Review: Endless Daze 2017

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endless dazeFor over four years, Psych Night – who call themselves a collective of like-minded friends involved in mind-expanding music – have been creating a local Cape Town scene around psychedelic rock: a mid-60s revival genre characterised by extended instrumental parts, lots of reverb and fuzz pedals, and acid-drenched lyrics. Endless Daze, happening for the second time this year, seems like the natural next step. It’s an outdoor festival at a west-coast beach resort – the perfect setting for the project. Sea-side camping and an elevated look-out point provided festival-goers with opportunities to watch hazy sun sets over a roaring ocean, setting the mood for a charismatic line-up.

Early Friday night, Mr Cat and the Jackal took to the stage with their eerie, multi-instrumental (they even make use of a saw) dark folk, introducing what was about to become a night of esoteric themes, meandering melodies, and a good dose of distortion. After Retro Dizzy bounced across the stage in colourful gowns, Medicine Boy – consisting of Lucy Kruger and Andre Leo, who’ve been part of Psych Night from the get-go – created a dramatic experience that was fiercely ethereal. Performing against a backdrop of ghostly forests and exploding colours, they were joined on stage by violinist Hezron Chetty, who added ominous bow-strokes to their heavily-pulsing ‘dream noise’. For Moon Duo, a US-based act, the visuals were equally mind-blowing, fitting to the supernatural themes they were conveying through their big and epic, perfectly rounded sound.

A highlight on Saturday was Hezron Chetty and the Zugzwang’s lunchtime performance. Never the same as any previous set, Chetty beautifully interpreted the psychedelic theme with looped violin melodies, plucked chords, and even some spoken word, backed by drums, bass and keys. At night time, The BLK JKS added a refreshing twist to the otherwise guitar-and-bass-heavy line-up. Known to mesh many genres and make use of jazz-typical instruments such as saxophone and trumpet, the legendary Johannesburg-band performed a rock-influenced version of SA struggle song ‘Mzabalazo’.

If the festival’s goal was to incorporate all facets of neo-psychedelia, it certainly succeeded. The enchanting setting, the mesmerising visuals, the dynamic music – and even the festival’s attendees, who generally dressed the part – made for an authentic experience.

Christine Hogg

Endless Daze took place at Silwerstroom Resort on 3 to 5 November 2017.

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