TF Archives

South Africa's global breakthrough

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Friday, October 20, 2006

Global Breakthrough organiser Jamie Joseph chatted to Skrufff this week about the line-up for her next Cape Town clubbing festival and revealed that Renaissance, Azuli and Defected will be participating as well as DJs Norman Jay, James Zabiela and Steve Bug.

The German minimal maestro has become one of South Africa’s biggest crossover stars off the back of his remix of Freaks’ The Creep in recent years, and is so popular that he’ll also be playing a 10,000 capacity event in Soweto during his trip.

“To get 10,000 township people to a Steve Bug gig is fairly easy, black people know exactly who he is,” she said. “Though whether or not the people from Soweto will enjoy a full two hour set of minimal techno is another story, but we’re still trying to work it out and I’m spending a lot of time with the more underground black promoters.”

The Poker Flat chief will also be spinning at a ‘luxurious private beach party’ for Global Breakthrough in Cape Town in keeping with the many other unusual locations included in the event, which include a castle for James Zabiela, a shark filled aquarium for Ame, and a mansion for the closing party. The overall event though will be centred around Camps Bay, a beachside location packed with bars and restaurants. James also stressed that South Africa’s high crime reputation shouldn’t put off any visitors.

“You got to put it into perspective, all these high crime rates are based on rural South Africa. No tourist ever sees rural South Africa, certainly not clubbers,” she insisted.

“Cape Town is very swish - very jet-set. Camps Bay is where all the famous people hang out and drink swish cocktails; they just don’t have to pay Monaco prices to do so. It’s all the glam at a pinch of the price.”

Jamie also stressed racial barriers are absent in South Africa beyond musical differences in taste, between different social groupings.

“South Africa is just as integrated as any other country when it comes to dance, no more, no less. When I go to Ibiza I don’t see lots of black people and when I go to a hip hop night on Long Street in Cape Town on a Thursday I’m in the white minority. Music is very cultural,” she pointed out.

“Here we have Kwaito, which is a slower house sound. But most the DJs I am bringing out would clear the dancefloor in a predominantly black club. Defected is a good cross over label though, but really it’s often down to the venue and clientele.

“Having said that, there are certain sounds that just work and it’s very hard to work out why. For example Steve Bug would be huge in Soweto, as would Bob Sinclar, his Africanism releases especially - two artists that couldn’t be further apart in musical style. Ame’s Rej track was also huge. So it’s a real mish-mash, but the most important thing is the beat,” said Jamie.