“Dropping the beat” has been a worldwide music industry phenomenon since the 2010’s. South Africa has jumped on this train to trendsville and as a result we have been proud to facilitate the emergence of the nation’s most talented DJ’s. The genre of music has gone through many interesting twists and turns. The advent of dubstep saw a young Skrillex rise to popularity. His style has been influential to many South African artists who have thrown in dashes of their own unique essences of electro, conceptualising interesting parallels of drum and bass, house and glitch hop.
As a first-class country when it comes to entertainment, we tend to follow the trends of the pop culture hub of the world - the good old US of A. Keeping up with international standards, South Africa has hosted a massive amount of electronic music festivals, which has helped to mould our talent into the SA music landscape. The trending cities of our nation - Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban - are promoting the steady rise of electro music through the gatherings of our countries most exciting nightclubs. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are jam packed with beats that echo through the midnight suburbia and brings to life the passion for electronic dance music that is shared in the hearts of all the “hip” youths.
On the more tribal side of the resurgence of SA electro, the trance scene has somewhat skyrocketed in the last couple of years. These “spiritual” gatherings cater to different kinds of trance lovers. Rezonance, one of the larger festivals, draws in crowds by the thousands, mixing in some commercial electro to please a large basin of genre preferences. The winter Vortex, which brings in the true followers of the trance scene, is a platform for a “hippie revival” where the latest technology utilises continuous beats in a rapid, quick-fire precision of bass lines. The point is, South Africans love it.
The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival is a beautiful example of a celebration of the cities best electro acts combined with the sponsorship and collaboration of youth-centric brands such as Red Bull. The event also inspires those who wish to be part of the action, as local electro heros have offer courses on music production and DJ courses in the past years. Ultra, arguably one of the world’s most anticipated commercial electronic music festivals has made its mark on the South African scene and pops up in Johannesburg and Cape Town - the “doof doof” capitals of our nation.
With the electro scene already well established and moving nowhere but forward on the popular music scene, we should keep our eyes out for the festivals that have been “South Africanised” and the artists that continue to put us on the top of the international electronic music scene. With Soundcloud, Spotify and iTunes at the ready, be sure to keep a sound ear out for the likes of NiskerONE, Das Kapital, Grimehouse, Chris Taylor and Jak Skandi. And, for those who prefer the more underground scene, or something a little different , look no further than Sibot, PHfat and of course the infamous trio Die Antwoord.
See you at the club…