Regan – Addicted To Music
While at university I wrote down some guidelines for life,” says Regan Tacon. “They were: empowerment, education, entertainment, and enlightenment.” The hub-bub of a coffee shop swirls around us. He lives in Hout Bay with his wife, Monique, as well as his young daughter. “I still live by those words.”
Regan is a self-confessed music addict. He’s one hell of a guy to introduce, but let’s try: he’s part of the original psy set – the producers who first started making trance music in the late nineties. He’s both DJ and Label Manager for Nano Records. Plus his events company puts on two of the biggest outdoor psy-trance parties every year: Earthdance Cape Town and Origin Festival as well as two alternative festivals: Nu World Eve and Flamjangled Tea Party.
“I just don’t stop,” he says. “The events aren’t just me though, Monique holds down the fort, plus there’s a strong team around what we do.”
In 2000, Regan held the first Earthdance, and since then the festival has grown exponentially. “For me it symbolises the essence of what the trance scene is: a forum to communicate not only music, but art, ideas and a sense of community – social activation, that’s what’s important. We’re always trying to do something more than just having a thrash.”
“It’s definitely going where I want it to go,” Regan says when asked about 2012’s festival. “But there’s still so much I’d like to do. More stages, more information, more community, just more! More for people to participate in and more for people to leave with.”
And the second stage? “The techno floor is a bit rougher and edgier, but that’s the point; I want to get those edgy kids out of the city and maybe smooth off some of those edges,” Regan relates this with his characteristic big grin.
For Regan it’s always been about music: playing it, promoting it and partying to it. From being a kid with a ‘mad music collection’ to the bands he played in as a teenager, notably Seven Head Scream, a metal band he was in with his brother (Gareth from The Commercial Hippies); and to the underground dance music radio station he hosted at university.
A Cape Town local he grew up in a ‘very arty’ household, not only was his mom an art teacher, but he also studied it.
Origin Festival has one of the most exciting international line-ups of the entire outdoor calendar, an intentional move. “We want Origin to be the more ‘international’ of the festivals. We actually have groups of people that travel from overseas just to come to the event.”
Recently Regan played at the Boom Festival in Portugal. A set he remembers with glee. The day he played, so did a host of other Nano artists, a gesture he says was to celebrate ‘10 Years of Nano Records’. And fittingly it tore the proverbial roof off.
Nano Records is one of the most successful psy-trance labels around. “Every day I feel like throwing in the towel,” Regan says ruefully when asked about the future of the label. “It’s hard to justify spending so much time on something that’s so difficult to monetise. But… the power of the label lies in the promotion and connecting with the right people. Promoting our family; I’ve always seen the artists as such.”
The Flamjangled Tea Party is a break away from the psy events. The annual festival is a melange of live music, electro swing and fancy dress. “It’s a festival for post ravers,” says Regan. “It’s more chilled than trance parties but it still has that twisted psychedelic vibe to it.”
The other alternative festival Nu World Eve is centred around ‘worldbeat’. It’s an electronic musical festival in the same spirit of the Tea Party: fun, whimsical and light-hearted. Regan often DJs at both under project Circus Swing with Toby 2shoes.
“It’s easy to diversify between the festivals, as a DJ and as an events organiser: good music is good music, and I’m doing what I’ve always done – promoting music I like.”
Find Regan here on Facebook