Cape Town Electronic Music Festival 2014 [Review]

Cape Town Electronic Music Festival 2014 [Review]


February 18th, 2014


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I may be slightly biased as it’s my ‘home’ festival , but Rocking the Daisies apart, I still consider it to be the most iconic music festival there is. Cape Town Electronic Music Festival (CTEMF) 2014 provided more ‘moments’ and talking points in the chapters of the electronic music history books than any music festival before it.


Let’s get down to business. Friday, having attended the Intimate Sessions party which included rubbing shoulders with most of the Dirty Bird crew, I arrived quite late into the festival.  By the time I had arrived Dakine Auret had started playing.
He played the best transitional set and an appropriate one at best for SA heavyweights, Crazy White Boy.

Crazy White Boy were one of the few artists to be playing at the festival again, and with good reason. Despite Nonku having a troubled throat, CWB enlisted the help of 3 guys named Chorus, who harmonized perfectly throughout their performance.
It was a suitable opening set for headliners Justin Martin & J.Phlip. Despite inclement weather, festival goers young and old danced and jumped around like idiots to what was a triumphant headline performance by both Dirty Bird crew members. As the night progressed Protoculture and HOBO took the crowd into the early hours of the morning. Having never heard about the artist HOBO, I and most of the crowd were treated to some great Techno and on top of that, most of the tracks were self-produced gems.


Day 2 of CTEMF really gave me the ability to submerse myself in the festival and get to explore and find out what was on offer, not just in terms of music but also the festival itself. I found myself in the Red Bull Mobile Media Lounge, where the media could network and even get the chance to chat to some of the artists. Another add-on to this year’s CTEMF was the Red Bull sky-deck, which allowed spectators to enjoy the festival visuals and sound from the comfort of a private bar.

Stand out performances included acts such as Cid Rim & Sedge Warbler who really got the crowd going with heavy bass-lines & rap lyrics. A real treat for myself was that of Dirty Paraffin, a unique act who are pushing boundaries in the SA music scene. From Kwaito to Hip-Hop, The Original Jazzy Jay was up next and took the whole crowd back with classic hip-hop hits and even managed to get a dance circle going on the side where breakdancers were showing off their moves to onlookers. Caspa on the other hand took it upon himself to see what the sound rig really had to offer in terms of bass. Although playing a very UK Bass-heavy set he also snuck in some of his more famous tracks especially ending his set with his Cockney Thug remix. HAEZER sat in between an international sandwich, and had to provide suitable performance to usher in Noisia. It was a tall order but the man delivered with the performance of his Live Show, which included PH.Fat’s, Mike Zietsman on the vocals and some great dancers to go together with his stage production.

To end off Day 2, Noisia stepped up and the crowd went wild, everyone was ready for some real drum & bass. What I really enjoyed from them was they mixed it up, by playing some their I AM LEGION tracks which featured Foreign Beggars and even played some trap just to throw us off guard for what was to come. I’ve never seen a crowd collectively fuck-out to music than how they did for Noisia.


In all honesty I cannot find any faults with this festival’s music or otherwise. It was a treat for the senses in all ways possible. CTEMF is not just a festival, but a movement. A movement that is putting South Africa on the map globally and showing everyone else that we have what it takes. CTEMF have had the right combination from when it all started 3 years ago. Good venue, good crowd, good sound and good range of DJ’s. They have stuck to their guns, the festival hasn’t deviated, it’s always going to be about good music, and that is why CTEMF in the long run is going to be successful.

I would just like to say a big, big thank you to everyone involved in this festival. Especially Heather Mennell, you’re a legend! Also to everyone working on this behind the scenes from the satellite events to the CTEMF workshops, the visuals and the festival organisers, thank you. You should be proud of what you’ve achieved.


Words By: Ben McCabe | @callmeben0
Images By: Luke Daniel Photography & Rowan Pybus

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