The Venue: Elandskloof farm has to be in at least my top 3 favorite venues for trance parties. It’s about 1.5 – 2 hours out of Cape Town and is just undeniably a trancies paradise. The Origin stage is out on an open field with incredible views of the neighboring mountain ridges. There is a gentle stream that runs directly next to it making it super easy to wet your sarong or cool off a bit in the precious water. The trance floor led off to the row of shops and food stalls which took you into the camping area.
The camping was in the middle of a dense forest which genuinely saved lives. Having to camp out in the open pretty much means you won’t be getting any morning sleep with the sun being as fierce as it is mid trance season. The deep jungle walk through the dense trees made for an interesting trek. With some amazing art installations and groovy lights, it was all you could have wanted from a psychedelic walkway.
One of the key reasons that this venue sticks out from the rest is the swimming area. The water’s warm and it has green, green grass along the banks so you can take an easy dive without worrying about damaging your already fragile feet on rocks. The beats stage was deeply submerged in lush forest area and alongside the pool so you could easily keep snapping your fingers and stomping your feet in the water. Superb.
The vibe: This party just attracts beautiful people. It’s what you would expect from a line up as psychedelic as this one. The grooviest of folk habited the jol and they were all there to share peace, love and this fantastic party together.
See, Origin is a gateway party. The Cape Town techno folk come in for their brand of music and then get drawn into the more psychedelic stuff.
Before they know it, they’re wearing tie dye and repeating mantras before bed. This can translate to a crowd that is both accepting and inviting to all people of different genres.
The décor & Lighting: For as long as I’d seen pictures of the candy cathedral, I have longed to dance beneath it’s pink canopy. Designed by Artescape, the transparent glass stained panels meant that specks of color reached down from the sky to gently kiss the beautiful people. The stage was designed by atmosphere décor and was no exception from the fantastic production they always put up. It was goliath and beamed brightly over the crowd like a monument to the beauty of what was in store for us.
And the 3D mapping. It was next to impossible to boogie in the cathedral without getting lost in the constantly evolving and shifting lights. You could spend the entire night losing time into the fractals and shimmers of the stage. The boys and girls behind the lighting absolutely outdid themselves. We were all kids and this was one big psychedelic candy store.
The music: From the moment Kai Mathesdorf brought in the first build up to Loud finishing with “Africa 101”, the entire crowd was there in song and spirit.
The speed and tempo of the trance fluctuated hugely this whole weekend, but the theme was consistent. Mucho Psychadelica.
It started off with Kai Mathesdorf, Liquid Viking and Dave Mac bringing in the psychedelic sounds to set up for Louds first set (gonna cover that at the end, don’t you worry.)
After Louds first set we went straight into the harder stuff with Zezia, 2012, Shockwave and Phixius opening us up to heaps of alien noises and huge basslines. The sunrise duty was left to Geometric Flux who kept the psy strong, but also incorporated some of the more Isreali influenced trance. Heaps of Indian vocals and big beats. You had to stop for a few seconds just appreciate what you were listening to. Huge throw down.
Gorovich/Empirikal (the drummer of loud) got us psyched up for the day by playing slightly slower but SUPER trippy morning sounds. This guy is also hugely underground having around 2000 people following him on soundcloud. Definitely go check out some of tracks, I would not be surprised if this guy blows up really soon.
At this point the Origin floor closed down for us to go check out some of the beats stage (but I’ll cover that later).
When the delicious psytrance came back we were treated to sets by Golanski, Sad Paradise and HEADROOM. I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never heard Sad Paradise and Headroom play music like that before. We’re so used to their more full-on Sunday stuff, but them playing on Saturday brought in a whole new element to their influence. Loud set the tone for this festival and they followed suit with plenty of crisp bass and so much psychedelic. We weren’t used to this, but I’d eat my hat if I found a person who didn’t enjoy their sets.
Dala led us into the faster stuff which got us right into one of my personal favorite sets of the weekend.
Magik got onto the decks and it was just sexy, groovy soul awakening stuff. I didn’t see a single person with their smile upside down during his set as it just seemed to get everyone on that level.
Virtual light came in and opened the portal to us all with all the beeps, boops, thunderous bass and some of the darker stuff. I have thoroughly enjoyed having him spend time playing with us in South Africa and he is always invited to my birthday parties from here on out.
Tersius and Daroom came up next and fed the crowd some delicious dark and psychedelic trance. This was the music to throw down on the dance floor to, with all those trippy melodies and that thumping fast bass. The night crowd was out and they were getting real loose.
Tune Raider came up next and gave us the musical equivalent of strong coffee. Banging psy-morning tunes, she kept the crowd bouncing around like animals.
Dj Mark, Regan (the godfather of Nano records) and the lad known as James West then kicked it off with some Sunday psychedelic. James West is rated as one of the new young guns of Nano, but let me tell you something. This kid has some secret weapons up his sleeve and I am beyond keen to see where he goes. The Commercial Hippies came up next with loads of laser beams and crunchiness. At that point, we were ready for Loud.
They graced us with two sets, One on Friday night and one on the closing Sunday duty. The Friday night set just set the tone for the whole weekend. It was jam packed full of future sounds, huge builds and smooth, clean bass. The set peaked with them playing “Small Talk”. I swear I’ve never seen a song put an entire dance floor on the same frequency like that. Loud were the puppet masters and when they said dance, we all danced.
Their Sunday closing set was vastly different, but just as incredible to witness. They incorporated live drums into their repertoire which made for some super tribal funday jams. Hearing the live drums being built onto their songs was simply jaw dropping. In the Cape Town trance scene, we’re so used to our more progressive and large closing sets, but this Sunday was an exception. They’re slower, more clannish sound brought all of us down to a level where we could all leave Origin with a sense of calming peace.
Seriously, my grandkids are one day going to get sick of me telling them about the two times I saw loud.
The beats floor was also consistently banging throughout the Saturday and Sunday with the range of music being played having vast differences, yet constantly enjoyable.
Daniel Popper and Travisto brought in the fun day time Tech-house which then lead into Dusty Human who played us some fantastic groovy beats. Dirty Doering played a notable set which was sort of acidy and super techno. This guy blends new and old school techno together so seamlessly.
Eitan Reiter (another member of Loud) came up next with some amazing sunshine techno with loads of clear breaks and transcendent samples. Really fun stuff.
Things got a bit more industrial at that point with Pete Bones and Danalog leading us onto STAB Virus. These guys are absolutely killing it in the South African techno scene having just been invited to play at awakenings festival in the Netherlands. This is a HUGE accomplishment and a testament to South African techno leaving a huge imprint on the world. Raxon came out of nowhere with his Egyptian magic leaving the crowd pumped up and ready for B_Type who played an EPIC psytech set. It was a lot faster than the stuff I have usually heard him play, but it was also one of my favorite sets from the weekend.
Lady M came up afterwards and played some super trippy fast style techno which got us all on that frequency.
I unfortunately missed the beats floor on Sunday (I say unfortunately, I was too busy “heving” it on the trance floor), but I have it in good faith that Kyle Russow, Desktop Desktop, Pierre Estienne, Spekta, Toby 2 Shoes and Ian Skene brought that floor down with some epic deep techno beats.
I also didn’t get a chance to check out much of the forest chill floor (again, “heving” it), but I heard it was just what people needed to get off their feet and relax into some chilled mellow music.
I did however hear that Bayawaka gave the floor his unique style of chilled out dubbed up tunes and I look forward to hearing him play soon.
See all of you folk at Masqued Ball!