Events, Reviews

Live Review: Card On Spokes EP Launch

PLATFORM has been covering live events for just over a month now. In that time, we’ve seen a serious variety of shows, set-ups and artists. There’s been a lot of great stuff happening, but without a doubt The Card On Spokes EP launch that happened at True Italic this past Friday was the best-curated and -executed event yet.

The event was thrown by The Other___, a recently-launched presence in the Cape Town events scene, run by Aaron Peters, Matt Hichens and Philippus Johan, three young, connected and in-the-know Cape Tonians. This event was done in collaboration with Shane Cooper (Card On Spokes), to celebrate the launch of his fantastic new EP.

The aesthetic of the day was dingy and DIY. To get from the dancefloor to the outside area required walking through a dank basement and under a walkway designed for midgets, but no-one seemed to mind too much; there was an odd charm about the whole affair, the view a burnt-down former nightclub juxtaposed behind the towering glass of Cape Town’s newest skyrise. An assortment of the Cape Town music scene’s who’s who congregated intermittently back there – banter and R30 cups of sangria flowed – between long stretches populating the dancefloor.

It was on said dancefloor, though, that the magic really happened. Mohato Lekena’s Wildebeats project started the evening off, displaying his keen ear and knack for impressive beats, his own music featuring prominently in his set. The CID RIM remix of CHVRCHES’ ‘Recover’ that he dropped was, as it always is, one of many highlights, and although his show has a way to go before reaching the kind of sonic perfection that he aspres to on his production work, it was still an exhilarating start to the evening and he is undoubtedly an incredible talent. He was followed by Luc Vermeer’s DESERT_HE∆D, which was equally enthralling. He played a lot of his own stuff, including his amazing Pokemon and Mariah Carey Christmas remixes. His set was polished and progressive and varied and everyone listening loved it.

If the night had been incredible up until that point, it was about to reach a new stratosphere. Fever Trails, Nicholas Van Reenen’s band with Sebastiano Zanasi were astounding. All present were gobsmacked by the magnitude of what was being created in front of them, with intricate parts layered one atop another, forming a sonic representation of a kick to the head. The audience weren’t sure whether to dance, bob up and down or have a standing-up seizure. If this sounds like hyperbole, well then the solution is to check it our for yourself if you haven’t already. More likely than not, you’ll be converted too.

All this was before the headline act even took the stage. Shane Cooper arrived to an audience who’d been well warmed up and were, by this stage, entirely open and receptive to whatever he was going to deliver, so long as it blew their minds. He more than delivered on that. It’s no exaggeration to say that, over the course of his hour-plus set, he set the standard for performing electronic music live in this country. His set, marrying his eclectic and niche electronic tastes with his jazz musician sensibilities, was akin to a journey as he delved down one wormhole after another, emerging always with the crowd, which was at its largest for his set, firmly behind him, gobsmacked and ecstatic.

The most incredible thing about the line-up was that, even after Card on Spokes had finished playing, there were still two more sets from two more incredible DJs. Marcus Wormstorm held things down, starting his set with some dark stuff, although it did appear that he reverted after that to a technically-marvellous and highly enjoyable but ultimately safe set of trap bangers. Dank came on after him and played a shortened set, but as always, he delivered the goods. He really is one of the top electronic producers and performers in the country.

It’s hard to write about this event without gushing. We always try to be critical here at PLATFORM, but there honestly just wasn’t that much to critique about the party. It really was just one of the most thoroughly enjoyable and progressively curated events that has been thrown in the city. All that’s left to be said, really, is that next time The Other____ throw a party, you should probably be there.

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