Richard Rumney played Oppikoppi before helping establish the Red Bull Studio Live stage as one of South Africa’s finest – and most unlikely – homes for boundary-pushing electronica.
“As far back as 2000, Oppikoppi had (UK breakbeat pioneer) Cut La Roc, Buscemi from Belgium, and Cape Town’s Krushed ’n Sorted, plus (Johannesburg and Cape Town club) 206 had created an ethos for dance music,” says Rumney, now Red Bull Music Studio Cape Town manager.
“By 2010, our artists were doing well internationally: Haezer, Markus Wormstorm and Sibot, and Thibo Tazz and Black Coffee exporting the Afro-house sound. But the explosion of EDM hadn’t happened across the country at large. It was strong, but still an undiscovered and underground scene. We made the Red Bull stage specifically about showcasing South African electronic music. ”Red Bull Studio Live is about more than just an impressive sonic line-up: there’s a strong focus on VJs and LED screens that beggar belief in the merciless bushveld sun, and truly come into their own as the moon rises over the dust.
“There’s no other festival where we get such strong support for the full line-up,” says Rumney, “There are people jolling in the blazing sun, or chilling on the rocks, listening to the earlier acts. We know that, and we’re not there just to throw a party: we’ll showcase someone like Card On Spokes that’s not just about four/four dance. In 2014, we’re sneaking Original Swimming Party during a prime slot – and it’s left of centre, not just get-down-and-dance.”
Four epic moments at the Red Bull Studio Live Stage so far: