After a rushed afternoon and long haul from Stellenbosch through peak hour traffic to Cape Town, it felt rewarding to crack open our first beer for the day. Somewhere between the time of commencement and the time of inebriation the plans for the evening were tended to. These included a last minute driver appointment, traditional end of month student to student financial loans and a method to sleep 5 people in a 1 bedroom flat (which failed dismally in the end). Once the beers were drunk (and so were we) we decided to head out to The Assembly to check out one of Cape Town’s most raved about nightlife events…Discotheque.
The first thing that struck me about The Assembly was its friendly service. More often than not one has to put up with the likes of fuming bouncers surged on a power trip, who tend to forget that the age of the patrons that they question is generally higher than their IQ’s. This, however, was not the case. The doormen were friendly and helpful (at a point with a well placed satirical statement I might have even gotten a smile out of the one. This could have just been wishful thinking).The venue seemed almost accustomed to a party of this nature because of its design. Boasting 2 dance floors, ample movement space, numerous barmen ensuring the drinks flowed freely and a wide open stage; what more could a dance enthusiast ask for?
The only set back thus far was the fact that half of Cape Town’s underground movement had ventured to Synergy Live on the night that my Discotheque virginity had been lost. I joined the few electroheads left behind in drowning our sorrows (with reasonably priced drinks) before moving onto the dance floor to see what local talent assembly was showcasing. We were immediately greeted by the roar of bass. I was more than impressed by the slick lighting technology, ground quaking sound system and brain flossing audio-visual set up that Discotheque had employed (the VJ set, climaxed at one stage with images of Gandalf the Grey behind a set off turntables smiling profoundly before the boys at Contraband whipped in the next progression of their smoothly flowing set).
First up behind the wheels of steel was local customary George Daniels (who actually organised us free tickets…legend). As always his set comprised of slick mixing, technical swindle and smooth progression all mashed up with chunky bass beats and a whole lot of rhythm. It seems that the 13 years of experience he’s had playing to diverse crowds has given him the edge that many of the up and coming stars lack. If you haven’t seen him bobbing around behind a set of decks then do yourself a favour and make it your mission.
Following that was the likes of legendary break-beat duo Enough Weapons. To my surprise and delight I noticed Psytrance producer and one part of jam jar, Rubix Qube, was filling in for a missing member of the group. When Rubix is behind the decks you can expect thick, bassy mayhem that is synonymous with his psytrance sets and the grungy breaks he was playing was nothing short of this. Equipped with CDJs, mixers, Keyboards, Synth pads and enough technology to fire of a mini spaceship they got the crowd off their seats and kick started the party, shifting the energy levels to 5th gear straight off the mark.
The next act to throw down the funky monkey was female duo Blush and Bass. Although there mixture of cheese pop meets tinge electro is not really up my alley it seems something about the sight of two girls (jumping about on stage) fuelled by what seemed like more alcohol than you’ll find in an average liquor depot really whipped the crowd into a frenzy. I must say there stage presence does well to hide their inexperience but overall I felt their performance was lacking.
The last act for the night which we got to witness, before heading home, was Johannesburg representatives Shuffleshame. If I had to describe their sound it could be labelled a blend of new age rave meets indie electro. From their first song which featured a tribal chant fused into a roaring bass line, it was evident that these guys knew what they were doing. Keeping the energy levels high, the music ever evolving and the crowd on their feet, they definitely put the fun in dysfunction.
One disappointing element of the night is that it seemed the club was filled with school kids, each sporting a variation of the common lumo flat clap (stereotyped of the modern era electro junky). As 2 o’clock arrived, a stampede towards the exit commenced and a variety of sobriety methods were displayed in what seemed to be an attempt to avoid unwanted questioning by parents regarding alcohol related matters. Distained by a lack of support we decided to call it a night and sadly missed Grave Dangers set. All in all, on another day, this event would have been awesome and we will definitely make a return visit.
From reviewme.co.za point of view, it’s definitely a must if you into the more alternative nightlife scene.