Société Perrier interviewed Dank about the SA bass music scene. Here’s what he had to say…
From the underground swagger and artistry of Johannesburg’s Spoek Mathambo to the mega success of Cape Town rap-rave crew Die Antwoord, dance music is blossoming in South Africa. One of the leaders of South Africa’s underground bass scene is DJ/producer Dank (pictured below), who has been toiling away in the underground crafting tunes for the dance floor for nearly a decade. “I started out in about 2002 maybe earlier and it was very niche back then,” Dank recalls. We asked the maestro to give us an overview of the scene’s past and present.
History of bass in South Africa: The bass scene probably started here with a few guys like White Nite, Fletcher and myself playing the likes of Danny Breaks and Mr. Oizo back in 2003/2004. I still believe Danny Breaks’ “The Jellyfish” was the start of bass music, well at least for me. Then came Tipper, etc. and recently (last couple of years) it’s just exploded into a bunch of genres and sub genres. There where also the likes of The Real Estate Agents (Sibot and Markus Wormstorm) producing and performing glitched out bass music at that time they where huge.
Local labels to check out: African Dope used to release some of my older stuff and the likes of The Real Estate Agents, but I can’t really think of any other labels in SA which strictly release bass music. There are a few drum ‘n’ bass labels. Rebel Cleff has a SoundCloud community page called SABC (South African Bass Culture) which a bunch of up-and-coming producers submit their beats to. Most of us release overseas or give our stuff away for free on SoundCloud or Bandcamp or whatever.
The major players in the local scene: The local scene has a bunch of guys on the bass sound. P.hfat and Sedge Warbler are the originators in the glitched out bass-rap sound while Sibot [Wormstorm] does his heavier, more party thing live. There are a few DJs and producers playing great stuff in SA like White Knite is still holding it strong, Funafuji and Liver when he wants to can really bring shit nice. Card On Spokes is probably my favorite SA producer at the moment and his live performances are always flawless. Slabofmisuse, Oltak and Christian Tiger School fit the more chilled side. Trap seems to be on the build at the moment, which I like. It’s more refreshing than dubstep and easier on the ears and hard not to get down to.
The secret sauce of South Africa’s bass community: I think Cape Town has definitely got a sound. We are all really close knit as producers. Sharing info is a really easy and nobody seems to try keep things a secret. I wouldn’t really know how to describe it: P.h.fat and Sibot are at the more “hard” end of the spectrum and then the rest of us kind of go with more mellow obscure sounding vibes. There are a bunch of guys who collect analogue synths and you can really hear the difference in their sound.
The scoop on SA club nights: Unfortunately there are none! It’s always one or two of the guys I’ve mentioned on a lineup which without fault will end up in the worst techno land you could fathom! Myself and Disco from Sedge Warbler used to throw a monthly party called Future Thug and it was a bass music thing, I suppose. It was fun but a mission. I hope some of the events and line up and managers do start doing it soon as I think at least Cape Town is ready.
Dank’s plans for 2013: In 2013 I’m starting a new crew called Seafood with Card On Spokes — we already have a bunch of tracks in the pipe and we will be performing our stuff live which will be fun I imagine. Maybe another Sedge Warbler album but this seems like it’s more of a fantasy at the moment if you reading this Disco! Touring the UK will probably be at the top of the list seeing as it’s been on the cards far too long now.
Check out the original article HERE