- Top 100
May 2, 2012
Written by DJ Si Edwards
Intro: This weeks review comes from Angola, Africa. A small city on the coast called Lobito to be exact. A sold out festival on the beach with 3,000 people, an incredible turn out considering this place is in the middle of nowhere! Let’s find out if this unknown place is worth putting on the clubbing map!
Destination/Location: Lobito, Angola
To give you an idea of how remote this place is, we flew from Luanda airport to a small Army airbase in the middle of nowhere. Then we had a two hour drive to the beach resort, once out of the city it really was just a lot of desert and derelict buildings along the way. As the country goes through a rebuilding transition while celebrating 10 years of peace from civil war, you can see the potential of the place, stores like Nike, LaCoste, Louis Vuitton are opening up to the ever growing tourist trade and superb hotels are rising fast. The more I find out about Angola, the more I see why people are investing here, it’s fascinating to see.
Tour Bug: Each review I’ll be mentioning something little that usually bugs me while on tour, don’t worry it’s not contagious! So then, what really bugged me about this tour was the traffic, yes I know Angola doesn’t have the highway regulations that we are used to here in North America, but jeez, it took us like an hour to drive 100 metres down the street, it was so bad, the picture above captures a typical street in Luanda. Bugged out!
Venue/Club: Terminus Hotel Beach Resort
This event was hosted at a hotel beach resort, the huge complex was transformed quite remarkably into a beach festival, with a mammoth purpose built stage which had a pretty impressive lighting rig, giant LED wall and a booming sound system. I remember being in the hotel during sound check and the windows we’re shaking it was so loud, glad we wasn’t staying in that hotel for the night, no sleep for the guests until at least 4 a.m.! The pictures above of the hotel really do capture the beauty of the place, although the tranquil tropical spot of paradise was about to get crazy at night fall.
Tech/Geek Spotlight: One thing for DJs to note, we use the Pioneer CDJ 2000′s, but for us to use its full capabilities linked with Serato, we need to work on the latest operating system, this is Version 4.10. The problem I had here in Angola, was none of the tech guys knew about this, even the local DJs had no idea that the decks work on an operating system, so when I checked the CDJs they were still on Version 2.02. Luckily for me, a friend of mine (Lenny Dent now known by the team as ‘Lenny the Legend’) emailed me the latest Pioneer Firmware so I could update live on stage before we started the show, panic over!
Night/Event: Lookal Festival on the Beach
We arrived to the show at midnight and was greeted to a packed out event, the vibe was buzzing, as the cool sea breeze whistled through the crowd you could really feel the energy of the people. As I looked out over the beach everyone had smiles on their faces, they had waited along time for such a big event and boy it didn’t disappoint. The promoter (a memorable character called Mario) worked hard to make this event happen, but his hard work paid off, credit to him for taking a gamble on this kind of show and for bringing a slice of EDM to Africa!
Resident DJs/Acts: 2 Brothers (Paulo & Ricardo Alves), Taboo (BEP)
The 2 Brothers are somewhat heroes here in Angola, with a big show on local radio station ‘Mix FM’, they are considered the best house DJs in the country, and I have to say, they were very good. Creating a cool vibe of tribal house combined with uplifting vocal grooves giving it a funky feel, it was a unique mix that totally worked, setting things up ready for the main headliner (Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas). After the main set, the 2 Brothers once again jumped on the decks, using a combination of CDJs and Traktor Controllers to battle with each other to continue the party until the early hours (probably to the annoyance of the guests trying to sleep).
Stand Out Moment: The Black Eyed Peas as we all know, have had some massive hits over the years, tracks like Let’s Get it Started, Pump It, Boom Boom Pow and I Gotta Feeling. There is one song really connects in this part of the world, and that’s Where is the Love. When Taboo ended his show on this song, the crowd all united as one, with everyone’s hands in the air showing the ‘Love Heart’ symbol, it was a touching moment that I’ll never forget. Songs like this are very rare, they touch the hearts of millions and are a symbol of peace, love and unity. As the track was made in 2003, addressing issues like terrorism, racism, pollution, war and more, you know it was definitely a part of the times when the country started making a change. This year Angola celebrates 10 years of peace, let’s hope this continues.
Final Thought: I’m not going lie, when I was booked to go Angola I was skeptical to what I would be walking into, could a place like Lobito put on a huge festival and have the party of a lifetime on a beach? Well yes they can, everything from the sound and lights to the crowd and venue was big, bigger than expected. The appreciation of the local people was inspiring to see, I was humbled to have so many people thank us for coming to perform, but really I want to thank them, for showing me so much love, respect and for giving us one of the best shows ever.
Shout Outs: Mario, 2 Brothers (Paulo & Ricardo Alves)