South Africa’s dance and DJ scene has never been more essential. So if you’re in the city for a weekend (or just a night) who you gonna call to get the party started? We’ve rounded up four four-to-the-floor movers and shakers you’re gonna want to kick things off in style…
South Africa’s resurgent clubbing scene owes a massive debt of gratitude to the visionary and passionate exploits of Roger Goode. This one-man dance music evangelist has been showing the rest how it’s done for twenty-odd years. Trance is his natural habitat, but the man’s sunny disposition always results in sets that are way more hands-in-the-air than head nodding appreciation. He’s played in Miami, Ibiza, NYC and London, and he’s still firing on all cylinders, almost 20 years since his breakthrough tune – the Pete Tong-approved ‘In the Beginning.’ This Johannesburg boy’s radio show is as life-affirming a listen today as it’s ever been. And he’s still confounding expectations – ruthlessly cut’n’pasting house, dubstep, rock and roots to spellbinding effect.
Cape Town’s Prophets of Da City crew might have a rolling roll-call of members, but DJ Ready D was always in its inner-sanctum. The crew’s spiritual main-man and DJ, Ready D’s as integral to them as Mixmaster Mike was to the Beasties. And he’s been spreading the gospel for 30 years – even though he doesn’t look a day over 30 himself ;). He’s widely considered to be the man behind the country’s first home-grown hip hop output. These days, alongside the Prophets, Ready D’s continuing to define and evolve SA’s hip-hop credentials both within, and beyond, the country’s borders. It’s thanks to his pioneering work that the genre’s so deeply ingrained in the country’s soul. Today, the turntablist is continuing to push the envelope – and continuing to share his love for the Mother City.
Larger than life, and twice as fresh, Thato Sikwane – AKA DJ Fresh – may be Botswana-born, but his musical heart is 100% South African: a fact borne out everyday on his Metro FM show (and yes, the anger at his removal from the 5FM team still rumbles on). But it’s his incendiary live sets that tell you all you need to know about this industrious and straight-talking DJ. Put simply – he takes no prisoners: on the dancefloor, or off! They don’t call him the Big Dawg for nothing. Sure, he can court controversy on Twitter, but behind the decks there’s no debate – this man’s mix-mastery skills are beyond question. You like your house music with a side order of flava? Dawg’s your man. Latin, Afro, Techno or Deep – he’s drops the cuts that matter.
Give this man a portable DJ controller, a hard-drive stacked with tunes and a dancefloor ready to ignite, and RED’s resident DJ in the Mother City, Dino Live will do the rest. With his box of tech tricks, including a vintage drum machine and a stack of bongo drums, this man’s always where the party’s at. His stock-in-trade? Upbeat, tribal, global, joyous house. It’s emotional, man. And that’s the way Dino Live loves it. Us too. His travels are reflected in his eclectic set lists – think Afro rhythms, middle-eastern riffs, Europop and soul straight outta Detroit. The common denominator? The music, and the man’s, electrifying energy. End your week with awesome beats, and (if we say so ourselves) equally awesome cocktails at Radisson RED, with Dino Live!