Hipsters and trendsetters alike headed over to the first annual Alchemy Music Festival in the last weekend of March, to see the likes of international sensations of UK-born alternative artist Tom Misch, USA-born group Low End Theory and US hip-hop artist Mick Jenkins.
The acts were backed by local artists DJ Akio, Ginger Trill and Tha Cutt.
The three-day event focusing on alternative live music and beat production was held from March 30 to April 1.
The opening night, which was held at the Tennis Clubhouse in Ellis Park saw hip-hop artist Mick Jenkins perform as the main act. His performance was invigorating, as he performed his single, Jerome, off his popular Waters album, which saw the venue vibrate with energy.
American hip-hop group Low End Theory performed the following night at Industry in Maboneng. The sound of this group of DJs from Los Angeles is eclectic, and transitions from one genre to the next seamlessly.
“We’re all from California, USA. We started performing together as Low End Theory in October 2006 when our weekly club began in Los Angeles,” they said.
What started out as just a party now sees the group touring the world with the eclectic sound which is internationally recognised. The veteran in the group, D-Styles, was an absolute standout.
The festival focused on showcasing artists who are not yet mainstream, and City Press spoke to one of the local acts, P. Kuttah (of new age band Sampling Through The Ages).
“As a lot of our material is sample-based, it also represents how each member in the band has grown up in music and through its ages of pop, rock, hip hop, disco and jazz,” he explained.
“Most of us in the band are session musicians and have performed on the same stages as acts such as Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Jill Scott and Mobb Deep ... so we’re excited to be performing alongside acts like Tom Misch & The Internet,” he said – they will be joining them for the upcoming Cape Town Jazz Festival.
These two events have been working closely to ensure a healthy exchange of talent performing at the International Cape Jazz Fest and those up here for the Alchemy fest.
DJ Nobody: Low End Theory in the building
Mick Jenkins and his interesting hat.
The crowd had an amazing time.
Chicago was well represented.
Drink more water ... A simple and wise message in the music.
D-Styles: The veteran DJ dropped a hard set of jams.
The face of focus: Smooth track transitions don’t come easy.
Teebs in deep concentration.
The final night of performances saw the crescendo of the festival, British singer Tom Misch, perform at the Good Luck Bar in Fox Street, Johannesburg. His strong following led to a sell-out show in a matter of days of the tickets going on sale.
A soulful singer with a sound that would be hard to place in just one box, his performance was electrifying.
If this first attempt is anything to go by then the Alchemy Music Festival is one that is set to become a prominent fixture on the Jo’burg social calendar.