Before I go political and I don’t think you can avoid that if you go to SA, as it’s the reality, I’m gonna drop something that is huge over there by:
DJ CNDO – TERMINATOR!
So as a prelude whites must be made to realise that they are only human, not superior. Same with Blacks. They must be made to realise that they are also human, not inferior.
The basic tenet of black consciousness is that the black man must reject all value systems that seek to make him a foreigner in the country of his birth and reduce his basic human dignity.
The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
Being black is not a matter of pigmentation – being black is a reflection of a mental attitude.
Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time.
Black man, you are on your own.
In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift – a more human face.
It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realize that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality.
Merely by describing yourself as black you have started on a road towards emancipation, you have committed yourself to fight against all forces that seek to use your blackness as a stamp that marks you out as a subservient being.
You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can’t care anyway.
Yep I remember that name, BIKO, and this song by this artist when I was at school and learning new things about the world. I always remember my best friend’s older brother was a huge Gabriel fan and whenever we went around to his house his brother would be playing this track! So, it was always meant to have some sort of relevance in my life and now I understand!
This brings me onto the the next video too from around late 80’s, does anybody remember this one?
So it’s our penultimate day in SA and that is always a depressing thought. I could not have imagined that it could get any more depressing but how wrong was I.
I am not a huge Museum buff, anybody who knows me really well, will tell you that.
I am not hugely into history, cause for me it’s like looking backward when I want to look forward. I know history is important for many different reasons, to make sense of how we got to where we are today, for facts etc etc but call me cynical, history is just one persons interpretation or version of what went on, it’s neither accurate nor representative of the whole.
History can also be dangerous too as it opens up old wounds when new generations might sometimes be better off maybe not knowing about them, cause if they don’t know, they ain’t gonna hate and then it might give them a better chance of getting on like brothers and sisters.
That is part of the problem, the more you learn, the more painful it is to live in this world!
Anyway, my point being that I’m more into looking at making things happen rather than looking back at things that did happen!
So I went to the Apartheid Museum half expecting to be bored within 10 minutes of being there. However, I was not bored and we spent a total of around 5 hours in there cause it was just so fascinating. The museum has done a great job in presenting the story of Apatheid in a very interesting way and my only complaint is that there is just “too much” information to take in on one day. There should be a more general tour and then a detailed one too leaving you with an option of taking in the basics and then diving in, heavier.
Of course I was aware of what went on during Apatheid but when you are there, in that country with the people who were subjected to that evil and you’re witnessing it again at first hand through tv footage, pictures and facts, it takes on a different feeling altogether. One of pain, empathy, helplessness, fear, loathing, anger and depression!
The visit to the museum really brought my spirit down and at first I just thought, oh man I’m having one of those days and it’s just a dramatic over-reaction on my part. However, subsequently I spoke to quite a few South Africans whose sentiments also mirrored exactly how I was feeling. So, no, it was not an over–reaction at all!
It did not help that I was already on a downer from the night before when we found out that Peter’s (guy who owned the cottages where we were staying) partner had passed away the week previously. He had not told us for the best part of the week as he did not want “us” to feel uncomfortable!!
He had no choice but to tell us now because the wake was going to take place on Saturday at his home and we would find out anyway. He was breaking up when he was telling us and it’s always hard to see a grown man weep like that. The fact that he did not wish to disturb us with his own huge personal sadness & loss really got me down and both Vince & I really felt for the guy.
Plus there was the whole creation thing too playing on my mind. My mate Fleck said, people always say “that you feel a “thing” that people who go in SA say one can feel? The mystery that enters into your soul about that place where man was born? It’s a sacred place down there”…
Well, I was feeling something. I was feeling that this planet was still in the process of creation and was incomplete. SA certainly created a lot of stuff in my mind, doubt, insecurity, depression, lethargy, anger and a numbness too!
It felt like I was in limbo land where there is a tension, where for the first time in my life I can feel the sense of helplessness & passivity of black people and their feeling of inferiority to white people. I could also feel it in the way our brothers Enzo, Thabang and Proff described their lives and their relationships to white people.
I had never experienced that before because I grew up in Birmingham, West Midlands where Black people from Jamaica are assertive and strong and don’t take any rubbish from anybody. Sometimes it does not translate well into practice and can appear aggressive but there’s a strength in that.
It was different in SA, the black people here seemed to be reconciled to passivity and that disturbed me cause it must have taken one hell of a psychological beating for them to feel that way!
Enzo’ personal story was very touching too, although he personally did not volunteer info about it and Thabang revealed most of it to us. It put what Enzo was doing and what he was achieving on an altogether different level, a level I doubt many of us could have reached if we had experienced a similar upbringing.
So, your boys were not having a wild time of it (albeit we were enjoying ourselves) as we could not help but to be touched by all these different stories and the pain they all seemed to hold.
Sorry man about all this downess..lol..but man that’s how it was!
I’m sure Leonard Cohen would feel right at home in this place..lol..
Let me cheer you up with something great from “Mabrr” -The Queen of African Pop – Brenda Fassie :
Ok we take in some souvenirs and then head for some dinner before heading over to our next main event which is the club night of the CEO of Dontlookdown.tv – Glenn van Loggerenberg aka DJ STRAT3GY.
Glenn invited us over for his event earlier in the week and after the getting the all-clear from him about being able to access the event in our street wear, we head over to Taboo, which is situate in Standton, the Beverly Hills of Jo’burg.
So we arrive there early for about 9pm as we have another engagement later that night with DJ Christos and we want to catch some of what Glenn does before we move on to the later one.
Taboo is very upmarket and full of bling. I must confess I’ve played many venues like this in the past and more often than not I always end up having a great night as the uber rich peeps are usually really up for having a good time and dancing all night, usually to House music.
So for me it was familiar territory but Vince could not have felt further away from what he is use to and feels comfortable with. So I guess him coming to dj with me in Morocco is now completely out of the question..lol.
However, what I was intrigued about was how Glenn was going to make the concept he discussed with us work in this kind of enviornment.
In my mind, I thought I knew exactly how to play this kind of gig in this kind of venue, feed them some non-descript downtempo/lounge vybz early on in the evening and build it up to a thumping, funky House beat. A sprinkling of Deep and then Kwaito house and Tropical vybz would be perfect for this place.
Glenn however had plans to deliver a more experimental edge to the proceedings early on with his video mashes of ambient-pop stuff like darker Massive Attack and so on and I was interested to see how this would work in this kind of environment.
Glenn is a good DJ and I loved what he was doing but I really was not convinced that the stuff worked in this kind of venue or environment. All kudos to Glenn for trying it out and also for trying to reach out to this kind of clientelle but it was bit like trying to add some substance to a place that is more style over substance.
However, I was impressed with the complete set up and all the work that went into bringing something different to this kind of environment.
I wish we could have stayed longer to see how things changed as the night went on cause all we did was to catch a glimpse into the the first 1 -2 hours or so of a night, which in most places on most of this earth is not a great indication of any club night and is indeed perhaps the night at it’s weakest point!
Here’s some more vids of Glenns work.
DJ CHRISTOS LIVE IN PRETORIA
We then head off to Pretoria to see the Legend who is known as DJ Christos who is expecting us boyz to be there.
This is what is said about him:
Christos Katsaitis is a legendary deejay and one of South Africa`s most respected house producers. A veteran of over two decades, he has been named the Godfather of House music in South Africa.
Having influenced and provided platforms for countless Dj`s and producers he is credited for the current flourish in the South African House music scene.
The Launch of his own label in 1999 Katsaitis music has been responsible for some of the most ground – breaking artists including Boom Shaka, the late Lebo Mathosa, Shana, Daw and Black Coffee. From behind the mixing desk, he’s produced some of the biggest tracks of the recent past, including 2 DJs and a Keyboard Player’s “Sekele”, Boom Shaka’s “Free” DJs At Work’s “Hey Dj”, Ratanang and Shana`s “Benga/ Umphulintlizio” and the 2008 smash hit `Uyangichomela`
In 1998 he received a SAMA award for best dance album with partner Vinny Da Vinci, since then his productions have received 4 SAMAS for groundbreaking work including album of the year in 2008. The launch of his record label has seen international success with releases from Real Tone records and Go-Go Music.
KATSAITIS MUSIC is the leading Dj agency in SA boasting top Dj`s Black Coffee ,Vinny Da Vinci ,Ralf Gum ,Franck Roger and Rocco. In addition to DJing and Producing Christos is also a successful promoter.
He established the Southern African music conference in 2004 and later formed a company called DJ`s Unite with Oskido,Da Vinci Fresh and Greg Maloka to run the SAMC, it is the largest annual House music conference on the continent. The Magic Sessions kicked of in 2007 with international guest Franck Roger ,Charles Webster, Rocco ,Abicah Soul, Ralf Gum and Manoo i`ts the most anticipated event on the dance music calendar.
His mix-CD CV is impeccable: he’s mixed deep journeys like ‘Club Classics’, ‘Wicked Sounds’ and ‘Magic Rhythms’, Franck Roger’s Real tone cuts and three volumes of Spiritual Journey and 3 volumes of the Channel O house explosion.
Christos deservedly called the Godfather of House has played alongside big guns like “Little Louie” Vega, Frankie Knuckles, Franck Roger, Rocco, Ralf Gum, Mr. V, Charles Webster, Dennis Ferrer to mention a few . However, more importantly, he has rocked some of the world`s most ecstatic venues.
DJ Christos has been a major role player in the development of Global dance music, and he’s done it with an honesty and open-mindedness that’s blind to cultural barriers. “I decided that if I was going to deejay, I was going to do it from the heart,” he says. “Music brings people together.” Christos embodies house music’s ability to unify.
Here’s a beautiful Christos remix of a Bucie track!
I had been chatting to this dude before our trip, making arrangements to meet in SA and at the time I just really did not know how influential this dude was.
Man, we were already in awe of this guy after our first meeting. He was also kind enough to take time out to hook us up with one of the main players on the scene, Black Coffee, and he also educated us about Culoe De Song!
Plus, we find out he’s chiefly responsible for mixing the new Black Coffee and Culeo De Song CDs’, which albeit are artist albums, are also mixed. That’s what they do in SA!
Now, we were intrigued to see and hear whether this dj could live up to the reputation that preceded him.
We arrive at the Pretoria venue, which is situate in da hood! Our names are on the VIP list and we enter the venue. IT IS RAMMED!
People are dancing like crazy and Dj Christos is already on the CDJs’. He sees/notices us as we look different to everybody else..lol..and he seems very happy to see us and acknowledges us with a wave. The crowd are going nutz to this dude.
As I can easily be mistaken for looking Greek, and as Christos has Greek origins, people are coming up to me and saying, “What time you playing, love your stuff man” and “We love your older brother, he’s the guy who started it all for us”…lol…and I’m saying, “yeah, thanks man”…”cool”….”I might go on later”, which of course is complete bull….lmao.
The dude is killing it and he’s a great DJ man, you can see him putting his heart and soul into this and so I go up closer to the decks to see him perform and he’s doing stuff on the CDJ’s I’ve never done before and so I’m learning a lot man!
In the meantime, the crowd are going crazy and I’m still being mistaken for his brother or relative and I’m getting a lot of attention..ahahaha and as Vince is the only white dude in the place, he’s also getting a lot of friendly attention ahahahhha.
So all is GREAT, everybody is rockin’ and DJ Christos is killing it and more than living up to his reputation, he is surpassing it!
After the show, I take some time out with Christos and everywhere he goes kids are coming up to him wanting to take pics and complimenting him on his set and telling him they got into House music cause of him etc. So as he can’t escape the kids he takes me into the venue’s kitchen where we can get to talk a bit more and away from the crowds.
So, instead of talking about Superstar DJ stuff, we start chatting about everyday things, like family, cigars etc..lol…and other stuff. He wants to chat about normal, everyday things and man I’m happy to oblige..lol.
Of coure we did end up talking a bit more about music stuff and we leave on brotherly terms.
What a night, Vince is in his element describing it as a phenomenal night and we’re all ecstatic cause it was grooving man!
We head back and Thabang is a little drunk and starts shooting some drunken video interviews on the ride home, much to Vince’s mild annoyance, as he’s trying to sleep!
Thabang is saying……..”VINCE…VINCE….WAKE UP….THIS IS JAH SEED…RAASTAR FAR EYE”.etc…lol…lol….
Here’s a track that killed it on the night, Hey Hey by Dennis Ferrer!
Over to you my brother for the final day!