The Red Bull Studio Live Stage at festivals such as Oppikoppi, Earthdance and Rocking the Daisies, is an outlet and platform to showcase the artists and musicians who are a part of the studio family. Whether its regulars who hang out with us day-to-day or people who are specifically invited to come and make music, we always make an effort to provide the music minds who put effort into working at the studio with a slot on one of the festival stages that Red Bull curates.
In this issue of the RADAR we will take a look at a handful of artists and acts who not only played at Rocking the Daisies, but who are also a regular feature at the Cape Town studio.
Blush ‘n Bass, comprised of Candice Heyns and Tarryn Pickett, are probably one of the most diligent DJs to step behind the decks. Over two weeks they auditioned track after track and rehearsed their Rocking the Daisies mix to perfection at the studio. Their hard work paid off with an earth-shattering set of electro, indie-tinged grinders that had several thousand people losing their minds on Friday night inside the amazing Red Bull Studio Live “Peanut” tent (so named for its peanut-like shape). These girls are ambitious to say the least and I’m confident that we will be hearing a lot more from them in the future.
Soulo Starr has been paying his dues in Cape Town for a long-time now. His Saturday night weekly gig at the Waiting Room with Miss H, appropriately titled the Boogie, is the number one hip-hop-soul-funk party to get loose to in the Mother City. Although he was on at 11:00 on Saturday morning, Mr. Starr managed to fire out a set of low-slung electronic hip-hop and classic old-school bangers mixed up with his own productions performed live off his MPC sampler. By midday he had the tent bouncing in excitement.
Not long after his set Sedge Warbler took to the stage. Comprised of glitch-hop master producer Dank and number one emcee Disco Israel, their sound is a heavy concoction of fibrillating bass, 8-bit computer game sounds and straight up rap that makes Lil Wayne look like a saint.
By Saturday night the Peanut was filled to capacity with about three thousand revellers and it was time for some serious dance music. Twelv and Thesis are a duo from Joburg who specialize in party-rocking beats. Twelv’s Ableton Live breakbeat production is a perfect bed for Thesis’s crowd hyping rap. Mincing no words, they bashed out nu-school breaking dubstep rinsers with a distinct local flavour.
After a night of total abandon, one would think that Sunday would be a write off especially because storm clouds of epic proportions threatened to ruin the day. This is where the Peanut showed off its true power providing protection from the elements for the Sunday maniacs.
The overall consensus is that the Red Bull Studio Live Stage at Rocking the Daisies has set the bar for electronica and dance music stages at South African festivals. But more importantly, because of its scope, it really provides a platform for all the artists, DJs and musicians who are trying to push the boundaries and make music that is genuinely authentic. It is going to be interesting to first of all see what these artists accomplish over the next year and secondly who the new batch of musical pioneers will be and what they have in store for some three thousand festival goers.