Andrew Winer aka Sadhu Sensi is an electronic music producer, born and raised in Cape Town. He began experimenting with music from a very young age and, in the early 2000s, became the keyboard player in the ska/reggae/rock band, 7th Son. Sadhu Sensi’s ambient tunes range from down-tempo to blues, experimental house, electronica and dub. To date, he has performed at many top music festivals alongside some of the most accomplished artists . This year, he will be making his debut performance at Vortex Trance Adventures – PHOENIX FESTIVAL on the 24th of June 2016.
PSYKED: Hi Andrew! First off, tell us what inspires you as a producer.
After a self-imposed trance party hiatus for the past four months, I was really looking forward to Vortex Parallel Universe. Easter Vortex, as it’s affectionately known, has always had a special place in my heart; not only is it hosted at my all-time favourite venue but each year it promises a stellar line-up that can’t be missed.
Die-hard Vortexers may swear by the Circle of Dreams but in my humble opinion, Hillside Farm is an equally magical venue with its enchanted forest-like atmosphere and majestic canopies. This year, the dance-floor was moved ever so slightly – creating more space for stompers to get wild. And I loved how the arrangement of stalls made the party seem like a little gypsy village.
After arriving on Sunday morning, we were shocked to see how many people were leaving the party due to hectic weather conditions the night before. Nevertheless, we were prepared to weather the weather for this worthy cause! We arrived in time to catch the last bit of Deliriant (or rather the King of Psy) before Avalon came on, taking us on rhythmic journey which left me with goosebumps.
PsynOpticz Records is proud to welcome you back onto the forest floor for one of the season’s most anticipated events, Jungala Festival 2016. Since its inception, Jungala has continued to present its world-class productions without fail. This year’s instalment is no exception with a line-up featuring some of the globe’s hottest psychedelic talent including Ital, Stereo Plug, Eclipse Echoes, Pragmatix, Aho, Obliviant, Diksha, Justin Chaos, Psydeva, Synkronic, Heterogenisis and Nailik – as well as your favourite local acts (full line-up below).
Psyked in the City is giving away two tickets to the event. Keep reading for more info.
After hearing whispers about Altered States for a number of years, I finally vowed to experience the magic for myself at LUNAR 2015. After a very special weekend of fun in my all-time favourite venue, the Circle of Dreams, I decided that Altered States had lived up to its reputation as one of the smaller and more underground psychedelic gatherings, and that I would return – year after year. By the time that the next edition rolled around, I couldn’t have been more excited.
On the 11th of March 2016, I was on route to enjoy the festivities once more. We arrived just before the sound journey – an Altered States tradition which helps to set the tone for the event as well as encourage more intimacy and openness among party-goers.
Earthtone was first to deliver his beautiful beats to our hungry ears. I loved the fact that the Headspace venue was being utilised as opposed to the Circle which is routinely used as the main dance-floor at Vortex Open Source. This slight change in setting brought with it a special ambiance that is unique to the Altered States event.
When I made my way back to the dance-floor, ScamAntrix was behind the decks dishing out her psychedelicious sounds. I couldn’t help but marvel the scene before me; as the sun began to dip in the sky, shadows cast on the purple-infused dance-floor.
Hips swayed and arms swung loosely as people enjoyed the vast space available to them. Dala was next up to lead us through the sunset. After an ear-enthralling two-hour set, it was time for Bruce – the master of night-time psy – to take the stage.
It was such a pleasure dancing beneath the stars as I watched the trippy projections and light show inside the DJ box. Bruce’s driving beats pulsated from my core and spread throughout my body like electricity. Before I knew it, it was time for the legendary Moog of Mushroom Mafia to take over. To this moment, when I shut my eyes I can still feel the vibrations of Moog’s hard-hitting bass lines rattle the earth beneath my feet. The music went from strength to strength with System Theory, who led us to the witching hour, and then Talking Decks.
As an avid fan of dark psy, I can attest to the fact that Altered States never disappoints when it comes to piecing together a killer night-time line-up. Though I will admit that I was fast asleep in the comfort of my tent when the first droplets of rain came down and Drifter took to the decks.
I was roused from my sleep sometime during Kalahari Kris’s performance which was – as always – an absolute treat. I can agree with Kris when he says that high energy music makes for high energy people. That was indeed the case when the beats from Canadian guest, Nailik of Grasshopper Records, imploded through the speakers.
The party was heaving by the time that Absynth got up to play his set. During the course of the morning the dance-floor continued to fill out with freshly-faced troopers joining in for some Sunday fun. Silo followed shortly after to raise the energy with his signature sound. Regretfully, I was not able to catch his entire set but fortunately, it’s available for your listening pleasure below.
I am told that the music was concluded on the highest of high notes thanks to Prefix who is fast becoming one of Cape Town’s most loved DJs. I am sure I am not the only one who was still smiling by the time they arrived home after a spectacular weekend. Altered States prides itself in creating a space where party-goers can feel safe to express themselves, to meet new people and catch up with familiar faces.
When it comes to their events, it’s not only the music that can’t be faulted but the incredible vibe and sense of harmony that this event aims to promote. A huge thank you is due to the organisers for making us party-goers feel so completely at home, and for reminding us of the essence of true psychedelic trance music.
To the amazing beings I met and new friends that I made, I hope to see you at the next gathering – and the one after that. After all, LUNAR has become somewhat of a family reunion for our little psy scene – and it’s all thanks to your continued support. We are so lucky to reside inside the psytrance capital of Africa.
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.
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.
With special thanks to Louise Harford.
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.
Killer B is Bennie Koorts. Singed by Looney Moon Records in Italy, Killer B has over ten years’ worth of experience in DJing and production. In his early years, he was inspired by Tsuyoshi Suzuki, KoxBox and Tim Schuldt; his diverse musical style incorporates tight beats, groovy rhythms, twisted psychedelic sounds and driving bass lines. Killer B has performed at numerous benchmark events on the local psy calendar and maintains a strong affiliation with the South African trance scene never failing to draw a crowd. He currently manages Red Eye Productions which is well-known for keeping the Gauteng scene enthralled and pumping.
“It’s winter,” they said. “It’ll be cold,” they said. “We’ll wait for summer,” they said. But they were wrong. If you were at the Vortex Phoenix Festival of Fire, you’ll know I mean it when I say that it’s a gathering unlike any other. So intimate and entrancing that it’s almost impossible to forget. That’s why on Saturday the 27th of June, I was on route to Riversonderend once again, ready to kick up the dust and brush off those winter blues.
I arrived as the sun was setting; waves of tranquillity passed through me upon entering the sacred space – the Circle of Dreams, my favourite venue of all time. I watched as the scene shifted from day to night. The lights slowly set aglow. I thought about the Shaman’s ceremony which had happened the night before and regretted missing it. Unfortunately, the nine to five can’t always be avoided. But none of that mattered right then.