Grietfestby Hugh Upsher / 27.08.2013
Griet does not muck about. They have a huge party planned over two cities this weekend and they have every intention to tear shit up. Griet have collected some of the most creative and talented minds in the local electronic music scene to help do this. Not to mention throwing a handful of top class internationals into the mix to seal the deal. We got Das Kapital to drop some informed opinions on the festival known as Grietfest.
MAHALA: Electronic music has been multiplying in sub-genres over the last ten years. What is the common thread that connects GRIETfest’s line-up?
DAS KAPITAL: Particularly in South Africa, the biggest growth I have scene within the electronic music scene has been in the inter-genre connections; I am constantly blown away at the support of individual styles by the burgeoning stable of respected local artists and DJs.
Now more than ever, South African DJs and producers are forerunners in the global dance scene, always abreast of, if not actually a part of the creation of the new and exciting musical developments happening all the time.
GRIETfest is one of the festivals I can rely on to book artists whose hype is backed by both prowess and innovation, and that’s ultimately the best similarity we could hope for in a lineup so varied.
Do you see any major difference (professionally) between the international DJ’s invited and the local acts on the line-up?
Because our greater scene is relatively new, the underlying difference between the locals and the internationals is that acts like Bart B More and Tai have a few years more experience under their belt than say Haezer or myself.
Ultimately, the music is the deciding factor, and I’m willing to stick my neck out and say that having heard what outs there, people are in for a great time whether no matter which side of the pond is their preference.
Do you think GRIETfest has the potential for substantial growth within South Africa or do you feel the label of ‘alternative dance festival’ will keep it in a niche market?
The “alternative dance festival” label is what makes it beautiful, if anything. It guarantees a difference from your usual dance stage or single genre party.
We’re at a time where dance music is thriving on a greater scale than ever, and this means people are going to look for something that caters to their specific tastes – rather than just regurgitating the same thing you hear day in and out, GRIETfest is curating something fun and different that I believe will not only win over new dance fans, but also entertain the already steadfast heads.
With the bigger shows and festivals you tend to get people ‘out for the jol’ who might not be familiar with your music style. How far are you willing to deviate to win a crowd over?
My sets are always an adventure, to put it simply. For GRIETfest, I’m looking to have fun with the crowd – It’s easy to just go buy the Beatport top 10 and bang them all together (and you’d probably get great results), but I’m not that guy, and I don’t see any of the acts on the lineup being “that guy” either.
It’s always going to be about playing to the crowd, and stringing together records that suit and entertain them, but by no means am I going to wimp out in order to make that happen. If I have to work harder, so be it – I just know that it’s got to be done right, if it’s done at all.
What do you get more excited for at GRIETfest, the partying or the networking?
I’m lucky to be constantly surrounded by talented artists – we are sitting on a goldmine of talent in this country (a fact which running my record label Do Work Records has really brought home). I am certainly looking forward to hanging out with a lot of my musical friends, and making new ones, considering a lot of us will be in the same place for the first time in months (busy times, right?).
That said, my prime objective is to have a great time with the people there for the music – I’m aiming to put all my energy into my set, and meet some of the supporters up in Gauteng.
The music and the people supporting it MUST come first, for me at least.
Are you looking forward to the day when you get more Facebook page likes than the Karl Marx’s book?
This is something I gave some thought the other day. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it, to be honest. I respect his body of work, and that’s why I named myself that with all respect due – it will be both a day of personal triumph and disappointment, insofar as the work of minds like Marx has always deserved greater recognition.
I guess we can cross that bridge when we get to it.
* GRIETfest is on in Cape Town on Friday 30th August and in Joburg on Saturday 31st August.