Cape Town has always been a city where electronic music has had the space to flourish. This is thanks to passionate producers and DJs, as well as the event promoters and collectives who have consistently facilitated the sharing and enjoyment of the music. Considering the city’s small CBD, relative to those of its counterparts in the north, one could never be blamed for being surprised at the number of niche pockets of musical interest that exist at any given time – especially electronic music – along with the corresponding promoters, collectives and events that follow.
One such niche is borne of the surge of techno and house that the city has experienced over the past three years. Sitting in the realm of deep house, minimal techno, dub and soul, this particular sound has been most prominently featured through the bi-monthly event series called ATOM. Having hosted various South African artists like Okayshades, Mvelo, LEEU and Kat la Kat, as well as foreign acts such as Powel and Ida Daugaard (both from Germany), the founders and resident DJs of ATOM, known almost solely as Mikey and Schumi, have since branched out to help form another collective known as Welcome To The Underground (WTTU). The mission here is to facilitate the growth of South Africa’s underground Deep/Tech/Soul/House music scene.
The initial step towards the facilitation of this growth is through events. They have already hosted nine, all of which were sold out, and are about to launch a string of five events throughout the summer. Kicking things off this Friday, WTTU will play host to Summer Series #1 at Sangrita Arcade in Woodstock. The line-up consists of 90s boom-bap aficionados Tumi x Jason, jack of all trades Reezo Hassan and JNN KPN off the back of a successful set at Rocking The Daisies’ Electro Dome.
Alongside the events, WTTU also hosts a weekly radio segment on Cape Audio Campus Radio where each week they feature an artist. Thus far, they’ve featured LEEU, Reezo Hassan, Musical Conexion, Powel, Ida Daugaard and the SWIM collective. Expanding on the events and radio segment, the collective is looking to outdoor festivals and a record label as future endeavours, as well as broadening their exposure to Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The passion that so often accompanies the potency of many musical niches is key to any hope for their longevity, but focus and momentum are what really see them develop further than a fad. It’s always exciting to see young South Africans being driven by their love for their craft, and in the case of Welcome To The Underground, we’re eager to track their progress in facilitating the growth that they believe is possible.
Be sure to head over to the event page for further information, which you’ll find here.