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Zebra & Giraffe | Reigning in the World of Electronic Rock

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Greg Carlin

5 May 1891. Music Hall in NYC has its grand opening and first public performance with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor. 5 May 1932. Japan and China sign a peace treaty. 5 May 1972. Voyager 1 passes Jupiter. 5 May 2008. Zebra and Giraffe releases Collected Memories and ends the world of electronic rock as South African music fans have come to know it. Rachelle Crous spoke to Greg Carlin, the force responsible for setting loose the zoo to conquer and reign over alternative electronic rock in South Africa. Continue reading Zebra & Giraffe | Reigning in the World of Electronic Rock

Posted in Artist Interviews | No Comments »

Neo-Classical Puck Fills The Lark Gap

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

images by Brett Thompson
Listen up, all you fans of the ill-fated, London-bound, live operatic electronic outfit Lark: there’s a new outfit in town that’s gonna scratch your itch. Meet Puck.

Continue reading Neo-Classical Puck Fills The Lark Gap

Posted in Industry News, Music Features | No Comments »

Pics | PsynOpticz Presents Alienated | Psytrance

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Anyone over 25 may remember a spot in Cape Town called Upstairs. The late night spot, and one which kinda caught the tail end of the psytrance peak in about 2002. There was only one spot you were welcome after 3am, and it had a fire in the middle, sick tunes and all the trimmings of that international brand of Goa beach culture. The heads’ll know what I mean.

I myself was a tourist in this scene, welcomed into it by a kind cousin who always made sure I had a beer and a friendly face to talk to. Without reducing myself to a blubbering emotional heap, I miss that place. It seemed way to…informal to be a club in the centre of the world’s most beautiful city.

So getting repeated Facebook messages, SMSs and emails about Cape Town’s sequel to Upstairs from PsynOpticz organiser Calvin Pfaff a.k.a SwiTcHcaChe (not SwitchAche, btw) meant that I was looking forward to the re-emergance of electronic music on a large, loud scale at the regular Bang Bang club parties.

So check out the pics from this stylishly converted venue and get your rectum to the next couple of events. It’s the best place to end up on the night.

PsynOpticz Productions | Bang Bang Club, CT

19th June :: No-Eye-Dea | on Facebook
03rd July :: Crunked | on Facebook


Posted in Event Reviews | 1 Comment »

PsynOpticz Presents Electro-Magnetic Beatz

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Hey everyone,

Well, the hype for the second PsynOpticz event is huge! With such a sick lineup I know I wouldn’t miss it for anything!

Visuals from Twizted, the last party by PsynOpticz.
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Bruce (Afrogalactic)
PlusMinus (Organik)
Stereal Key (Groovy Troopers)
SwiTcHcaChe (PsynOpticz)
Silo (PsynOpticz)

Just an update for you all about the guestlist: we’re giving 5 places away to every 20th confirmed guest for the event and for every 10th person that joins our group on Facebook. In other words, loads of tix up for grabs.

Spread the word!! Join the revolution! Friday is a public holiday so it’s time to smash it up. We have a few bottles of tequila on the house going around so be prepared for a night of craZynesss!

For guestlist stuff email psynopticz_productions@yahoo.co.uk

See you all on Thurs 1st May for a night of Electro-Magnetic Beatz! Thanks for the support!!

PsynOpticz Crew

  • Electro-Magnetic Beatz Event Page
  • Twizted: Indoor Party Kicks Off With A Bang
  • PsynOpticz Presents Electro-Magnetic Beatz: 1st May 2008
  • The Bang Bang Club: April/May Gig Guide

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Richard Dorfmeister At Caprice: Pics

    Monday, April 7th, 2008

    I asked some guy at Richard Dorfmeister a pretty simple question: “What type of music is this?” I had to shout it over the super-tight four-to-the-floor beat pumping out of the corner speakers at Cafe Caprice on a chilly Friday evening. Last Friday evening, in fact. “House,” he answered, simply.

    The brevity and directness of his answer blew me away like a white noise synth wash. So simple! Not “tribal minimal tech house” or “deep jazzy house with subtones of funkadelia”. Just “house”.

    We label our music so specifically these days. And the musicians among us find our little niche – our own private corner of the market – because, let’s face it, as South African musicians, we often write and create with our eyes on the payload. And everyone’s trying to do their own thing. These days, every man is his own genre. And it’s confusing the hell out of our fans.

    But anyway, back to the issue: Dorfmeister cooked. Here are some pics.

    [Whaddaya mean you mean ‘Urban Wave never hooked me up’? Get into gigs like this for free! Cover gigs for Overtone

    “These days, every man is his own genre. And it’s confusing the hell out of our fans.”

    Posted in Event Reviews | 1 Comment »

    Man Claims To Be Infected By Computer Virus

    Saturday, March 1st, 2008

    In a report most are dismissing as science-fiction, a music enthusiast and web editor from Cape Town, South Africa has claimed that an Internet virus known as ‘Pravda23′ has taken possession of his mind and body. The origins of the virus are allegedly traced to an as yet unnamed online electronic music social networking community.

    John Bartmann claims that the program, working ‘through’ him, is ‘infecting’ what he has come to call ‘streetbeat’; ie, rhythm-oriented music that is distributed only through either Internet download or by hand, in the form of copied, home-made CDs.

    The 26-year-old classically trained composer claims that he willingly allowed himself to be ‘infected’ when he received an reply to his blog from a user entitled Pravda23. After engaging in a hefty, two-year dialogue, he claims that the user ‘revealed’ itself as a program when it sent the following cryptic message (translated from ASCII for the purposes of this release):

    | obtain userID sock
    | overload offload
    | attain user

    Bartmann hypothesized that the report, loosely translated, stated the program’s intention to use his body as a carrier for the exposure of its music. Now, he has openly confessed that his life has changed since the infection, the details of which are still not clear.

    “It’s more about spending your time here acting on what you believe than it is trying to figure out who you are,” he said when recently interviewed on South African music news service Overtone.co.za. “I don’t feel any less in control than before the infection. In fact, I think more people should open themselves up to what they fear most: the threat of being outcast.”

    There is little that can be done to prove this audacious claim. However, Bartmann has already created, packaged and distributed over 500 copies of his debut ‘dynamic’ music album, The Kuleshov Effect. When asked how the general public might respond to the concept of an album that is regularly updated and released for free in versions by hand, he replied, “I take no credit for any of my actions. My life is in PRAVDA23′s hands.”

  • Reason 3.0: Electronic Music Tutorial
  • Felix Laband: Facebook Group

  • [poll=27]

    Posted in Industry News | No Comments »

    Origin Festival: Pics

    Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

    Check out the madness from Origin Festival 2008. From between gargled incoherency and clenched jaws, we managed to establish that the festival was a total jol, and that pretty much everyone who made their way up to the venue just past Nekkies in the Western Cape was rewarded with both hard trance and chillout stuff.

    Overtone is looking forward to the next couple of trance fests. Check out the upcoming festivals below. Peace.

  • Welcome Back, Up The Creek Festival
  • Wake Up To Origin Festival 2008
  • You Will Be At Ramfest
    More news…
  • When Who What Where ZAR
    8 Feb Noisy Radicals in South Africa Psytrance Durbanville tbd
    9 Feb A Fu-Cha Summer Stomp Psytrance Hornbill Rockpool, CPT tbd
    16 Feb Beartrap – Creature o/t Wheel Psytrance tbd tbd
    22 Feb Chicken Skratch 3 DAY Party! Psytrance tbd tbd
    23 Feb Organik feat. Eskimo Psytrance CPT 135/150/120
    29 Feb Chicken Skratch @ Ramfest Psytrance CPT 225/250
    1 Mar Alien Safari-Masqued Ball Psytrance Stellenbosch 150/170
    8 Mar Eletric Gnome Party Psytrance tbd tbd
    14 Mar Chicken Skratch Party! Psytrance tbd tbd
    More gigs…

    Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Goldfish And Cocktails, While Stocks Last!

    Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

    It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Camps Bay and as I watched the sun setting I knew that there was something equally impressive about to go down at Ignite later on in the evening: Submerged Sundays with Cape Town’s favourite live dance-music act, Goldfish.

    Goldfish at Ignite

    The prospect of writing a review of a live performance was quite exciting and a task that put me on the other side of the microphone for the first time in a while. So, while Overtone took stabs at Up The Creek and Origin Festival, some of us remained behind to pick up the slack at one of the hippest clubs on the strip.

    Goldfish: just in case you’re not familiar with ‘em.
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    While Dom Peters (keys, double bass, groovebox antics) was setting up the group’s complex audio/visual frontline, bartenders stood at attention. One of them delivered an ice-cold Amstel to me at a surprisingly reasonable price, and the black leather-coated bouncers smiled forcefully at random intervals. An all-round sense of expectation.

    Even if you haven’t followed the life and times Goldfish too closely thus far (and missed what Dom had to say on Overtone last time), you will undoubtedly have heard of them, their music, high-profile gigs (locally and internationally) or even attended a show or two. As for myself, I saw them first a couple of years ago at a Red Bull event in an airport hanger with Verismo. More recently, I enjoyed their Rezonance Prism 2007/2008 show. I was impressed with their perfectly choreographed fire-dancing sideshow – and then distracted by my mates and their acquaintances, who broke into their limo and stole their booze while they were on stage. Sorry guys. Not that it’s any consolation, but my umbrella went missing that night.

    The clock ticked 10pm and Dom got jiggy on the keys. The crowd had already packed the dance floor quite nicely and the little “no-man’s land” that always exists between the front-row and the stage (ask me why?) wasn’t going to last much longer either. David Poole‘s steady finger hit the button and Goldfish launched supersonically into a bouncy jazz-house track that got the guys sticking their hands in the air, and the girls waving their single-vodka-and-limes around like they just don’t care! Yeah yeah…

    The set was varied: a good couple of previews of their new album, classics off the old one, as well as interesting remixes crossing somewhere between the two. The video screens on either sides of the stage fed off two cameras positioned just above the band members’ heads and spectacularly give those less fortunate people who found themselves wedged far behind the hip-grinding front row, a great view of all the action – with some awesome VJ video-effects added!

    The crowd spontaneously erupted to the famous sax riff of Egyptology and despite the next day being a working day, the mood was light and bubbly as Goldfish took them to another level at the Submerged Sundays at Ignite in Camps Bay, Cape Town. It’s quite clear why Goldfish just does it for us: brilliant musicianship meets live electronica in a head-on, passionate frolic. Hey, even Snow Patrol’s going electro…

    [Guest Post By Mark Schellhas] | More…

    When Who What Where ZAR
    9 Feb, 10pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Grahamstown Festival n/a
    10 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    15 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Old Biscuit Mill, CPT n/a
    More gigs…

  • Goldfish: Teaching A Nation To Fish
  • Reason 3.0: Electronic Music Video Tut
  • Indidginus: Music To Wash The Dishes To
    More news…
  • “Sorry guys. Not that it’s any consolation, but my umbrella went missing that night.”

    Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Snow Patrol To Go Electro On Signal Hill

    Monday, January 21st, 2008

    In a spectacular 5 years, Snow Patrol have gone from Glasgow’s best kept secret to global superstars, topping charts, filling stadiums and becoming…well, pretty huge. And now they’re on their way here.

    Snow Patrol DJ Set

    After five years of non-stop touring, recording and promoting, Tom & Gary from Snow Patrol are taking a long-deserved trip out to the Mother City, to join Global Breakthrough for five days of kicking, chest-wobbling dance music festivities in a bunch of weird and wonderful locations…

    Global Breakthrough?

    Global Breakthrough is a five-day festival happening over Feb/Mar in Cape Town (with two events in Gauteng). Five days of beat music, cocktails and the right people. Check their site out if you reckon you’ve got a claim to fame in the electronic underground.

    Global Breakthrough 2007
    More Vids | Submit Vids


    The Story…

    Back in 2004 the 5th instalment of The Trip CD compilation on Family Recordings came fresh from the rather substantial record bag of Gary Lightbody, lead vocalist and guitarist of global superstars, Snow Patrol.

    Gary and the band created a reputation for some ferocious after-show DJ sessions – and when Gary heard the Tom Middleton Trip album earlier that year he was inspired to have a crack at a Trip of his own. The result was pretty special.

    Gary wove together a mix of styles featuring then current faves Mylo, Hot Chip, Four Tet and Seelenluft plus amazing funk driven workouts from Bill Withers, Jacknife Lee and Sex In Dallas. Gary also plundered some weird and wonderful tunes on his travels from Husky Rescue, The Shins, Mum and TV On The Radio. This cocktail is topped off with a smattering of Gallic genius from Alan Braxe & also Kojak.

    Snow Patrol will bringing something pretty special to Cape Town. OK, aside from the fact that they’re playing atop Signal Hill, they’re also demonstrating a rare type of cross-genre creativity. Hey, if you’re a musician, you’re a musician…

    When Who What Where ZAR
    Sun 3 Feb, 2pm Oskido House Mzolis, Gugulethu Free
    Wed 27 Feb, 5pm Global Breakthrough Lineup House Karma, CPT Invite
    Thu 28 Feb, 6pm Global Breakthrough Lineup House n/a n/a
    Fri 29 Feb, 6pm Luciano, Killer Robot Min tech V&A Waterfront Hangar 70pre/120
    Fri 29 Feb, 8pm Global Breakthrough Lineup House The Ostrich Farm, Philadelphia 50pre/70
    Sat 1 Mar, 5pm Snow Patrol DJ Set Electronic Signal Hill, CPT 200/500VIP
    Sun 2 Mar, 5pm Global Breakthrough Lineup House Baraza, CPT n/a
    Sun 2 Mar, 9pm Henrik Schwarz Jazzy house Miller Warehouse, JHB 50pre/70
    Sun 2 Mar, 7pm Global Breakthrough Lineup House Godfrey Moloi Mansion, Soweto 50pre/70
    More gigs…

  • Pimp Squad DJs: Album, Tour
  • Reason 3.0: Electronic Music Video Tut
  • Fatboy Slim Flies South For Summer

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Goldfish: Teaching A Nation To Fish

    Friday, January 18th, 2008

    Being in a band is like being a politician on the campaign trail. You tour from place to place, smiling and waving, babbling your “message”, being interviewed, conducting in-depth PR discussions, hoping everyone will like you and thus buy your albums. This can consume you.


    I thought about this intriguing parallel as Dave and I stood in the lobby of the Mandela foundation after the 46664 press conference. We watched an established local Pop Star (with his high-profile model girlfriend in tow) casually leave his coffee cup on the Nobel Peace Prize cabinet and maneuvered his way into a photo-op. I suppose when you start doing bathroom fittings endorsements, you’re kinda a lost cause.

    Goldfish – All Night.
    More Vids | Submit Vids


    Live, The Goo Goo Dolls, Peter Gabriel, and Annie Lennox were all at the conference. Johnny Clegg, Just Jinjer and Arno Carstens, too. Wed all assembled for the press conference alongside artists we had grown up listening to. Surreal.

    It hit home even stronger when one of Mandela’s assistants called us in. We were nervously ushered past Ludacris and Corrine Bailey Rae.

    It’s about now that you realise who the REAL star of this whole caboodle is. I just wish I had a sampler with me when he said in that distinctive voice, “Ahh! Goldfish!”

    Teach a nation to Fish…

    Alexandra Township: one of the nation’s largest informal settlements. We hopped a police-escorted ride through congested Jozi traffic to an educational school play about AIDS. We were billed as speakers. We knew our stuff.

    But addressing a student when she puts up her hand to ask if a CD4 count of 220 is low is hectic. If you’ve got a count of 200, you’ve got AIDS. A powerful moment, which made the whole experience suddenly real. With proper treatment and anti-retrovirals, anyone can live a long and productive life. Let’s just work towards getting our government to make them available to everyone.

    Ludacris got it good when one of the kids answered his diatribe on safe sex with, “what do you mean when you rap, ‘I keep lotsa ho’s in different area codes’?”

    Uh oh…

    Big Fish…

    Ellis Park Stadium: an insane gig. To walk out on to that stage and see thousands of people in front of you is pretty damn cool. The stage was revolving, so whilst one band played, another band set up, only to be swung into view, ready to rock as the other band finished their 15 minute slot. Perfect for keeping the music flowing.

    We had our own stage, which extended into the Golden Circle (how appropriate). We made the most of our 15 minutes, and jammed our hearts out. What a blast! The crowd was awesome, singing along to the Fishies and making us feel right at home. We chilled out afterwards and watched the other bands perform, and soon it was time to welcome Mr Mandela on stage. All the artists assembled on the back half of the revolving stage, and whilst Madiba made his way to the microphone (which took some time). The crowd went bananas and it took a good ten minutes for them to calm down. As soon as Mandela started talking, you could hear a pin drop.

    “Aids is no longer a health crisis,” says Mandela. “It is a human rights issue. It’s true. People in South Africa are being denied access to anti-retrovirals that can save their lives. So, being part of a movement to make a change – however small – was an incredible honour for us. The people who work for 46664 are an inspiration. Perhaps it is the ‘Mandela magic’ rubbing off on them or something, but it is so good to see people involved in something they believe in.

    46664 rocked, and I think everyone that was there walked away a little more educated and hopefully a little more pro-active about this disease that affects us all, whether we realise it yet or not. With millions raised, it was another huge success for the 46664 movement. A huge thanks to the 46664 foundation, Real Concerts, all the artists who took part and everyone who showed up to have a good time whilst doing something uplifting.

    by Dom Peters

  • Indidginus: Music To Wash The Dishes To
  • Overtone Featured Artists: Louise Eksteen
  • Reason 3.0: Electronic Music Video Tut
    More news…
  • When Who What Where ZAR
    18 Jan, 9pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Tilt, DBN n/a
    20 Jan, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    26 Jan, 6pm Goldfish Electronic jazz J&B Met, Kenilworth, CPT n/a
    27 Jan, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    2 Feb, 7pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Fees, Stellenbosch, CPT n/a
    3 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    9 Feb, 10pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Grahamstown Festival n/a
    10 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    15 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Old Biscuit Mill, CPT n/a
    More gigs…

  • Goldfish saxophonist David Poole‘s first band later went on to become Dorp
  • The band was named after bassist/keyboardist Dom Peters‘ memory span; he claims that it’s “as useless as a goldfish”

  • Posted in Music Features | 1 Comment »

    Reason 3.0: Electronic Music Video Tut

    Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

    It’s the first chapter of Overtone’s video tutorial series! This session, we’re sequencing electronic music in Reason 3.0. Includes links to further help online and info on SA electronic music artists.

    Reason 3.0 on Overtone

    Reason 3.0 is a powerful music-making device by Propellerheads, Sweden. The first version of the program was considered the sequel to existing programs such as Fruity Loops and Acid Pro.

    How to make Hip Hop on Reason 3.0: Video Tutorial – Part I
    More Vids

    Three things set this program (and its recent sequel, Reason 4) apart from other programs:

    a flip-over view, which allows you to route the devices in a practically infinite number of ways

    the inclusion of a massive library of real audio samples (*.wav and *.aiff files), rather than synthesized audio

    the Rewire function, which allows the program to be plugged into other compatible programs, such as Cubase, effectively doubling its functionality

    Take a look at the latest addition to the rapidly growing Overtone world, with the first of our video tutorials.

  • Propellerheads Software
  • Reasonfreaks: Freakishly Helpful Forum
  • Also, a bunch of SA electronic artists (wanna be on this list? We’ll sell your CD!)

  • Trance Authority
  • Chilled Alaskan DJ
  • Liver
  • Sibot
  • Pravda23
  • Felix Laband
  • The Real Estate Agents
  • Think we’re cool? Wanna cover gigs for Overtone? Join the growing editorial team and live music industry. Email the ed for more: john@overtone.co.za

    Posted in Music Features | No Comments »

    Unit.R: Up To Some New Tricks

    Saturday, October 27th, 2007

    You turn around and Unit.R is up to their tricks. With a good 50% more original music and their familiar, quirky line-up of electro/folk/indie dance-rock, the notoriously unclassifiable four-piece went and did it again on Friday. A sick gig up at the Independent Armchair Theatre in Cape Town bolstered the electronic underground as the Cape Town electronic innovators released their second video: It’s All About.


    This is always the best way to do it. It’s 1.23am, and I just returned from Unit.R and Ashtray Electric. I’ve seen the former a million times (and the latter only once now), and wanna just throw a few pics and a word on some new stuff from this time around. Nothing hectic cos I’m half asleep.

    First off, they’ve obviously been busy, cos they’ve got a whole bunch of new stuff on the lineup.

    “We’ve got a drinking song,” confessed bassist/vocalist Goran halfway through the set from under the new lighting rig at the every-busy Armchair. Programmer/vocalist Justin whipped out a mouth keyboard/accordion of some sort and, again, there must have been someone in the crowd going like, “there they go again — showing off their creativity.”

    Speaking of vocals, Matt‘s voice has boomed since his last showing. The man aliased as psytrance DJ Artifakt gave a little credence to the diversity of the Cape Town live scene with a rough but confident vocal performance. Nice one, dude.

    The group signed off with a half-beat encore. I met Goran outside:

    “Yeah, it [the gig] was allright,” he mused in his signature accent. “You always have a few fuckups, but I enjoyed it. Do you have a smoke? I don’t smoke but I really feel like one…”

    The supporting show of the evening was Armchair Electric, down in Cape Town for the first time (to my knowledge). The five-piece indie rockers (yeah — skinny jeans and all) put on a refreshingly unpretentious act, which got a couple of feet tapping. Sure, there’s always work to be done, but with a left-handed guitarist and a vocalist who seems very in love with something (not sure what, but it shows!), there’s a road waiting to be walked for ‘em.

    Unit-R & Ashtray Electric

    Posted in Event Reviews | 4 Comments »