Metaphor is for wankers. Witty anecdotes, bad puns and intellectual self-stimulation – who really gives a shit? You all just want to hear what went down at Organik’s recent Gaian Dream party. So let me cut straight to the chase: it rained.
But ‘rain’ is an understatement. We’re all familiar with Cape Town’s climate, which is more temperamental than the Valkenberg inmate who once smoked pool-chemicals. But seriously – this was like nothing I’ve ever experienced; apparently the venue had not seen this much rain in 16 years. I’m talking about hours upon hours upon hours of relentless torrential downpour. We drove through a flowing river in order to access the party, and over a hundred cars had to be tractored out of the mud. I’m talking about wading waist-deep in order to get from the parking lot to the stage, and I’m talking about a dance-floor that contained more mud than the Ganges river itself. Contemplating the specks of dirt that were already tarnishing our clean clothes, we quickly realized that getting messy was not optional, it was inevitable.
Despite the ridiculous weather, however, the spirit of trance prevailed. The crowd partied as if there were no tomorrow, despite the likelihood of this actually becoming a reality. Dancing in the cold rain for hours on end is not recommended for those hoping to show face at work on Monday.
Kudos must go out to the Organik crew, who, with a little help from the good people over at The Village, ensured that a sturdy stretch-tent hugged the dance-floor. Don’t be fooled into imagining a dry-dance floor, however: things were wetter than (I’ll let you insert your own inappropriate comparative reference). Nonetheless, the tent made things manageable, and ensured that the inevitable pneumonia fatalities were reduced considerably.
I grew up in Namibia, where the first rains to break the relentless dry-season are accompanied by a tangible energy, and an infectious sense of fresh vitality and excitement. When the Portuguese psyqueen Ganeisha geared up for her sunrise set, the energy under that tent was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Thunderous musical breaks and jagged bass-lines were barely audible over the sound of raindrops drumming upon the canvas, and the collective slurp of hundreds of feet stomping simultaneously into the mud.
As daylight fought to make it’s presence felt, Plusminus kept things dark with their deep, driving basslines and energetic breaks. The ambiance was unreal: sinking within the muddy shelter of the stretcher, the crowd danced excitedly as they contemplated the unfolding climatic chaos. Huddled together, we felt cosy and sheltered, but simultaneously on the brink of some sort of natural disaster. The rivers were overflowing when we arrived – it seemed highly likely that we would find ourselves trapped at the venue, or even carried off in some sort of a torrent. No one seemed to care, Plusminus were just too good.
Up next was Bruce, followed by Headroom and Broken Toy – three of Cape Town’s most renowned day-time DJ/Producers. It was evident that these guys knew exactly what they were doing: each DJ fed off of the incredible atmospheric vibrancy, tweaking the energy levels until the crowd abandoned all concerns for health and hygiene, and effectively became one with the mud, transforming the entire dancefloor into a messy blur of smiles, stomps, splashes and stains.
Dave Mac and Connecto had the unenviable task of following on from this mammoth line-up; nonetheless, both managed to keep the blood flowing, and the hyped-up crowd stirred the mud right until the last track was played. At this point one could guess that the sun, which had yet to appear from behind the clouds, was nearing the other end of the horizon, and we decided to brave the leaky sky and make for the car.
Whilst elegantly stumbling, slipping and drowning our way back to the car, I was for the first time able to appreciate the pure beauty of the venue. This is one point on which I’d like to congratulate the Organik crew specifically: people tend to bitch and moan about the long drive, but for the second year running, Organik have managed to secure what I believe is Cape Town’s most scenic venue. Crystal-clear rivers and lakes were nestled within rolling green hills, whilst scenic mountains lined the horizon. Surrounding the dancefloor was a lush network of rolling hills and green-grass, peppered with violently purple flowers which glistened, breathed and glowed in the dying daylight. Such natural beauty makes the difference between a fun party and a potentially life-changing experience that will be remembered for years to come. As we neared the car we could hear birds singing; everything felt sparkly clean, fresh and beautiful as we lowered our muddy and battered bodies into my poor car, which will never be properly clean again. A fair exchange, if you ask me!
Since 2011, Organik have earned a reputation for throwing Cape Town’s best parties. Last year’s event was nothing short of spectacular. Tales of the intimacy, integrity and pure-awesomeness of Organik productions have been spreading like wildfire, and subsequently Gaian Dream 2012 had a surprisingly large attendance (though this number would probably have doubled if conditions had been sunny). Nonetheless, this past weekend Organik proved a formidable opponent for the Western Cape’s climatic schizophrenia, and managed, once again, to throw one of the most impressionable events that I have ever attended – an unforgettable moment in the history of Cape Town’s trance scene. I’ll be most surprised if any promoter is able to top this, but then again, there’s always Organik’s production later in the season…
Until then, keep it unreal!
Some more photo’s by Emelen Photography: