Fak’ugesi Beats & Fak’ugesi Arcade – Final Week of Fak’ugesi 2018
Fak’ugesi Festival 2018 explores music and gaming in its final week
The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival enters its final and closing week from 24th – 29th September with a special focus on gaming and beats. With the theme of “Tap Your Afro Source Code”, this year celebrates technology, creativity and innovation from across the African continent.
Dr Tegan Bristow, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival director, says that the theme centres on African visions of technology by tapping into the sources of African tradition and culture alongside technology, creativity and innovation: “This year we are exploring how local culture can move and change the future of technology. How would you understand and unpack the source code of your African identity?”
In its final week, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival explores music culture via the annual Beats Programme curated by WeHeartBeat, which will descend on the Tshimologong Precinct with a six-day takeover of Braamfontein’s tech hub. The program comprising of workshops, experiences and performances, facilitates the meeting of mind and spirit in an environment geared around the festival’s theme, “Tap Your Afro Source Code”.
The Fak’ugesi Beats Lab, running from the 24th to the 28th of September will host international electronic artists and explore the connection between music, technology and culture with local and international artists. The outcome from these sessions will result in an EP release, a short documentary and a live showcase performance at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on the 29th. The artists featured in the 2018 Beats Lab are S.Fidelity (Switzerland), Zikomo (USA), Morena Leraba (Lesotho) and South African artists Bonj Mpanza and Hlasko.
In partnership with Ballantines Whisky, the programme includes panels on: ‘The Future of Music’ facilitated by Tefo Mohapi from iAfrikan.com and featuring guest panellists Riky Rick and Thibaut Mullings; ‘Managing Health Amongst Creatives’ featuring psychologist Thembi Mashigo and panel guests Ayanda Seoka, Mx Blouse and more. The day will include a Masterclass with Black Milk (USA), The Art of Remixing with Zikomo and close with a ‘Power of Collaborations’ session featuring Zikomo, S.Fidelity , Morena Leraba and Bonj Mpanza.
The last week of Fak’ugesi Festival also hosts a special session on the future of African Gaming on the 28th of September, with activities that will flow over into the Fak’ugesi Bloc Party on the 29th. The 28th hosts a full day on gaming in collaboration with Red Bull Basement in South Africa and their focus on Tech for Good. The program includes an Indie Games Arcade and a Games for Good workshop focused games that address issues in South African urban environment in collaboration with Wits Digital Arts.
The workshop will be followed by a Futures and Networking session, inviting the gaming community in the Southern Africa region to contribute to an understanding of what and how Fak’ugesi Festival can develop to support African games. This invitation for comes after Fak’ugesi Festival in 2018 says farewell to the A MAZE. / Johannesburg, which is has supported in its program since 2013 as its gaming partner.
A MAZE, under the leadership of its creative director, Thorsten S. Wiedemann, linked the Johannesburg gaming scene to an international network of indie developers for six years from 2012 until 2017. The two-way bridge between A MAZE. / Berlin and A MAZE. / Johannesburg inspired other projects like Super Friendship Arcade in Cape Town and Glitch Face in Johannesburg and was a huge impetus in the development of the Game Design in the Wits School of Arts. When the Fak’ugesi Festival was established in 2013, A MAZE fell under Fak’ugesi Festival support as the gaming partner. Last words from Thorsten in 2018: “It’s been amazing meeting, working and learning from the local and national game and playful media community. We definitely made history together. Good luck!”
The week’s activities culminate in a celebration at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party on Saturday 29 September. This event will reignite the energy and spirit created at the inaugural party in a union of performance, music, technology and digital innovation. The Bloc Party aims to showcase the best in underground talent, both local and international – etching its name in the cultural textbooks as an inspiration to future generations of creators, producers and innovators. The second instalment of this ground-breaking event will host performances from the Beats Lab participants, as well as Black Milk and a strong local contingent including Langa Mavuso, Mx Blouse, Symatics + Ramz, and Micr.Pluto.
Tickets for Thursday 27 September are R50 per session and can be purchased via WeHeartBeat. There will be a limited run of R200 student tickets available for Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party, upon presentation of a valid student ID. Workshop and student tickets can be purchased throughout the week at the reception of the Tshimologong Precinct.
Fak’ugesi Beats Artist :
At the junction of beat construction and live instrumentation we meet the socially conscious rapper, producer and performer embracing critical subject matter in a showcase of mood and genre diversity.
This beat wizard gained notoriety on Soundcloud thanks to his outstanding flips and remixes of artists like Childish Gambino and SZA. There is character in his style that makes his sound both distinct and wildly contagious.
The Berlin based producer released his debut album in May 2017 and that same year cracked the nod from COLORS studio, one of the most influential online tastemaker platforms pushing emerging genres and future sounds. S.Fidelity displays an acumen for ingenious sampling and capturing emotion within a groove.
A shepard and musician, this Lesotho artist combines tradition with futurism in a heady display of genre bending beats and traditional Sesotho lyricism. He is a poet whose words take flight when accompanied by challenging instrumentals.
Micr.Pluto + Hlasko
This devastating combination of Subterranean Wavelength’s master beat wizard Micr.Pluto and the eccentric, challenging musician Hlasko cannot be ignored as one of the highlight performances to earmark at this event.
Illa N + Langa Mavuso
A stalwart of WeHeartBeat events, Illa N is able to bring a mood paying homage to his influences while presenting the signature groove construction we’ve come to admire. Langa Mavuso possesses a voice drenched in soul which inspires a spectrum of emotion with every performance.
Mx Blouse + ANG
This eloquent wordsmith and performer weaves tales enriched with vernacular, incorporating socially poignant commentary that resonates with their audience. ANG taps into the groove by combining golden era memories with future beats, digging deep into nostalgia and revitalizing her audiences experience with the music.
Symatics + Rams
The big boss at WeHeartBeat has designed his signature sound to encompass the vast array of sub-genres and underrated sounds that have set the tone for the narrative of the brand.
Daev Martian + Denice Marz
The sibling duo are as formidable in combination as they are individually. Daev has been pushing boundaries with his sound, doing the dirty work to set himself apart from the humdrum. Denice is a multi-talented artist who constructs her sets to be a soulful journey that infiltrates your senses.
Pronounced as “flow”, her bass music inclined sets display a fluidity in the composition of the narrative that is bred from an inherent understanding of the emotion invested into the music.
The champion of the underdog, the mother of the undiscovered. Rosie Parade is unafraid to embrace the unfamiliar and present these sounds in a display of musical prowess.
There are few selectors who understand how to tell a story quite like Browpepperann. She has an innate ability to curate and cultivate, ensuring that her sets are both entertaining and illuminating.
Synonymous with technical skill and impeccable selection, there is no surprise that Johannesburg’s own hip hop scratch master is a DMC champ. His knowledge and expertise combine to deliver a performance that isn’t easy to match.
Thanks to the unique perspective of being behind the lens, MrMoeh24 sees the effect music can have on people in its most raw and authentic form. He translates that knowledge into the experience he creates when DJing, moulding the perception of the music as its being shared with the crowd.