Friday, July 31, 2009

You create this world, now paint it colourful.


I haven't even had a chance to catch my breath after returning to Africa on Wednesday and already I'm slaving away on more exciting sass-ventures. And while I'm rather bummed that since I got home I haven't even had the time to unwrap the rather hefty pile of X-Box games I accumulated in the 3 weeks I was in the UK, what's even more depressing is that I've not had a moment to write about anything that happened on my trip. To make matters worse, within the first 48 hours of been back I was involved in something so exciting that I'm now taking this time to talk about that and not my time in Europe. Last night I was one of about a dozen people operating camera's for the shoot of what will become the first DVD release for Pretoria-prog-pop-pioneers Isochronous. To say the set-up for the event was impressive would be a colossal understatement. With virtually no budget, last night's shoot was easily one of the single greatest examples of how incredible it can be when a large group of people, focus a massive amount of passion, energy and enthusiasm towards a single unified goal.
Invading a medium sized sound stage at the SABC, a large, multi-layered stage was constructed. I don't really have the time (or the technical vocabulary) to explain the rest of what was constructed around this stage, but what I can say is through the lens of my camera it looked incredible, and through my ears it sounded even better. Isochronous performed two separate, hour longs sets. The first was a performance of the songs from their self titled d├ębut album. The second set was a collection of the songs that Isochronous will be recording for their follow up album. Performing these newer songs, the band crashed an overwhelming tidal wave of shear joy over the audience. Seeing this, I have no doubt this second album will be one of the finest examples of the Zeitgeist that's been blowing through Pretoria the past few years. Well, I better get back to work. Once things calm down a bit I will definitely post on all the awesomeness of my European adventure, and there was definitely a whole lot of awesomeness. But that said I did also witness:

*A whole city of people that couldn't get home in under 2 hours if they stayed out past midnight.
*10 000 girls that had self-tanned themselves orange.
*1045 people wearing what was essentialy the same t-shirt.
*600 people watching the Phenomenal Handclap band and not dancing.
*252 of the worst TV ads I've ever seen.
*100 tabloids obsessed with a separated couple that were famous for no reason in the first place.
*12 DJs playing the same soulless, banging crap.
*3 hacks wearing headbands, tunelessly hitting three planks of wood and singing in fake South American accents.

After seeing these horrors I'm even more appreciative to be living in a far more free, and in my opinion alive country. Been a part of the Isochronous shoot last night couldn't have been a more perfect welcome home for me, and a more shining example of the kind of raw, un-chained enthusiasm I missed while I was gone. All photos by Hayden Plath

Thursday, July 23, 2009

FROM SASS AFRICA WITH LOVE PT1: THE ORIGIN OF THE SASS

Sassquatch - The Origin of the Sass
So here, the day before my "From Sass Africa with Love" exhibition, is the last part of the audio side of the project.

This mix revolves around the music that inspired me to start DJing in the first place. These bands from early this decade from New York (!!!, The Rapture) as well as ones from Washington DC (Q and not U, Black Eyes) as well as older acts I discovered (The Slits, ESG) first got it into my head that it might be awesome to mix songs together for people to dance to. There are a few exceptions (Sticky Antlers, History Invades) that came along once I'd started DJing, but for the most part this mix is a compilation of much of what inspired me to become the Sassquatch.

Well I hope some people enjoy this mix, given the chaotic style of most of the songs, and the fact that none of them are really dance music, the mixing is pretty shambolic. Still, I'm happy with how this mix turned out, and I'm happy to have it as a document of the catalysts that got me DJing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FROM SASS AFRICA WITH LOVE PT 2: THE CRITICAL HITS



This mix is made up entirely of songs released by acts from around my extended hometown of Gauteng, South Africa. Recorded between 2005 and 2008, these songs are parts of the soundtrack for one of the happiest periods of my life. A period where, quite unexpectedly, small pockets of friends strewn between Pretoria and Johannesburg started writing music that was unlike anything that had come out of South Africa before.
Dancing to these songs, DJing them out and spending dozens of nights seeing them performed live, these songs have been the catalysts for almost all the moments I've found myself most proud to be a boy, born in Preotria in 1983.

July = crazy time.


So I'm writing this from my girlfriend's lounge in London. I've been over in the UK for 2 weeks now, been spending a fair amount of time preparing for the Sense Summer Art Fair which opens on Friday. Been spending a whole lot more of my time over here watching a bunch of incredible live acts which I'll probably write all about once I'm back in South Africa next week. For now I've got to tie up the last few loose ends for my exhibition...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ben lames out.

So after writing a post where I bragged about making 10 posts in May, I totall lamed out in June and only did one post, linking you to my most recent mix.

This is really just pathetic, but I did have some valid distractions keeping me from posting any animal calls.

I was super busy illustrating and animating stuff for my exhibition at the end of this month.

I threw another robot party.

I half wrote 3 blog posts, but never completed them.

I played video with Kidofdoom in Pretoria.

I DJed at the Woods with yesterday's Pupil, Chinxxx and Heazer.

I VJed and DJed at a friend's birthday party.

I dealt with all hell breaking loose at my day job.

I started up Superhands - an illustration blog with my friend dear friend Maaike.

I got things in order to fly to London next Wednesday to go to T in the Park with my awesome girlfriend!!!

So yeah, with so little time to sort out the last few details, tie up any loose ends at work, and work as much on exhibition stuff as I can while still on Mama Afrika, I won't be posting much before I leave. I do hope I'll be able to post the last 2 mixes for the project, and complete my half finished posted from last month.

Here's to 108 hours to take off!