The main reason for my trip to South Africa last week was to attend the Smirnoff Experience event in Johannesburg. Smirnoff Experience is a global initiative to get people out of their normal lives and have a one of a kind experience. As a result, last week as part of a group of twelve bloggers and youtubers, I visited various parts of Joburg from the perspectives of arts and culture, nightlife, food, seeing what life is like in the Soweto township, visiting a Lion Park, checking out the city and culminating in a Smirnoff Mashup event in an aircraft hangar outside Joburg.
Dutch trance producer Tiesto played a three hour set which not being a massive Tiesto fan I expected to be much more excruciating. In the end, the production and the visuals of the show along with recognisable tunes from Florence and the Machine, a Zomby-esque 8-bit dance tune, Technotronic’s ‘Pump Up The Jam’ and the atmosphere meant the gig was good fun.
Here’s a video of the start of the Tiesto gig to give you an idea of the setup. I believe this tune is ‘Kaleidoscope’ featuring Jonsi of Sigur Ros.
As part of the mashup experience, the Joburg band BLK JKS collaborated with Tiesto on a track called ‘Dreaming’ and they also played on the night. A mix of rock, afro-punk, dub, psych and everything in-between, the easiest way of describing these guys is a South African TV on the Radio. The band have been chosen to play the World Cup Opening Concert in Soweto along with Amadou & Mariam, Shakira, Alicia Keys, K’Naan, Tinariwen and more. The band have just released this fine, fine single which is the best stab at an African 2010 World Cup celebratory song I’ve heard so far this year…
Below, are some pics I took of the event.
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.