Psych Night presents Endless Daze
Endless Daze Festival is the brainchild of Psych Night, a group of five like-minded music lovers who since 2012, in collaboration with Vans, have provided a platform for bands to showcase their wild and wonderful sounds to audiences around the country.
With four successful international tours, namely Night Beats (2013), Golden Animals (2014), Allah-Las (2015) and the Black Lips (2015), 14 international shows and numerous local satellite events, Psych Night recently hosted their first festival experience – Endless Daze.
Known for his strange, nostalgic sounds, Philip Kramer has performed alongside many well known local and international acts - including FEADZ, The Bloody Beetroots, Zombie Nation, Steve Aoki, Sweat.X, D.I.M, DJEDJOTRONIC, Le Castlevania, HAEZER, Double Adaptor, Saint Pauli and The Cyberpunkers, and is currently hard at work on his first studio album. He put together a mix using the Endless Daze artists so give it a listen for a ‘take-me-back’ experience or if you’d like to see what you missed.
Read our chat with Phil after the jump.
Are you aware that you share a name with the bassist from Iron Butterfly, which is perhaps the most psychedelic of psyche bands, in my opinion, and you can go listen to In-a-gadda-da-vida right now if you disagree.
I've known about him for quite some time - In the early days of the internet, just about the only thing you could do was look for famous people that had the same name as you. Pretty much just like today. Bottom line: if you want your kid to be famous and suicidal, name it Philip Kramer. Also, while we're at it - I'll see your 'In-a-gadda-da-vida', and raise you '10000 Years Behind my Mind' by Focus 3, and basically anything by Arthur Brown.
So who are you, really, what do you do and what have you done for us with this mixtape of yours?
My name is Philip David Kramer. I DJ, run a recording studio called 'Phantom Sound', and I make furniture.
The mixtape is a compilation of one track from every artist playing at the festival, and I tried to string them all together so it had a sense of progression (apart from the Bateleur track, which I forgot to put in and then just kinda shoe-horned in at the end). It does have a lot of fun little tricks in it though - The DJ Invizible track was obviously impossible to mix in normally, so rather than try to sneak it in, you go the other way and specifically draw attention to it. Another favorite part of mine is the mix between Retro Dizzy and The Deathrettes, where one band cuts out and Richard just keeps going 'acapella' over the next track, which was only possible because I've been recording RD's new record and I had access to his voice as a separate element. It's interesting what you come up with when working in the mixtape format. I also like how the end of The Moth's track is deliberately slowed way down, which gives it a very strange, sludgy feel.
In case you didn’t already mention it in the above, could you please tell us something about Battle Beyond the Stars, Get Nasty and After Hours?
Battle Beyond the Stars is my old DJ name, and the only fun facts I have about that are A) The name came to me in a dream, kinda like John Lennon and the Beatles, and B) I found out later that it's also the title of a semi-shitty sci-fi movie that a young James Cameron worked on. I had battlebeyondthestars.com for years in the hope that they'd attempt a remake and buy it from me.
Get Nasty was the first party I was involved in organising (2007 - 2009 RIP). I started and ran it with Alex Montgomery and Emma Withers, and it was the first party in Cape Town to really break the very hard sound of electro in the late 2000's, and definitely the first to seize on the natural link between that, hip hop, and early mash-up culture. I'm also proud of how inclusive it was, and how wild it was. We used to have piles of unclaimed clothing at the end of the night after people had pretty much just gone home in their underwear. It was very sticky. You'd see people that were there in the street two days later, and they'd still have glitter on them. You can't party like that anymore - people are too worried you're going to fuck their new shoes up.
After Hours is run by Ian Jepson, Tyler Smith and myself, in many small ways, it's a kind of spiritual successor to GN for me. It's a great space to feel like you can just enjoy yourself - it's a very judgement free zone - And it doesn't take itself too seriously. After Hours ultimately came from a dissatisfaction with going out. You listen to the music at home, but then you go out and just get tortured with this horrible fucking nonsense inflicted on you by DJ BJ or whatever. So we decided to bring that music to the club, basically - And I think it worked out pretty well. The real trick with After Hours, and I think this often comes as a surprise to people, is that it's in no way glib or ironic with regard to the music. Anything we play, from Bootsy Collins to Barbie Girl, is played because we think it has genuine merit. It's pure. Then we added a bunch of werewolves and shit to make it a little less serious.
Where can we see you play these days?
These days you'd likely see me play at:
A) After Hours, which is basically pop music from the last 50 years or so.
B) NightShift - which is in JHB at Great Dane - Primarily Hip Hop and House music, which I run with my partner from After Hours, Tyler Smith.
C) Untamed Youth, where I focus on electronic music - a lot of French House, Disco, Electro, that kind of thing.
D) Yours Truly, primarily RnB, Soul and Disco.
E) Weddings, which are like a dumber, more stressful version of After Hours with meaner people.
For the uninitiated what exactly is psych music?
I mean, from my outsider perspective, it's Rock music that ostensibly leans on some of the tropes from Psychedelic music. I understand that people will say it's a direct continuation of Psychedelic music and 'Psych' is just a shortening, but I personally regard it as more an adjacent thing or sub-genre. I think here we tend to think of it as more a scene than a genre anyway, especially because bands that traditionally fall into Garage, Surf, Rock, Shoegaze etc. all tend to be mashed together. I think the Psych Night guys have done a great job of fostering that scene and bringing all these elements together into something bigger. I don't know if there's a very satisfying answer to this question.
The guys pushing the scene and sound locally have been bringing down internationals since 2013, were you involved in any of these gigs and what have the highlights been for you?
My involvement has been pretty much zero, although there was once a 'PsychNight: Battle Beyond the Stars' event. My favorite of the internationals was NightBeats, probably. I really liked the 'secret show', where they essentially played at floor level to about 80 people? Black Lung also played. It was intense.
Nowadays it’s all about the DJ or the emcee, how important is it for initiatives like this to keep pushing guitar based music?
It's huge! But the pendulum always swings back. A few years ago, bands were dead and all anyone wanted was to see DJs, now it feels like the opposite - with lots of interesting bands and a complete poverty of interesting DJs. It's always going to oscillate. But being in a band is always going to be harder, and having people provide the infrastructure to get organised and get out there is vital. Variety, quality and availability are all crucial to a good band scene. It's better now than it has been for a long time. PsychNight has played it's part in that admirably.
It’s interesting how many different bands fall under the psych umbrella: grandfathers of SA punk Kalahari Surfers, ambient music pioneer Felix Laband, folk rockers Mr. Cat & The Jackal, traditional sounds of BCUC… is it no so much an actual sound but a general vibe that makes these bands work together on a lineup and in the mixtape you made?
It's much more a scene than a genre here, I mean, if you compare it to the mid-2000's where you had people were playing indie rock, electro, hip hop - bands and DJs would have equal billing and followings, play each other's music... on paper it didn't make any sense, but it was way more about unified feeling than unified genre. I think that always provides a richer experience. The second you get genre tunnel vision it gets very dull, very fast. After Hours is similar as well, all styles, but a coherent feeling. My response to number 5 may have sounded dismissive of 'psych music' as a genre, but the psych scene here is a very interesting, varied thing, with lots of wonderful people representing everything from folk and electronic to surf and whatever else. The mixtape highlights this well, I think.
Lets wrap up, a beach a festival location, why is this such a great idea for South African music festivals?
Well, because we can - and festivals have such an ungodly amount of downtime, lying on the beach is the perfect pastime. Beats sitting in a camping chair anyway.
Better Views - Emile Van Dango
Sunset - Black Math
Lashes - Medicine Boy
Refugee - Aidan Martin
Depth Charge - The Moths
!Kwantum Phyziks - DJ Invizable
Rapid Fire - Retro Dizzy
Sitting on the Waves - The Deathrettes
Sea Skull - Sannie Fox
White Walls - The KVB
Psaaak - Sol Gems
Yinde - BCUC
Witch Port - Bye Beneco
Bag of Bones - Felix Laband
Down Below - Mr. Cat and the Jackal Duo
Wonder Lane - Mind Pool
Siren - The Valley
Forget - Bilderberg Motel
The Second Plane - Kalahari Surfers
The Trip - Dangerfields
Bear Minute - Bateleur
Postcard Radio - Froth
The Prison - Darryn the Wizard