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Culture, Music

A Combined Effort

by Max Barashenkov, images by Harry Boden / 02.12.2010

“You’re not on the list,” says the pig-fucker at the gate. You disagree, the pig-fucker rifles some papers and maintains. You ask his name, the number of his superior and take out a malicious-looking cellphone. The pig-fucker panics, twitches his tail and capitulates, issuing you a pass. Later, with the same asshole confidence, you get two other cars into Synergy Live, sparing your friends the excruciating walk from the general parking to the camping area. Sometimes pathetic organization works in your favour.

The first thing you realize as you set up your tent is that you’ve been lied to, you’ve been fooled. You’ve been promised a festival and instead you find yourself at a two-day Assembly party. The same neon-sticker-face-painted idiots that blow their Friday nights on cheap electro and even cheaper drugs, the same neo-bohemians with their we-don’t-give-a-fuck-but-check-how-good-we-look-on-we-are-awesome attitudes and affinity for processed indie-rock, the same disinterest at meeting new people and the same attachment to cliques. Maybe it’s because you’ve been to a few proper festivals, maybe it’s because you’re jaded and bitter (oh that lovely, misunderstood word), but you’ve come to expect something more from this kind of event – some sense of soul, some focal point that defines it. And very quickly it becomes apparent, that at Synergy Live, you will find neither.


It is filled with all the cliché tropes: some drunk dude puking over everyone at the Free Fall ride; some chick getting zonked on MDMA and waking up naked and screaming “rape”; the spaced-out, barely-maintaining bass-rap fiends on Saturday morning spewing rhymes along the lines of – “I fucked a puppy, it wasn’t a bitch, it was just unlucky”. It has some good bands – the ever-rejuvenating ska-punk of Hog Hoggidy Hog and the unexpectedly satisfying cute pop of Fire Through The Window. It has that sickening amazement at seeing the masses of illiterate cattle make Prime Circle feel like what they play is actually music. It has all the things a Festival should have, but fails to live up to that title.

You walk around, you drink, you do have a good time and then you step over to the electro stage and immediately get choked on the zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-P.H.Fat- zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-HEAZER-zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-Three-DJs-Using-The-Same-Sample-One-After-The-Other-zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-Please-Kill-Me-With-Repetition-zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-zomph-you are barely able to disentangle yourself from this rave circus, which goes on, full-force, until the early hours of the morning, a forest of dubstep fellatio, more popular and pulsating than the main stage. You feel dirty, you feel fucked even though you’re sober, you feel, once again, cheated. It’s night-fall on Saturday and you realize the dire need for drugs to numb your bruised ears. This is when you make the first good decision of the weekend and wander into the LMG tent and —


— Hot Baby Jesus Fuck! The Great Mother Fucking Apes! Pandemonium! Sex Dripping Speakers Of Satan! From the clouds of smoke, with a beastial howl, Yusif Sayigh emerges like Godzilla, ready to rape the Tokyo of your being. Right there and then you want to elope with him, to procreate, to spawn a whole brood of frontmen, enough to populate all the wanna-be ‘rock’ acts in this country, to infect them with some real rock ‘n roll stage-insanity. The Apes don’t play their songs, they annihilate them. They make the shitty sound of the LMG set-up (the crusty quality of which hasn’t been heard since the Purple Turtle punk days) their bitch. The same crackling, crunching noise that laid waste to the otherwise beautiful We Set Sail set earlier that evening, now it’s screaming and wailing in tune to the Apes. You haven’t thrown out the Devil’s Horns in a long time, but now your two fingers are solidly in the air, saluting a band that takes the South African alternative music Olympus and drenches it in torrents of much deserved, dissonant shit. You hope that they will never go soft, never submit, never bow down, because as it stands now, they’ll be headlining by next year.
When you come back, your friends, those that didn’t go, ask you, “How was Synergy? How was it different from Rocking The Daisies?”

And you stand there, scratching your head and, at a loss, offer, “Um, it was near Franschhoek…?”







*All images © Harry Boden.

22   6
  1. George Bacon says:

    Where the hell was this electro tent everyone keeps talking about?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    kak organised. really kak.

    Saturday morning: “Sorry – nothing is open here until 10:00. Go starve and bake in your tent until then.”


    Oh and good luck finding the drinking water!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Fucking insanely well written article.
    Synergy was know as a rave event back in its time..which may explain the lack of knowledge when it came to the bands that people would enjoy.

    I think that they just took all the homegrown DJ’s from mercury and slapped them in the electro tent.
    Im not complaining, the electo tent was by faaaar more entertaining then the rocking the daises shit bubble thing that i wanted to pop with every homey filled Latin American song played.

    Oh, im glad you didn’t mention that Barbra Streisand song. Wow…was that annoying.
    I felt like i had step into tin roof.

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  4. Felix says:

    Oh my fucking god I wish I didn’t have to use a pseudonym.

    Synergy honestly was fucking terrible. From the COMPLETELY wrong directions on the website that turned our short hour long trip there into a four hour journey up and down the same god damn road, to the retarded idiots at the gate that send us to 3 different entrances before someone finally realised that our first choice was the right one, the 2 woman issuing VIP car passes who were more interested in making phone calls to their friends than helping up, the tent ‘slum’ in which they had tried to cram a good couple of thousands into the smallest space they could, the rave tent which drowned out everything else to the point that the LMG stage had their sound peaking badly just to compete. The sound in the LMG tent was an abortion, from a performer and audience perspective.

    And you’re right Max, perhaps it’s because I’ve attended a few festivals. I was pretty horrified to say the least. Bad organisation on every level! they are bloody lucky there were no emergencies of any kind because a stampede of neon sticker plastered idiots would have been messy as hell!

    what a joke. Really.

    -great article!

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  5. Adri Louw says:

    Awesome article! Not the best of festivals I’ve ever been to, but it was fun… Green grass and trees are nice but I prefer Oppikoppi dust.. 😛

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  6. roland says:

    one thing you’d have to note in making the daisies comparision, is that rocking the daisies had plenty of parking, toilet+shower facilities, reasonable food, jacked-up cleaning system etc etc. synergy had none of these.
    lmg tent rocked socks tho

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  7. mike says:

    “It was the worst festival I have ever enjoyed – I had a fuckload of fun.”

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  8. Bass Player says:

    Really good article, nice!

    The Sleepers were pretty much the highlight of Synergy for me! \m/

    “It has that sickening amazement at seeing the masses of illiterate cattle make Prime Circle feel like what they play is actually music” – this made me laugh hard…. its so true!

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  9. Jess says:

    this article is spot on, i miss the festivals from a few years back

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  10. Pete says:

    Max you give them too much credit, it didn’t seem like most people gave a fuck about Prime Circle when they came on…which was ok by me. The bands stage was pretty badly supported all night, and the sound was too soft. The scheduling on the electro stage was fucked. Which genius decided that Goldfish should come on after Killer Robot??? KR fucked everyone up and then we had to listen to shopping mall house with a fucking flute and sax? weak.

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  11. Goldfuck says:

    Goldfish say fuck you Pete – please come down off the amphetamines, and learn how to appreciate music, you digital turd.

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  12. Brian Green says:

    Ok, dig the article, but this is S’Africa, we don’t spell shit with Z’s. Hence, it’s ‘organisation’ NOT ‘organization’.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    awsome photos! 🙂

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  14. Based God says:

    “shopping mall house with a fucking flute and sax?”


    That pretty much sums them up to a T.

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  15. frank says:

    was that a black guy in the last photo?

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  16. alex says:

    what a SHITTY fucking review. Max you’re a fucking idiot. I know for a fact you were having fun on the Sunday when you triumphantly greeted a group of people I was with with glee. Your review lacks feel and is stupidly aimed at getting some Mahala-esque reaction from the public: well done you have succeeded.

    Your demeaning comments about an entire culture of electronic music is crued, short-sighted and transparent… not to mention wrong… there were no rappers on Saturday you idiot, do some proper journalism. Not to mention the fact that the only people to have truly succeeded in making a success for themselves on an international scale are electronic based musicians, not the bands you so LOOOVE.

    But the bands are awesome, so I dont want to discredit them. You are short-sighted, rude and obnoxious. and this piece is an obvious plea to make Andy Davis happy due to controversy so that you can keep your retainer.

    Grow up!

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  17. White Trash says:

    I agree with Alex. You are obviously one of those stones/cubana/tin roof/white pointy shoes/steroid junkie/half mullet with a lot of gel/miller drinking/overly horny jocks! Get a fucking life and learn to appreciate all forms of our culture. Writing an article like this doesn’t give you a bigger fanbase, you just lost about 1/4 of the people that ready your pathetic excuse of a blog.
    I Hope you enjoy those half price cosmopolitans at Caprese tonight….

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  18. kevin says:

    Agree with Alex.

    Funny how this review comes out after a bunch of rave reviews, mahala just trying too hard to be different and controversial….again and again and again.

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  19. Christopher Graham says:

    Dude, what the fuck is your problem with the world? You sound like some little emo fucker “no-one understands”.

    PS. Your grammar is fucking awful.

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  20. Rob says:

    mahala fail

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  21. Bass Player says:

    Its a pitty about the YOURLMG stage sound, there were some pretty cool bands lined up on there but the sound wasn’t too good. I think We Set Sail probably had the best luck with the overall sound on that stage, they sounded pretty awesome and attracted a nicely sized crowd. \m/

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  22. lamb says:

    White Trash:

    “You are obviously one of those stones/cubana/tin roof/white pointy shoes/steroid junkie/half mullet with a lot of gel/miller drinking/overly horny jocks!”

    couldn’t be further from the truth. go get a film out from DVD Nouveau in Claremont and you’ll see what Max really is – definitely not a jock/gel/miller drinking/steroid junkie/white pointy shoes person at all.

    but yes. Mahala and their “everything is kak” reviews. it’s not really journalism anymore, more like a new form of decidedly angry poetry?

    Max the poet. Fuck.

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  23. Dominique says:

    All I can say is, HAEZER had to play another set because the people wouldn’t leave the stage demanding more music. So if the masses who paid to be there were having a shit time they would have left. I guess that means the festival was mostly enjoyed by everyone that was there….

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  24. boerboet says:

    Where the fuck was the LMG stage??

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  25. George Bacon says:

    apparently next to the electro tent.

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  26. JAAHOVA says:

    this is a kunt review…. probably some chicken wanker looking for 15minutes… i aint no indie rock music lover from the main stage but i caught a few….first of all LIVER ROCKED to the point were i had to go puke coz my organs kept shaking… HAEZER murded who is soon to be up there with daft punk and justice… AND MOTHA FUCKING HELL YEAH MIX N BLEND DROPED IT LIKE I’VE NEVER SEEN…. didn’t you make the V.I.P section??? LETS START….. DO NOT VISIT THE MAHALA WEBSITE CAMPAIGN???? peace out dude, enjoy living in the parents garage

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  27. Phil Dunphy says:

    Another negative review by Mahala.
    Congratulations Andy, this one might get some hits. I’m sure your site needs the traffic.

    How about hiring staff who can write engaging articles that look at events/bands/launches holistically; not just with controversy and site traffic in mind? Or is this just giving them to much credit?

    I didnt go to Synergy. Everyone I have asked about it said, “Yeah, it was horribly organised, but I had a blast”. There must have been some great aspects to it, if that many people enjoyed themselves.

    Notice how the piece is written in the 3rd person? A common practice of writers who cannot share insight and have no original thoughts about what they have just experienced. After all, its easier to write “I was there. It was crap. Fuck Synergy, Fuck Fiction, Fuck Assembly, Fuck Haezer, Fuck Markus, Fuck bands, music, clubs, art and fashion. I could do it better.”

    But you don’t.

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  28. Mat says:

    I wasn’t there but I was at The daisies…

    With regards to these festivals I reckon everyone should just chill the fuck out.

    If I’ve got a tent, a warm top, my mates, booze and there are some decent betties floating about..I’m sorted.. Everyone enjoys different things and you’re not gonna have the time of your life every time you go to one of these festivals. Half the time you are going to encounter things at these jols that piss you off and don’t meet your expectations…You just gotta roll with it! Otherwise you’ll be in a bad vibe all weekend… As long you in good company and you have enough cash, liquor and smokes to last you until you feel its time to leave then I dont see how you could have a shit time…I love electro and And if you happen get laid, well then thats just a bonus.

    Oh ya..And regards to the music….These festivals are for people to see their favourite bands and to listen and discover new bands..Same with the Electro DJ’s..If you dont like a DJ/Band…..leave that dance floor..Go for a walk, get some food, have a shit……But don’t wine..Because the guy next to you could be having the time of his life and he doesnt want your bad vibes.

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  29. Mills says:

    @ Anonymous “I think that they just took all the homegrown DJ’s from mercury and slapped them in the electro tent.

    We played there from 11 – 03 Friday. How can u be so clue less?

    Go look at the lineup:

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  30. Dan says:

    I don’t know hey – I think Max hit the nail on the head here. No one is saying that no fun was had but the fact of the matter is Synergy sucked ass when compared to some of the other festivals in the country. The organization was shit, whoever put together the line up obviously had no idea what order to put the acts in, the sound was not even close to being up to scratch and if you have ever been to another festival in this great country you will defiantly know that cape town party goes are probably the least friendly bunch out there….

    Synergy is organize by people used to putting together trance parties – and this showed. Putting on a music festival is a very different game and Synergy felt like it had no soul as a result.

    Added to that I wish some of the people would actually READ. Max clearly writes “You walk around, you drink, you do have a good time” So he does admit that he has a good time just not as good as it could be. How is Synergy going to improve unless things that are wrong are pointed out to them? Be honest people – you want better festivals right? Synergy was not up to scratch especially for the good R800 it cost (ticket, petrol, food etc) Max is right once you have been to a few decent festivals you would have the same opinion. I would LOVE South African festivals to up their games (especially ones based in the western cape) because if we are honest we are no where near the level we should be aiming to be at…..

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  31. Jesus says:

    Wow, you’re so anti even though you got in free , got people into areas they shouldn’t have been (adding to the congestion) . 3000 people on the dancefloor loving life , you I can imagine , back of dancefloor , notepad in hand having the worst time ever . Wonder why ? If you didn’t like the line-up why did you bother ? Even then I’ve had good times with good friends and bad music .

    Synergy was chaos , I loved every second .

    Next week I’m going to the opera and I’m going to write a post about how boring it was and what’s up with all the costumes/singing/Italian/old people .

    Pointless .

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  32. Stringy Steve says:

    It was a super crap festival last year and it seems it was a super crap (predicable electronic music) festival this year, glad I didn’t waste my time or money…..

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  33. Sean DV says:

    I had fun…. but the on stage sound was awful

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  34. Stringy Steve says:

    PS whoever made the analogy that Haezer is the next Daft Punk or Justice should go jump off a bridge and maybe in your next life you’ll actually know what the fuck your talking about! Daft Punk and Justice are French Touch not grinding Punk Electro numbnuts!

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  35. Roger Young says:

    Summation of arguments on this thread

    Max, your company got you in free now shut the fuck up and enjoy yourself instead of writing the article that you get paid to do.

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  36. fellow diver says:

    hey Scuba Steve… shut the fuck up. Some of us are trying to sleep!

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  37. Stringy Steve says:

    Its “Stringy” Steve I’ll have you know, go back to sleep wee one

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  38. fellow diver says:

    i know i can read. but i was inferring ‘Scuba’ by how great your comment was

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  39. John says:

    Good one Steve! Brilliant comment!

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  40. Q says:

    I think this max kid should eat a fucking dick. I hope this website dies

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  41. John says:

    Q You the man! Mahala? More like Mahaload of shit!

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  42. Tom says:

    Far too contrived and screaming for attention. I can’t believe Mahala pays you money for this. Clearly there is minimal knowledge about electronic music to work with in your review, and I guess that would result in bias. You seem to be 1 in 6000, tainted in your own cynical ideologies.

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  43. Daniel Sher says:

    I had one of the greatest times of my life at Synergy.

    And yet…. I completely loved this review. Max, well written man – some of the points you raised were things that needed to be said.

    I’m sick and tired of reading reviews that are boring, uncritical and serve no purpose other than to kiss rectum. This was refreshing, and this is what is needed if the related industry is going to be brought up to scratch.

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  44. Kreg says:

    I saw you at the gate and you look like a complete wanker. What a waste of my time reading this… Fuck Mahala, your online rep is just decreasiong further and further with your shit bias topics!!

    Your attempts at trying to get attention are pathetic!

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  45. Anonymous says:

    You know whats very amusing is that it’s so obvious that someone made a call for some online retribution from the electronic peanut gallery. The wave was started by Alex (from dontparty, I assume) and has also been champion by the likes of Dom (from Greit, although she is a lovely person) and looks very contrived.
    I bet someone sent out a mass mail. And like the sheep they are, the herd has heard the call.

    Hey, electronic music has it’s place. Alongside live bands at a festival that isn’t called ‘Vortex’ (although synergy is pretty close) isn’t really the place for a DJ and his trust laptop.
    Speaking of which: A laptop will NEVER be a live instrument.

    I have high respect for certain electronic artists. Locally, not so much. Hazer puts on a great show, as far as a DJ / Procer or whatever term they feel more comfortable with when playing samples etc through a laptop (setlist / playlist, same thing I guess) but the rest of it is boring and uninspried. Especially live. Why put focus on the guy who is essentially pitch shifting his playlist?

    I have been curious to ask, and maybe one of you will respond here: When an electronic DJ plays a live set, do they like ‘unproduce’ some of their track so they can ‘reproduce it’ live again? I’m not sure whats going on. What exactly should we be appreciating as far as the talent of the man behind the decks goes? I appreciate that a lot of them ‘write their own beats’ but on stage: whats going on?

    It’s cute that the electronic scene called Max jock. It’s cute that they’re getting antsy and trying to explain how you just dont get it. Cause mass markets definitely are on to something secret and mysterious here that the common man just wont get. Except they target the common man. As mass markets do. With luke warm pleasing sounds and pretty colours.

    No electronic song I heard at synery will ever move me on an emotional level. None of the local electronic artists will ever make me cry. Or laugh. Or make me heart (penis) swell with love. They might make me drool a bit. ‘BARBARA STRIESAND!!!’ ‘Oh you just dont get us!’

    Commercial. Consumerist. Disposable. Temporary. What a plastic world you live in.
    ‘I love electro, and if you happen to get laid thats just a bonus;.
    I think that sums things up quite nicely.

    Go back to your synthetic world. We’re busy being organic here.

    And i’ve always hated the idea of a ‘dance floor’ at a live music festival.

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  46. mike says:

    re:anonymous above.

    Did any of the music you heard at the main stage move you enough on an emotional level to make you cry?

    If you are looking to cry when you listen to music at festivals, maybe you shouldn’t be going to festivals.(or be watching porn with the volume up.)

    Sick review max…

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  47. Adam Lifshitz says:

    I’m not going to go as far as taking sides here, for I believe there aren’t (or shouldn’t be) any, and it seems that the majority of the people that have responded thus far have felt the need to do just that.

    This is but a review, in the words an opinion of someone who has had a different experience at Synergy and has put it on paper. Some of the point I agree with, and some of them I find to be shallow, yet its purely freedom of speech ; don’t get too hung up about it.

    Max, whilst the review itself was honest and well-written, and some points were valid (with regards to the organisation etc.), I feel the need to mention something:

    The electronic scene had been a personal favourite of mine for years now ; I have taken part in many a festival and parties around Cape Town and have seen the majority of DJs that compose it. That being said, I have learnt to appreciate the music and the talent behind it, and one needs to get out their little box if they ignorantly claim that it’s non existent.

    Take the likes of Mix n’ Blend ; a collaboration of artists, both digital and instrumental, that have literally annihilated the the so called ‘pretentious and plastic’ electronic floor. Liver, Niskerone and many of the others are well respected artists in their own capacity for reasons that are evident by the crowd masses. That’s not to say that they play shit music, simply that it isn’t your type of music.

    That’s also not to say that the people that enjoy the scene, whether at Synergy or elsewhere, are to be stereotyped into a group of mindless individuals, jocks, lumo-wearing hats or any thing that was mentioned ; I, for one amongst many, am none of the above, and I can assure you that I had an insane time on both nights at the ‘dreaded’ floor.

    There is a common issue around blogs these days where own opinion is used as a foundation to a greater claim, such as you not liking the electronic scene, and thus the whole electronic scene is shit.

    Again, well-written review, few valid, but keep these in mind too.

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  48. Max says:

    Whoar Whoar – that is my moose sound of amusement.

    People are fucked up creatures and are able to have fun in the worst conditions – they still had birthday parties during the siege of Leningrad when all they could eat were shoes and other people. So yeah, I DID have a good time at Synergy, but it had nothing to do with the festival, rather my girlfriend, my friends that I saw and the booze that I drank. Location/event was entirely irrelevant, which is where my ‘dislike’ of the fest came from.

    Early in the comments someone tuned me about lack of research and that there were no rappers on the Saturday – which is true, but I did spend some time with Fuzzy Slippers (who gave birth to the Puppy line) and Mike Z – on Saturday morning. They qualify for the bass-rap-fiend title I bestowed upon them. So fuck you 🙂

    To all those people that come here to read an opinion that is not voiced ANYWHERE else in the South African media landscape – thank you and thank you for contributing your thoughts on subjects and topics you don’t always agree with. This is what we do here.

    And to those that come here to bitch about OUR bitching – a God Honest FUCK YOU my dears. Go read One Small Seed or whatever pre-digested news/opinion (though calling that opinion is much forced) that makes you sleep well at night.


    PS To all the electro-crusaders – I appreciate your comments, and yes, my knowledge of electro is not the greatest. I’m learning. Bazinga.

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  49. factchecker says:

    hey anonymous,

    you asked, so ill respond.

    ‘I have been curious to ask, and maybe one of you will respond here: When an electronic DJ plays a live set, do they like ‘unproduce’ some of their track so they can ‘reproduce it’ live again? I’m not sure whats going on. What exactly should we be appreciating as far as the talent of the man behind the decks goes? I appreciate that a lot of them ‘write their own beats’ but on stage: whats going on?”

    DJ’s dont normally unproduce stuff… I think the thing to remember here is that DJ’s are not “live” acts in terms of performing the MUSIC, but in the electro scene, the trend is more and more towards a live performance in terms of choosing tracks that get a crowd dancing, and then amplifying it through your on stage PRESENSE. In my opinion, a good DJ is there to START A PARTY. if you have fun while they’re up there playing, the DJ has succeeded, regardless of his technical skills (look at The Wedding DJ’s).

    What should you be appreciating? Well, look at it this way – not very many people enjoy listening to hard dance music just for fun (at home or on your ipod for instance). I mean, its PARTY music, not necessarily listening music. So for me, I appreciate that parties and festivals are a forum for DJ’s to showcase their own productions, and production of other DJ/producers that they admire and support, in an environment that works for the music. DJ’s dont PLAY THE TRACKS LIVE, but that doesnt mean you cant appreciate the content of the music, or if the DJ is bringing it to you in an exciting or energetic way.

    Lastly, you said this:
    Hey, electronic music has it’s place. Alongside live bands at a festival that isn’t called ‘Vortex’ (although synergy is pretty close) isn’t really the place for a DJ and his trust laptop.
    Speaking of which: A laptop will NEVER be a live instrument.

    – apologies for being blunt, but that’s bullshit. The festival is CALLED SYNERGY – the whole POINT is to combine live acts/djs/everything else. Did you not get that? Major music festivals around the world book DJs time and time again – Glastonbury, Werchter, Pukkelpop, Fuji Rocks etc etc etc. And for the record, on the laptop thing – heres a news flash: Muse, Radiohead, Soulwax, Editors, Incubus, Lark – ALL USE LAPTOPS IN THEIR RIGS. So yes, Laptops ARE live instruments. The problem with them is that you cant always tell whether it’s being used as one, or just to play audio files.

    My 5c. Mahala, interesting article, but I think you guys are possibly getting a little snarly lately – it seems like it’s cool to be pissed off or something… Im ok with you guys exposing the negative as well as the positive, but lets not get gratuitously hard just because its the in thing – then you’ll end up just like the DJs you’re dissing – repetitive and loud without emotion. Just a thought….

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  50. skye says:

    putting goldfish last on sat night was a massive fail. were the synergy organisers that stupid not to realise that u dont follow up heavy electro acts with chilled jazzy house music, (even if goldfish are one of the biggest dance acts in the country)!? completely wrong time slot for them

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  51. muerte says:

    It’s Mahala’s fault is it? Not the culture or the scene. Not the organisers or the moneymakers. Not the lack of imagination. Or risk. No. The problem is lone contrary writers who don’t just take everything in without thinking. Got it.

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  52. Anonymous says:

    honestly I stopped reading after two paragraphs on account of it being written in the second person as though I was somehow watching myself be Max for a while. I really don’t want to be Max and I really didn’t want to be Max all weekend.

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  53. jazz beard says:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    its moany white rockers vs elektro whores smackdown!

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  54. Rufus says:

    well, my experience at Synergy was amazing, I had a good time, spent most of my time at the live stage, Feeder were really shit in my opinion, I mean come on….”who wants more?” …no answer….really, they were shit, my highlight was the Rudimentals for sure

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  55. mega-douche says:

    i’m with max on this. Gotta do our best to improve things, and oft that means we gotta point out the fuck-ups made by organisation. Prime Circle? Really? Playing live? For actual people? Wow. What’s next? Was Flash Republic doing it’s thing? Ouch!

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  56. mick says:

    You know it’s Max on the mic when the comments-board is longer than the ahticle. I’m velly happy you typed ‘illiterate’ unwrongly! Jesus, it’s only with Max ‘ticles that I brace myself, fucking Flinch hahah in nega-anticipation of some violently disruptive typo (only when he’s bitching ’bout illiteracy minds hahah!) And that oke naked from the waist up looks more nekkider than if he’d whipped the ol’ hungry lobster out. Yikes! No wonder his chick is doing the ol’ ‘Oh GAWD, not aGAIN’ look away. Fun read bra.

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  57. Anonymous says:

    Nick is doing some reverse gonzo. instead of getting fucked up to get inspired to write something, he got inspired to write something and then got fucked up. Fun read bra.

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  58. the great white jacques says:

    who the fuck are those guys rocking it out? That’s not The Motherfucking Great Apes???? what the shit is going on here…. Awesome review Max. These zooph zooph neon zombie’s can go fuck’em them selves.

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  59. Andy says:

    no one said they were the great apes… no idea who they are

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  60. Sean says:

    Great article Max, a nice read for someone who wasn’t there. Photos are a bit kak though but that’s not a train smash. Bring on (overpriced) RAMfest.

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  61. mary mortuary says:

    neon-sticker-face-painted idiots & check-how-good-we-look-on-we-are-awesome – its this form of cattle that me not want to venture out to these events. The Great Apes – the only rock n roll band in Cape Town

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  62. Notme says:

    Brilliant article… why the fuck is everyone whining?

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  63. Anonymous says:


    Here one blog claims DJ’s are leaving us culturally bankrupt.

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  64. ask says:

    The electro stage the main stage and the lng stage were all on one big rugby field.
    kinda like a school fair , funfair rides are great, but why must funfair rides and pancakes be the highlight of a music festival.

    What I would like to add is a small delicate plee to organizers of all festivals… please don’t patronize your audiences, even the dullest amongst us would respond well to a surprise.

    I play this game with my friends where we guess the line ups of festivals before they are even printed. and the sad sad truth is we are so right everytime, the same old line up the same order, with one or two variations depending on who knows the organisers.

    There are other genre’s too, there is Jazz, world, hip-hop, classical, blues and other such acts, musicians who come from all over Africa, who are relegated to playing at Marco’s African place or Mama Africa musicians who may live a little out of the CBD or Curtain, but who have something unique to bring. you may find that by booking other acts you may attract different audiences, its embarrassing to see the same Silly lilly white blonde girls shrieking over and over at festivals, you can tell a lot about a festival by its audiences. and these audiences perhaps deserve what they receive…

    So my request is simple, when picking a line-up how before the festival you go and watch some bands, organisers? how about you book bands that are interesting, different and
    perhaps out of the comfort zone. you have the opportunity to make headliners.. not regurgitate old one’s.

    I understand commercial concerns , But i don’t understand this strange sentiment that you need a goldfish, or a prime circle to sell tickets.. organizers, listen to your audiences , read their comments, they are bored. Find alternative ways to attract audiences.

    Its funny how the New World Beat barn and the LMG stage, both side-line features at local festivals can end up having more of an impact than the big expensive act every promoter is scared into booking.

    I know this is a virtually profitless industry and that its hard to make it work, but following a safe road will never escalate you out of your circumstance.

    Make the circle wider, and it shall be filled.

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