Monkey Safari’s efforts in the studio have transcended to their DJ sets, with stand out shows at Time Warp USA last year and Germany in April culminating a very successful year. With a heavy touring schedule ahead, the brothers will have the opportunity to test their evolving sound to new crowds at Awakenings Festival, as well as a short tour in South Africa.
We had a chat with the Hommage Records head honchos to find out more about their weird and wonderful musical journey.
You recently had the seventh anniversary of your club, Charles Bronson. What’s the club like?
Charles Bronson, a small venue that fits around 250 people, is our playground and an experimental lab for electronic music. We try to give something back by working for the scene and club culture in our hometown. So we have created this network to support emerging artists and give the people in our hometown a base and platform to perform and develop. We spent a lot of energy on this project in an effort to build up the perfect space—our dream venue. Therefore we put an emphasis on perfecting those things we find important in a club: the sound system, lighting, drinks, ambiance, etc.
Charles Bronson was an actor in Western movies from the 1950s, what made you choose this name for your club? Is there a cowboy essence to the ethos of the club?
Our grandfather was a really big Charles Bronson fan. Apart from the nostalgia of it, we also liked the attitude and power of the name Charles Bronson. Our grandfather had his own private bar on his land, with a lot of western trash inside. After he died, we took a lot of this stuff and decorated one floor of our club with it.
Are you guys big film buffs?
Yeah, but not really Western films, more fantasy and international films.
Do you take some of his steely, tough-guy attitude with you into work or life?
Definitely. We work hard like machines, 24 hours a day. This is only possible though when you’re a team and have different sleeping times like we do.
What's something nobody knows or understands about running a club until you're eyes-deep in the experience?
As long as you run your club with aspiration and personality, your Lamborghini will look like a Fiat Panda.
This year was a busy year for you, releasing three EPs already with the fourth, Woo, coming out on November 18th. Are there any interest projects coming up that we should be looking out for?
Yes, we are actually going to release a fifth EP this year… featuring a very hot Blond:ish remix of “Woo” plus two edits of “Woo” and “Verso” by yours truly! Over the next few months we’ve got some remixes in the pipeline, our first mini compilation on Hommage with tracks from John Tejada, Blond:ish, Marino Canal and ourselves. And we’re still working on our album, which is penciled in for a 2017 release date. We’ll see what happens.
“Woo” is quite experimental in its approach. What would you say inspired such otherworldly elements?
A lot of our inspiration for the experimental comes from DJing. We’re listening to a lot of different music every week. Much more and much broader in style than what we’re playing in our DJ sets. There’s so much good music out there that sometimes it’s easy to get lost because of the sheer quantity. To get back to your question, often it’s just a small sample or perhaps a vocal in a song that sparks our inspiration. It’s intriguing how an entirely new track can start like that.
You had some stellar artists on remix duties for your label Hommage, how do would you describe the aesthetic of the label and its sound?
We like to say that Hommage is a playground for open-minded people who just like music in all its different facets! Most of the remixers we had on the label in the past 18 months have different musical backgrounds: Guy Gerber, Josh Wink, Moby, Wolf & Lamb, Kölsch, Paco Osuna, Chloé, UNER, John Digweed and Nick Muir, Guy Mantzur, Victor Ruiz, Blond:ish, that’s a whole lot of different musical styles! But from our perspective that’s what makes it interesting!
You are embarking on your tour of South Africa in December, what are you expecting from the South African audiences?
We are really looking forward to our first time in South Africa. We don’t know much about the scene but expect fresh people who are hungry for electronic music! We won’t have time to explore the country and its multi-cultural cities and spectacular nature, so we already know we’ll have to come back. We also really like the art and culture of the Ndebele, and would like to see how they live today. Next time.
What’s the one thing Monkey Safari would not be the same without?
Sexy Groovy Love embark on their next adventure in Paarl, Cape Town with Monkey Safari, bringing together the best summer vibes and the some of the finest music in the city. On December 3rd, The Cascade Manor will play host to an array of top quality house and techno acts, including the German duo. Sexy Groovy Love takes place on December 3rd alongside DJs The Fogshow, El Gordo, Tommy Gun, Chris De Vos, danalog, Stone-Age Citizens and Dane Stirrat. Tickets available from the Sexy Groovy Love website.
Monkey Safari will also be performing at the CTEMF Connect event at The Orbit in Johannesburg on December 2nd, details available here.