Over the past few years, there has been an exponential growth in interest in South Africa as a musical destination. Where just over two decades ago the country was subject to institutionalised racial segregation, we now have a situation where artists and musicians from all over the globe are seeking to explore it’s hidden history and undying cultural activities.
As a young music fan growing up in South Africa, it was always a big deal when a new international act made a debut in the country. For so many years, most fans of music could only connect to global happenings through the limited amount of media channels available at the time. With many countries severing their ties with South Africa it became increasingly tricky for any sort of cultural exchange to occur. Yet despite this disconnection, the electronic music scene in the country was still expanding, albeit in it’s own esoteric way. The house music scene became a staple, whilst subgenres such as kwaito and bubblegum disco began to emerge at an equally fast pace. Fast-forward to 2017, the country has seen over 20 years of democracy and we have had innumerable amounts of new artists gracing our shores whether it is in small clubs or huge sell-out festivals.
Every so often however we get to experience something special, something unique, something unprecedented. Whilst the underground scene here is still in its infancy and most ‘successful’ parties and festivals are those who support the more ‘commercial’ aspects of the electronic dance music world, there is still a strong desire amongst smaller circles to engage with artists and scenes that transcend generic standards.
Just last year I was doing my daily trawling of the web and came across an interview feature on The Vinyl Factory focusing on the expansive record collection of Hush and Mistress label owner DVS1. As an artist who I respect highly and have followed for many years, I decided it was well worth a read. Low and behold, somewhere in the interview he mentioned that he had a particular desire to visit South Africa and explore it’s unique musical history. As a South African, it’s not often when you see one of your favourite artists expressing such an authentic interest in paying a visit to your own home. So, without hesitation I dropped Zak [DVS1] a message and a long conversation ensued…