Behind the scenes with Valley of Psy + friends

Valley of Psy is the resident psy event for the Cape Town’s Southern Peninsula. What began as a bi-monthly gathering at the Bush Pub quickly evolved into one of the scene’s most frequented parties with monthly and even weekly events – all under the fruitful guidance of the Lili (Myzo) and Stuart Vermaak (Hiyarant).

lili and stu hiyamyzo valley of psy

“We like to party close to home, and love intimate trance parties with good vibes and energy,” says Hiyamyzo. “It all started as a ‘why not?’ The DJs and party people began asking us when the next one would be. We got more and more excited about the concept and decided to throw parties more often. We really love the fact that we get messages everyday from Valley of Psy fans or upcoming DJs requesting to play on our events.”

“I love Lili and the team because they put so much love and effort into every party. You see and feel it,” Tune Raider says  (and we have to agree). Lili explains that the goal is, enviably, to grow; that’s why the Valley of Psy has joined forces with friends from Spectrum and Reboot to develop the brand into something even bigger and hopefully better. “I also really enjoy working with such a magical person,” she adds referring to Craig Marsh, the brains behind Spectrum + Reboot.  “He’s my brother from another mother, and I’m really close to him.”

valley of psy

So, what does the Valley of Psy have to offer that’s different to other local indoor/outdoor events? Stu explains that the South Peninsula is the home of many of the producers that pioneered the ‘night time’ sound in South Africa. “We often have these producers on our line-up playing a style of music, which is often lacking from line-ups, for the people who really enjoy it.”

Archive, a frequent flyer at the Valley of Psy, will be making his third appearance at the event on the 06th of November 2015 for the Halloween Edition: TRICK OR TREAT – Part II. He says: “Every event has such a unique, fun energy. The Valley in general has a special place in my heart. It’s where Laurence (Zion Linguist) and I started MMD Records almost 10 years ago.”

“More importantly, it’s where I grew up [in Kommetjie] so there’s always that feeling of ‘coming home’ when I jam there,” Archive adds. “I’m mega excited to come back!”

valley of psy trance party psyked

As with any successful event, the Valley of Psy has had its own set of challenges to overcome. Stu says: “We’ve had some issues with the community regarding noise levels.” Generally speaking however, the few complaints that arose were heavily outweighed by the benefits of the party. “People appreciate not having to go to town and risk the journey and streets to have a good time. There really isn’t any other nightlife happening within the Peninsula so people are happy to be able to party close to home when they have the opportunity.”

“The energy of the dance floor is the reason and the reward for us doing this,” he explains. “And the way in which the community has helped to defend us against misconceptions being posted about the Valley of Psy on social media makes us think we’re doing things right.”

lili myzo valley of psy

When it comes to selecting the acts for each event, the ball is in Lili’s court. “I make the line-ups,” she says. “Then I ask Stu what he thinks. I generally choose my line-ups months in advance and do some last minute changes before the event is announced.” She admits that she prefers to book DJs who help promoting and advertising the event, as well as bigger acts and close friends of hers. “As far as upcoming DJs or newbies are concerned, I like to book the ones who come and support us often, who promote themselves and make an effort. I don’t like to book someone who has no idea what the Valley of Psy has to offer and just wants to be on the line up.”

Lili says that she had to work really hard to get where she is now. “I still don’t get booked for every party I want to play, so I believe artists must bring something special to make the event work, rather than simply playing, getting their money and leaving. “I think we should all help each other,” says Lili.

Up and coming artists usually occupy the first few slots on the line-up. “If they are not yet extremely confident, then it doesn’t disturb the flow of the party. It becomes easier for versatile DJs to play my events. As for producers, if I like their music and their attitude, they will get the right time slot according to their production.”

valley of psy night trance party

Jan Le Man aka Psyde Show enjoys playing for smaller crowds: “They’re a lot less stressful and you can actually have a connection with your audience.” PsyMantis adds: “It’s really cool because you get to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s a personal experience.”

Both outdoor and indoor parties have their positives as Archive explains. “At an outdoor festival, for example, you tend to focus on creating a story around the large number of listeners on the floor (of which some may have never heard anything psychedelic before). For me, I tend to give the dance-floor a general dose of my personal favourites, while still adhering to the time slot and flow of the music at the event.”

“Always put your best foot forward at a festival,” he says. “At smaller gatherings, one tends to be more direct and in-your-face with the crowd; playing a memorable set becomes important as it gives you a guideline of what sounds are working in the different areas and what would more than likely rock a festival dance-floor.”

In terms of track selection, Archive says he’s still feeding off the killer response to his double V/A with Glacial called ‘Manipulation Replication’ which came out last month. “That being said, I do have loads of fresh releases coming out on MMD & Dropland that I want to try out. The Valley of Psy – with my friends and local spawn – seems like a perfect place to test drive some of these bangers; so let’s see what happens.”

PsyMantis also has some new offerings on the cards such as a track on Parasomnia Records (PSR Music’s Sister label). “I’m dying it to play it though it’s not my signature style – it’s way too good to pass up.”  

tune raider valley of psy 2

Tune Raider, due to perform after PsyMantis, says: “I always have a little something up my sleeve – go check out my sound cloud and have a listen to the latest: Deliriant vs Tune Raider on Bush Radio. There are some killer tunes in the mix.”

Mark, who gets a lot of unreleased music through his label and artists he’s met along the way, mentions: “Something that definitely comes to mind is the new Audiotec which comes out at the end of the month called ‘Future Memories’ – very powerful.”

Jan Le Man has a Tech/Psy mix that he wants to play. “Though I do have something special in mind for TRICK OR TREAT,” he adds. “You’re just gonna have to be there to experience it.” He remembers attending the Valley of Psy’s TRICK OR TREAT event last year, describing it as a “one unforgettable experience!”

Re-Fusion, one of the new artists to grace the Valley’s decks, plans on dropping some progressive beats from acts like Berg, Major 7 and Neelix. He has been attending the events from the beginning: “they’re always great; with quality people, music and artists. Last year’s Halloween party was really cool – especially seeing the DJs dress up.”

valley of psy halloween

Speaking of costumes, we tried to unveil what was in store this time round. Archive says that he’s been known to wear a Jigsaw, V, or Dr. Doom mask at previous Halloween events. “Maybe this year I’ll dress up as a human – that would be interesting in itself.” PsyMantis does have a costume in mind though he’s not telling what (and apparently, it’s not a praying mantis).

valley of psy hiyamyzo halloween

When it comes to dressing up, one lady who always steals the show is Tune Raider. “I will be going as a French maid,” she says with a laugh. “I used to work at Madame Zingara a few years ago, and I won the ‘Best French Maid competition.’ I still have the outfit so I figured that Halloween is a good time to bring it out.”

Re-Fusion plans to dress up as a Marvel character. “I haven’t made up my mind on who yet but hopefully it will turn out well.” Jan Le Man wasn’t budging on costume ideas though he did tell us that his involves big bears and lots of hair. I guess time will tell. Until then… see you at the Valley of Psy. More info here.

Enter the competition for a chance to win one of three tickets.

valley of psy trick or treat psy

If you had to describe the Valley of Psy in one word what would it be?
Archive: Passion
PsyMantis: Fucking-fantastic
Tune Raider: Gees
Re-Fusion: Awesome
Mark: Lekker
Jan Le Man: WORD

*Photography by Emelen Photography

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