Category Archives: Culture

Review: Freaky Forest 2016

By Christina Schild

I usually dislike the practice of narrowing something down to a description of five words, but there is something comforting about the condensation when trying to review the experience of Freaky Forest. An experience that takes places annually over the last weekend of November in the Tsitsikamma woods, bringing all sorts of folks out of the woodworks for what is easily becoming South Africa’s best trance party – or at least that’s what the talk on the soft, jiving dance floor was.

So here are the five words I would use to describe Freaky, in some sort of an order – scent, dance, clarity, goodness and beauty.  Well, maybe some more order than I think.

Photo by Jess Rose Hendriksz
Photo by Jess Rose Hendriksz

This year, it was my sense of smell that was particularly heightened at the party – whether from the incense wafting around the dance floor and camp sites as I gallivanted through the treacherous pine forest, the wholesome cooking aromas of the various food stalls and private kitchens and then those earthy, good, natural smells. The scent of pine needles in the air, the mud squelching between my toes on the most fun Sunday I’ve had in a while, or the sweaty reminder from my fellow party-goers that we were in the middle of a forest dancing rhythmically to sublime beats and hadn’t washed in days. Come Sunday morning I think we were mostly all smelling more sweaty than sweet after the particularly mind-buzzing and gloriously lengthy set delivered by High Style, having followed the feet moving magic of both Ben and Jack Source the previous night. For the hi-tech fans, Ben delivered a sneaky track that had many of us grinning from ear to ear! Earlier, we were treated to the grooviness that Cripz and Floating Grooves emulated which got the bums moving until Phillipa came on – bringing the girl power to the floor and easing us into the night time slots. Continue reading Review: Freaky Forest 2016

The Vortex Open Source 2016 Starter Pack

By Nina Bloch.

Once again, it’s time to enter the Vortex – South Africa’s longest-running and most anticipated outdoor trance festival. Some of you are already en route to the Circle of Dreams aka the home of Vortex Open Source but for those who haven’t hit the road just yet, we’ve put together everything you need to know ahead of the party to ensure that you end up like this…

festival-camping

… and not like this.

festival-fail Continue reading The Vortex Open Source 2016 Starter Pack

How to become a seasoned psytrance veteran

Are you hoping to attend your first-ever trance party in the near future? Maybe you’ve been around the block a couple of times but still don’t feel like you’ve earned your psychedelic colours.  Either way, these handy tips will help you cruise your way to psylebrity stardom in no time. *Please note that this post is satirical.

1. Plan your parties according to whether or not there will be material wristbands.

festival material wristband

Remember that the more wristbands you have, the more experienced and awesome you are. Brownie points if you carefully craft all your wristbands into a belt for your saddle bag.

2. Give unwarranted party advice to strangers.

party advice

This includes telling other festival goers to smile more, or attempting to rile up those whose body aren’t moving fast enough for your liking.

3. Forbid anyone from displaying any kind of grief for the duration of the party.

festival advice

It doesn’t matter what happens, you’ll deal with it later.

4. Offer a deep and meaningful quote about “living in the present” to anyone who asks you for the time.

time is illusion

5. Silently (or not so silently) criticise anyone who disagrees with your substance of choice.

you know nothing

6. Wear something that appropriates someone else’s culture just for the sake of it.

cultural appropriation bindi

And stand by your decision with conviction when people call you out for it. (Disclaimer warning: No, we’re not being serious).

7. Complain about how much better parties used to be in the “good old days.”

good old days

8. Act as the middle man in someone else’s drug deal.

drug deal chronic

You have so many connections. You’re so cool.

9. Critique at least one DJ for being too progressive for your taste.

i am so bored

10. Judge anyone who is wearing shoes.

barefoot earthing

Explain to them what earthing is, and why it’s so important.

11. Show off your tattoos to someone else who also has tattoos.

tattoo show offs

12. Brag about how you know the “organisers.”

I'm so cool

13. Envelop someone in a hug when they’re least expecting it. 

awkward hug

Preferably someone you’ve never met before.

14. Choose one spot on the dance-floor and occupy that spot religiously. Even if that means physically assaulting people who cross your path. 

wild dancing

Just close your eyes and feel the music, man.

Did this post make you chuckle? Share it with your friends.

And the beat goes on: Celebrating 21 years of Vortex with Grant Dreyer

The legendary Vortex celebrates 21 years of pure psychedelic bliss this year at the iconic Circle of Dreams. With more than two decades in the running, the Vortex name has become synonymous with psytrance not only locally but on a global spectrum. In this exclusive interview, we chat to the one and only Grant Dreyer – the man behind the magic.

Vortex Eclipse oldschool psytrance
Eclipse 2002

Throughout his evolutionary journey, Grant has continued to live out his dream, spread the love and rally the troops for one of Cape Town’s most celebrated occasions; his dedication to the dance and his belief in the perfect party is clearly reflected in the alchemy of every seamless Vortex event. But what does it take to plan the perfect Vortex party remaining true to one’s own philosophy and having fun to boot? Let’s take a look behind the scenes.

Easter 2004 03 (Medium)
Easter Vortex 2004

With special thanks to Louise Harford.

PSYKED:
Thank you for joining us Grant and congratulations on the 21st anniversary of Vortex Trance Adventures. Wow. 21 years is a long time! Tell us a bit about the first ever Vortex Party; what was it like and how did it come about?

GRANT:
Hi! Thank you very much for doing this. 21 Years, it’s been a pretty wild ride! The first Vortex party was Essence of Fluorescence, and it was held in a warehouse in Woodstock, 21 years ago. Vortex originally came about as an attempt to be the first Electronic Dance Music nightclub in South Africa. When friends of ours came back from the UK and told us about the warehouse parties that they had been going to on that side, we decided to start it up in South Africa.

South African Psytrance Hippies by Hippie Van Minibus
“The gang.” Est: 1998

Continue reading And the beat goes on: Celebrating 21 years of Vortex with Grant Dreyer

Celebrating 21 years of Vortex at Open Source 2015 with old friends and new faces

Vortex Trance Adventures has been going strong for the past 21 years and is still considered to be a special kind of gathering – one which leaves an imprint on the psyche and heart – by both the fans who attend it and the performing artists who return year after year. Located in the enchanted Circle of Dreams, a forest clearing at the “endless river” of Riviersonderend, Vortex invites party-goers to embark on a five-day-long psychedelic journey at Open Source 2015.

vortex open source psyked psychedelic

Skarab or rather Phill Waugh, one of the scene’s most prominent DJs and a founding member of The Village, recalls attending his first large scale Vortex event in the early 2000s at Theewaterskloof. “The goose bumps from the rumble of the rig warming up will stay with me forever,” he says.  Although he’s always been inspired and excited by music, he had no intention of pursuing it until he got involved with his mates and started The Village in 2006. “Once that happened it became clear to me that a journey into sound was awaiting and so I began.”

skarab phill waugh village vortex psyked

What initially attracted him to psytrance was the flow, rhythm and power he found in the beats he loved. To date he’s had many inspirational people guide him along his musical journey including his friends Carl and Will, co-founders of The Village as well as top dogs in the industry like Regan, Colin and Grant. Continue reading Celebrating 21 years of Vortex at Open Source 2015 with old friends and new faces

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.” Continue reading Behind the scenes with Valley of Psy + friends

12 moments every trooper will relate to

Once you’ve been to a few trance parties, you’ve been to them all pretty much. Sure, festivals are always unique and exciting in their own way. But there are a few universal occurrences that every trooper is sure to have experienced at some point or other. Here are 12 great and not-so-great festival moments that have us in fits and giggles.  Which one do you relate to the most?

Continue reading 12 moments every trooper will relate to