Cape Town is the third city in our brief and eye/ear-opening trip to South Africa. On Saturday night we’ll be joining residents of the club sessions Private Life at The Waiting Room on Long Street in the city bowl. In addition to Open CDR, Private Life’s Terrence Pearce and Julz Sanchez will be getting the dancefloor moving. Some words/sounds from them below:
Please take us back to when you first got to experience (night)club culture in Cape Town? Where were you going out? Who were influential producers/DJs?
Terrence Pearce: Well I’m from Durban originally and was influenced heavily but some skater buddies who had lived abroad and returned with new and exciting music from the UK. Loads of hip-hop, drum n bass, downtempo and leftfield music that struck such a chord with me and influenced me heavily in pursuing it further. This lead me to Cape Town town and the exciting electronic music scene down here.
Julz Sanchez: For me, my first true clubbing experience came when I moved to Cape Town. I grew up in a small coastal town called East London, which didn’t really have much to offer club wise. In Cape Town however, there was somewhat of a selection of places playing a wider variety of stuff. Events such as Killer Robot, Vinyl Digz had a big influence on my perception of club culture.
In terms of influential DJs, I would have to say that the Private Life crew is my biggest influence (Terrence, Dario and Pierre). We are all great friends and share a very similar mind set when it comes to music.
How has Cape Town shaped your DJing and musical tastes?
JS: I think the people that I have met since moving to Cape Town have influenced my taste in music massively. My time spent sharing and listening to music with friends is invaluable. For me, the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival is a great example of what’s happening in the city, the guys behind it work really hard to ensure that everyone is given a chance to showcase what they are about.
TP: Initially my love for music was born in Durban but I’d say Cape Town developed it further and made me explore it much deeper. It also definitely gave me more opportunity to pursue it further as it was a much more developed market with regardless to electronic music.
What notable changes/developments have you seen in Cape Town (or through SA) over your time contributing to the musical goings-on? Do portraits such as RA’s Real Scenes doccie and/or Future Sound of Mzansi reflect what’s really goin’ on?
TP: I’d probably the massive rise of the careers of Die Antwoord and Black Coffee making such a mark on the international scene when maybe 10 years ago this was unfathomable to any South African artist.
JS: It’s grown a lot in a relatively short space of time. Every year more and more SA artists are traveling to Europe for tours and it seems like there is quite a bit of focus on SA at the moment. I think both documentaries display the spirit of how people embrace music in this country. It’s a fundamental part of our culture and really does unite people from all different backgrounds.
Real Scenes and The Future Sound of Mzansi are a mere drop in the ocean of the scene when it comes to exciting music that exists in South Africa.
One aspect of much DJing in SA that may challenge CDR audiences is a focus on a particular tempo (e.g. “only Deep” ). Is this something you’ve encountered? Are crowds responsive when you vary tings or would you rather stay in a particular sonic zone?
TP: Well at Private Life we’re all about the music and not about a specific tempo, we mix it up and are never dictated by a “certain” sound, it’s one of the main reasons we started this night, good, exciting music. Overall South Africa is massively into deep house and a very certain “Deep” tempo and feel that goes with it but we also have other sub genres of House that have very different rythyms and tempos, Gqom, Afro House, Kwaito, Bacardi House as well of the House sounds of Europe and the US.
JS: I was listening to an RA interview with Honey Dijon recently and she said something I really identified with, “Categories are for grocery stores, not music”. In my opinion good music is good music, regardless of which bin someone has put it in. At Private Life we have a certain direction that we try follow, but nothing is ever of limits, which keeps things exciting.
Please describe your work life/creative life tussle. Are these one and the same? Any tips or tricks for managing to keep on keeping on in the music industry?
JS: At the moment, music is my passion and hobby. I’m currently a second year law student, which has turned out to be a rather large commitment, but its something I really enjoy. Balance and routine are two very important factors in my life, music along with my studies allow me to maintain that balance. Looking for and listening to new music allows me to relax and forget about everything else.
TP: Well I’m a producer and DJ, have a day job and have run a weekly party for the last three, four years. All this mixed in with having a fiance can be tiring but if you love what you’re doing and do it for the right reasons you’ll make it all work.
Who/What has also been on heavy rotation on your audio player of late?
TP: Probably Vakula and Levon Vincents LPs.
JS: The new Linkwood album (Expressions) on Firecracker. The latest 12’on Uzuri by guys called Stump Valley and Jahari’s Fire and Desire 12’ on PPU.
Which music makers/producers in or around Private Life (or elsewhere in SA) do you think we should listen out for and why?
TP: With regards to South Africa I’d say look out for Fever Trails, Jumping Back Slash (British but lives here), Big Space, Petite Noir, Jazzuelle, Terrasoul, Slo Motion City and Julz Sanchez. There are plenty more out there…
JS: Terrence Pearce, Floyd Lavine, Dave Dix, Fever trails, Luc Vermeer, Andy Island, Thibo Tazz, Felix Laband. In my opinion, all these guys make something unique and true to themselves.
Finally, have you any advice or words of warning for producers/musicians in South Africa developing musical works in progress to play at Open CDR and Private Life this Saturday?
JS: Don’t try and copy what you think is popular, make music you believe in and not what you think will get signed the fastest.
TP: Yeah, don’t try imitate anyone or anything, do what YOU do. Noone wants wants to hear a second hand version of someone already out there.
This tour is produced by CDR & No-Nation and generously supported by British Council Connect ZA & Red Bull Studios Cape Town.
The project is part of SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015 which is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council.