became involved in the embryonic acid house scene as a 15-year-old lad in Hastings. From Top 40 smashes ‘Heaven Scent’ and ‘For What You Dream Of’ (with Nick Muir) to world renowned mix CDs for Renaissance, GU and Northern Exposure, it’s little surprise he was voted No.1 DJ in the World by DJmag readers in 2001.
Ten years on, the excitement John Digweed generates is even more palpable today. With Nick he has scored a Hollywood film (Stark Raving Mad) and Spiderman`s animated series for Sony/MTV. Toured with David Bowie and Moby, and transformed Brighton Beach into the UK’s biggest beach party (250,000 people) with Fatboy Slim. His Transitions, Bedrock and Structures albums continue to turn new fans on worldwide, Bedrock’s recent 12th birthday party at London’s O2 Brixton Academy was a road-blocked sell-out and his Transitions radio show is one of the world’s most successful dance music shows, broadcast across 45 countries to a staggering weekly audience of over 14 million.
But the real beauty in John Digweed’s story lies in his unflinching belief in the music he plays. And with new music comes new chapters in an already astonishing career.
Noemi Black is a born in Poland young Techno Djane. She loves heavy, industrial sounds thats why she always was fascinated in TECHNO music. In her DJ set’s and podcast’s you can hear everything that is the best in TECHNO genere.
She began her career in Poland. Noemi played at many events across the country, especially: Magnetic Sounds (Poznan), Mental Asylum Night (Warsaw), Audiolake Festival (Radkow), Electronic Festival (Krakow), Silesia in Love (Chorzow) and on many club events.
In 2014 she moved to Germany and here continues her career. During her musical adventures she had the opportunity to meet and play together with: Klaudia Gawlas, Drumcomplex, Niereich, Hackler&Kuch, Fatima Haji, Marika Rossa, Alex Bau, Ramiro Lopez, Dominik Eulberg, Kerstin Eden, Sven Wittekind, Björn Torwellen, Mike Vath and many more.
On March 2013 Noemi runs her own radio show called “Technical Vibe” which is broadcast on Digitally Imported Radio and many more international radio stations. In this podcast she captivates Her fans with the most interesting track’s wider range of techno music. By partnering with major music labels from around the world Noemi has access to unreleased tracks, which also promotes in Her radio podcasts.
This was one of those rare sets where everything just goes right. They don’t happen very often, but when they do, they create a new kind of energy on the dancefloor. Everyone can feel the absolute elation in the DJ and that cannot be faked. When one has a set like that, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been DJing or how many bad days you’ve had that week. All that matters is the smiles in the crowd and the joy in your heart.
Berlin based DJ, producer and label owner Len Faki is one of the most outstanding and in-demand artists in techno’s present age. He is an internationally requested dj, whose productions and remixes are played by techno’s most prominent names. Being a resident at Berlin’s prime techno club Berghain since its opening in 2004 keeps him open-minded as both, dj and producer. His sound is constantly evolving without ever losing its vibrant, unique energy and the passion and heart he puts into his sets. His gigs are an audio-visual adventure where he is not only playing for the crowd but rather performing for and with them. Even before his move to Berlin in 2003, Len Faki had the experience of managing two highly acclaimed techno labels, Monoid and Feis. These early years of fruitful productivity provided the necessary groundwork for the next big steps in his career. Upon his arrival in Berlin, it didn´t take long until he became a resident-DJ in the newly opened Berghain – a match made in techno heaven and a monthly experience he wouldn´t want to miss for anything. The characteristic extra long DJ-sets in his “living room” inspire him to vary in tone and fully roll out his style to explore and further deepen his mastery of turning a DJ-set into a bona fide musical journey.
In 2003 he founded his own label figure as a new platform to play out his eclectic and open-minded vision of techno music. At first an outlet for his own productions, figure developed into a well recognized, highly acclaimed label, releasing household names like Johannes Heil or Slam as well as upcoming producers like Markus Suckut, A.Mochi, Psyk and others. To support and believe in the success of upcoming artists was and always will be a matter close to Len’s heart and so the label is constantly scouting for fresh talent to develop and produce. Closing in on it’s 50th release, figure is setting a new standard for techno music that is equal parts versatile, exciting and cutting-edge.
In 2006 Len founded the new label Podium with the intention to produce a short running series of EPs, featuring exclusive tracks from colleagues and friends alongside his own creations. From its initial release Podium found a sizeable fan base and has since gained cult status within the techno fraternity.
One year later, in 2007 he released the double A-side “Rainbow Delta/ Mekong Delta” on Ostgut Ton, which became one of the biggest anthems of the year and an instant techno classic, heavily supported by techno’s top DJs. The success and popularity of Mekong Delta brought a wave of attention to Faki, who answered with numerous, extremely successful follow-up tracks like “My Black Sheep“ or „Odyssee II”, which turned into massive club hits in 2007 and 2008, as well as “Death By House” for Sven Väth’s Cocoon label, a track, that ruled that year’s summer festivals and Ibiza’s annual debauchery. Thanks to his passionate performances, he got constant, top-notch rankings in a variety of popular music magazines. In Groove magazine’s reader poll at the end of 2007 he was voted to the top position in three categories like “Best Track” and “Best Producer” – a tremendous honor and triple status that no one had ever achieved before him.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Len´s love for the infinite variety of electronic music resulted in founding figure spc in 2009. An authentic label, releasing techno music in all its facets, open minded and unconditional in its passion. Just like Podium before it, figure spc quickly found a huge fan base, who appreciate the label’s tidbits each time.
In spring 2009, another milestone in Len’s career was passed with the release of “Berghain 03” on Ostgut Ton, Len Faki’s first commercial mix-CD. Accompanied by two 12 inches with exclusive tracks from fellow producers like Radio Slave and Len himself, “Berghain 03” further reinforced his status as one of the most innovative and versatile techno DJs in the business who pairs a deep understanding of balancing stripped-down funkiness and modern techno sensibilities.
Since then Len has found more and more pleasure in editing tracks for his DJ- sets to create his own musical universe and further develop his unique sound on stage. Len Faki’s bone-dry but communicative execution style sets him apart as a true gentleman behind the turntables, an artist whose sets are based on raw passion and beauty, who uses his fingertips like sensors on a Richter scale, gauging, anticipating as well as triggering eruptions on the dance floor…
This first Spirit Train experience of ours was actually 3 years in the making and, as fate would have it, from every perspective, all the elements came together to make it pure magic.
As Burn virgins, we arrived wide-eyed and bushy tailed, finally, getting to lay eyes (and ears) on the beast that is LOBO (what a beautiful creature it is).
When stepping aboard knew we were home.
The (relatively) warm, windless night and even the delays in operations on the Wednesday, all seemed to play in our favour. A later start in the small hours of Thursday morning meant meeting the challenge of keeping the light-dancers entertained and lift their energy or risk losing them to the darkness of the night (and sleep).
LUPIS and LOBO, arranged to work in unison to encapsulate and mesmerize in invisible amphitheater, demanded it.
Musically our intent was to merge our personal tastes and do our best to fill the playa with sound. Having its tendrils reach out and, hopefully, draw people towards the light.
On a personal level, as DJs and a couple, this set was all the more poignant. Life and travels mean that this will likely have been the last of our infamous back2back sets.
So we wanted to go out with a bang…
When the sound engineer came up and whispered that he was entrusting us with “all the headroom” and we saw the hard-working Spirit Train crew squeezing the last of their juice to have a little sesh and the countless, dusty smiles getting their rave on, we realised, with great gratitude and humility, that we would share in a priceless magical moment, one that marked a new experience for us and also a perfectly fitting send off and end of an era.
We hope this mix continues to bring as much joy as it did out on the playa.
HAUSWORK is a DJ duo combining Ainslie Ford and Nicole Weitsz. A brand originally associated with “all girl” line-up events hosted at the famous Chukkachurri beat bar in Cape Town, South Africa.
As DJ’s both Ainslie and Nicole have an appreciation for sounds crossing various electronic genres. Hauswork as a duo focuses primarily on their housier sounds.
A self-confessed late bloomer, it wasn’t until 2007 that old skool club-stalwart Nicole found herself living in a house blessed with turntables, and the bug bit hard.
Quickly grasping the fundamentals of vinyl, timecode and controller interfaces, she found a passion for big room, bass heavy, thumping techno, in direct contrast to the more delicate sounds of her female counterparts. Frustrated with the politics of trying to work her way in to the scene, she started what became the most successful night ever to feature at the legendary Chukka Churri. The infamous Hauswork name was born. With an all-female line up playing to a packed-out dancefloor, Nicole found a home to refine and develop her rousing sound.
With the closing of Chukka the Hauswork name became the outlet for the housier musings as a back2back partnership with one time mentor, Ainslie Ford, which still continues to rock Cape Town’s dancefloors with a fearless fusion of deeper and techier house. The 8 hour journeys in to dawn at Bullion became a mainstay and the duo still finds themselves regularly on long-set duty to this day.
Nicole’s techno sound has evolved to be as competent opening a floor as closing a party, whilst always remaining accessible to the changing dancefloor landscape. This has contributed to her becoming one of the most regularly booked female DJs in Cape Town.
Zimbabwean born, Cape Town based DJ, Ainslie Ford, has been involved in the dance music scene since his move to Cape Town in the mid-90’s.
An enthusiastic and somewhat legendary clubber, he took his passion for the electronic sound, (born many years before through his attraction to the musical stylings of the legendary group, Yello) to the decks. Originally this was crafted in to a challenging and emotive progressive sound.
After picking up a sound engineering qualification, and a sojourn to the U.K, where his mettle as an artist was tested in various residencies and underground warehouse and squat parties, Ainslie returned to South Africa and successfully plied his skills in Johannesburg.
Returning to Cape Town he got involved with Rhythm is my Bitch, becoming the self-proclaimed “grumpy old man” of the team. He then hosted the Underground Sounds of Cape Town online radio show, and formed the collective of the same name.
Currently he is a regular and resident in some of Cape Town’s nightclubs and his eye is set on promotion of his own events featuring local and international artists who are driving the sound forward.
An outspoken protector of and protagonist for the heart of the scene, his passion in the straight beat sound sweeps across the realms of deep and tech house, tech and techno and this is compiled in to considered sets which reflect his ability to tease, read and lead the listener with surgical precision.