“I wish I had realized back then that the music I was making was worth sharing with others instead of it just sitting on my hard drive gathering dust.”
TehSynes, [pronounced The Signs] hosts a weekly Drum & Bass event every Tuesday in Long Street, with DJ A33 showcasing styles of Drum & Bass often over looked. He was also a regular feature at the now defunct longest running Drum & Bass nights, Homegrown.
His inspiration is fed most notably by breakbeats from the 60’s and 70’s, the explosion of modern electronic art/dance music from the 90’s and of course, and his own spiritual connection with music and instruments; believing that a DJ set should not just make you dance but tell a story and his story is one of love of music and self-discovery. He will be performing at this year’s annual Cape Town Electronic Music Festival on Saturday 16 February at 12:00 PM.
1. DJ Technology: IS it harming the art of DJing or improving it?
In some ways it is harming it yes, many people are taking more of ‘the wrong’ shortcuts now, sure that is debatable though, but for the artists who are fuelled by innovation there are so many new ways to express your musical vision. The DJ can now successfully remix or create a track on the fly if they want, just with DJ gear! It’s a very exciting time right now, I hope more people will take advantage of this instead of just pressing sync or mixed in key and calling it a ‘rocking set’.
2. An electronic music festival like CTEMF is… a dream come true for a music fan like myself. So many festivals just aim to attract massive crowds by putting big names in capital letters on flyers with half naked girls. Here is a festival that is pushing to raise the awareness level to the general public about what and who is out there.
3. Electronic music is best translated as… ultimate freedom of expression.
4. As a DJ/Producer you would never… play or make music I do not feel with 100% of my soul.
5. In high school you were best known for… focusing on music and other things more than actual school work.
6. Being creative as an artist comes down to… knowing who you are as a creator, understanding your tools and roles, and being confident enough in your delivery that you do not become lazy to push yourself.
7. In your opinion where and how do club parties and festivals differ. Which do you prefer and why?
I love them both for similar and different reasons, each can offer you a level of freedom to enjoy music and socialize. I do feel some music is better suited to outdoor festivals and others to clubs. The type of set I’m playing at the CTEMF while it is very satisfying for me in a club, I hope it will be enhanced by the beautiful outdoor surroundings of the venue’s location under the mountain and next to the ocean.
8. A truly South African sound is… no longer just a Traditional African melody or rhythm, our local sound is like our culture, steeped in history, mixed in origin and approach, and proud of its future.
9. Name something in your artist career you feel you could have got more credit for.
I wish I had realized back then that the music I was making was worth sharing with others instead of it just sitting on my hard drive gathering dust.
10. There will never be too many… Jungle or Liquid Drum ‘n Bass DJ / Producers in the world.
11. What do you enjoy doing the most when you aren’t producing beats/looking for tunes?
Going to other music events, meeting and hanging out with good people.
12. Any pre-set rituals? [Get drunk, special meal, meditate, etc, etc]
Besides making sure I have all my music, I’m usually just quite excited to play!
13. Being a DJ/Producer in Cape Town is a lot like… I don’t know really, I’ve never really been anything else. [Laughs]
14. Name that sneaky track on your favourite playlist that would shock your other cool DJ friends?
I’m quite open about my music tastes so I don’t think anything will shock them besides an awesome new track they perhaps haven’t heard yet.
15. If you lived in a fantasy cartoon world where all the characters were DJs, what would your catch phrase be?
“I wanna live on this planet more.”