Cape Town has given birth to many prolific DJ's and producers, present day is no exception with new talent bursting onto the scene ever so often. Das is a prime example, he has proven to be a talented producer and his live skills are not to be messed with. Playing music he describes as "educated dance music for the working class", Das is always able to switch it up when performing using tunes across all genres and BPMs. As a result of his musical agility and understated coolness, he has fast becoming one of CT's most popular acts and has started making his mark around other South African cities. We took 15 minutes to take a deeper look into what all the kids are screaming about.
1. How did you come up with your alias?
The name Das Kapital came after a long string of really shitty names and just seemed to work for a lot of reasons – my German heritage made it make a bit more sense, and I liked the idea of reinterpreting an economic text (Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie) into something artistic and modern
Another part of it is a bit of a personal joke, because the idea of giving music to the people en masse comes across as communist, but getting paid for it makes it entirely capitalist; I enjoy irony.
2. What has been your biggest mistake you've ever made whilst performing?
Once, I’d done an edit in my hotel room, but chose not to use headphones. When I got to the club and played the tune, I realised I’d left an EQ on the channel that cut off all the low end on the tune… So I frantically tried gaining on the mixer, to no avail. Sadly, when there’s no information to GAIN below 200Hz, all you’re going to do is make silence louder, which equates to nothing. Whoops. Learnt my lesson though!
3.Do you see other genres of electronic music being more radio friendly in the future? Would you like them to be?
We’re at a stage where dance music is doing very well for itself – pop artists are getting producers across the genre spectrum to “club up” their pop records, so Dubstep, Electro, House and Drum & Bass for example are much more accessible now than they ever have been.
I think it’s a great time to be an electronic artist because producers finally have an opportunity to cross over the “underground” divide and make fans and play shows they otherwise couldn’t have.
4.Favourite DJ other than yourself? ;) and why?
Shiiit. Tough one. I believe very wholeheartedly in the selection and mixing skills of Niskerone. I’ve seen him play commercial clubs and make it go as nuts as the most underground basement rave would otherwise. He’s great in the mix and really plays ANYTHING he likes, which is admirable.
5. Favourite feel good tune of all time?
Oeeef. I’m not big on “feel-good”, generally. Even my uplifting tracks have a darker undertone. I guess I’d have to say the real crossover hits from rave days, like Faithless’– Insomnia or Robert Miles – Children.
6. Which 3 international DJs would you most want to see in South Africa in 2012?
I’m lucky enough to have seen and played alongside Diplo this year, and he was right up there on my list. My other two right now would probably have to be to have Gesaffelstein from Bromance / Turbo Recordings down, and someone in the vein of HEROES X VILLAINS from the USA (but this is more of a vibe than a direct artist I want).
7. Do you have any other creative outlets other than music?
I’m good at Twitter.
8. Favourite pastime?
Music, and just learning stuff. If I read, it’s non-fiction. If I want to go somewhere, it’ll be a museum or heritage site.
I’m also a little bit of a food snob so I treat eating as a serious activity and commitment.
9. Does your toilet paper hang under or over?
Metaphorically? I have no idea. Literally, I keep it off that spindley thing so I can take it and blow my nose elsewhere (I have a bit of a cold).
10. Money or Fame?
Integrity first. The rest are by-products and they both fuel each other.
11. What is you favourite venue to play at?
Outdoors. Any and all festival rigs have a special feel to them and you can’t replicate that. Otherwise, I really love Origin Nightclub in Durban
12. Do you think you need to be a producer to make it big as a DJ?
Not really. It depends how far you want to go as a “DJ”. If your intention in life is looking out to play other people’s records all your life, you can look forward to ending up as a commercial DJ playing bars and clubs all week to make due (and some people are happy doing this).
If you want to take it further, to the point it stops being a job and become an art form, there’s radio, there’s A&R / label work, and most certainly there’s being a producer.
13. What’s your take on stomping? Haha
Argh. Aimed directly at me. The idea of an outdoor stage is rad. On the Electro / Dubstep / Drum & Bass / EDM / Whatever floors, the feeling always seems to be one of unity. Look there’s always one bro causing a bit of a scene, but the idea behind the stage is that WE are one throbbing mass of people, listening to and experiencing this (in an ideal world) wholly unique range of sounds and sights as ONE MASS.
Stomping is you, your mate and his girlfriend, rushing your tits off, bashing everyone around you out the way, with one bottle of cane and crème soda or water between the 3 of you, scarves covering your face – it comes across as selfish.
The music is so rad (Psytrance) when it’s good shit, but now that it’s the NEW COOL genre in Cape Town (bye bye, Dubstep), I see girls in a rave, dressed like they’re going to a drum circle, chowing their backs off, stomping to a mainroom electro tune, smacking people out the way with their unwashed hair.
14. Describe yourself in High School…
I believe I was the same as I am now, just with no tattoos, terrible schoolboy hair and a lot less musical finesse.
15. Are you a digital or analogue junkie?
I am part of the generation that is used to everything being digital, but I can honestly say there is no feeling quite like tweaking a vintage Roland till you get a sound you never thought you could make, and taking it to disk via an analog compressor.
As I move forward, I’m going to start gathering a lot more hardware gear – that much I know.
16. Have you ever had a decent one-man dancing session?
Having been on the other side of the DJ booth, I find it harder to cut loose in a crowd, so to speak. However, if the genre is right and the DJ is doing it right, I’m more than happy to stand and dance alone for hours. Have done so, and will hopefully do so again soon.
17. Bacon and Eggs or Flapjacks?
Trick question, right? Bacon and eggs.
18. What is you take on social media and the impact it has had in promoting yourself as a DJ in South Africa?
The internet has meant it’s easier for friendships, collaborations and interactions to happen that were otherwise improbable or impossible.
Being able to engage others and promote yourself as an artist is extremely important, for an electronic producer moreso than, say, a pure “DJ”. I wouldn’t necessarily be as well known if it weren’t for blogs, Facebook and the internet as a whole. That does not mean I owe my talent or any successes to it, but I do acknowledge the importance of being “good” at getting myself out there.
NB: DO NOT BE A FUCK AND BUY FANS OR LIKES ONLINE THOUGH. THAT’S THAT SHIT I DON’T LIKE.
19. If you were playing a back to back set, who would be your dream partner?
I’ve played a lot of weird back-to-back sets before, with Drum & Bass DJs, House DJs, Thrash Electro DJs…
To be honest I just really want to play with someone that can keep up with me – someone that I know has like 20 genres with them at all BPMs, that’s going to challenge me as much as motivate me to keep the vibe rolling and growing.
Ultimately, if you can beatmatch, you’ve got the music, and I respect you, I’ll play back-to-back with you.
If you want to know more about Das...
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/kid.kapital
Twitter - @iamdaskapital