Feature

Looking to RAMfest: Haezer

If you don’t know Haezer by now you’re either old (no disrespect) or you’ve been living under an electronic music-less rock (in which case my only advice would be to educate yourself).

Anyway, I had a few questions for the Cape Town-based producer, ahead of his headlining RAMfest performance, about important things like the state of the South African electronic music scene – and his dogs.

You’ve been rather quiet as of late, not playing too many shows or releasing many new tracks. What have you been up to?

I have been working on film projects. I’m composing music for a local drama series named Byl and a feature film named Ander Mens. I’ve also been doing some editing, working on a feature documentary and music videos. My latest edit was for Die Antwoord’s new video “Please Don’t Take Me For A Poes”. 

In a time when many South African festivals seem to be disappearing or taking a hiatus, how do you feel about the return of Ramfest?

I think it’s brave. With the current climate looking less than promising for festivals economically, I think it shows a determination to keep the spirit of music festivals alive and a degree of dedication to bringing people together to enjoy music.

These days your sound is super diverse, as you’ve evolved from your older bassy brain-melters to your newer house and techno inspired tracks. What would you call your sound now?

I’m in a phase where I like to surprise myself and my audience, so I want to release more multi-genre tracks and not stick to one vibe.

On that note, can we expect some of the old brain-melters at Ramfest?

At the moment I’m into the slow, dark and sexy bangers. It reminds me of the energy and power of electro, but at a slower tempo, around 100bpm. It’s such a cool combo of pulsating bass with a slow 4/4 groove and I think it’s perfect for a festival crowd.

It’s become quite clear that the years where bass music absolutely dominated the electronic music scene are over and the scene seems a lot less diverse than it used to be. Do you think we’ll ever see a resurgence of bass-rich dance music in South Africa?

Every works in cycles and I’m sure there will be a revival of alternative dance music. People get bored. What’s interesting to me is how the kids move away from one genre to the next and just forget about their previous passion. Like when I was a kid I listened to punk, hip hop, drum and bass…But also rock and folk like Violent Femmes and Beck. I didn’t just move away from it and latch onto something new, I expanded my music taste and listened to other stuff, but to this day I still listen to the bands I listened to 20 years ago. I think it’s a shame that artists and genres should be thrown out and replaced with new ones in kids’ collection instead of just added to.

As someone who has a played overseas a lot and who has experience with the international music scenes, what changes would you like to see in our local electronic music scene?

God, just variety and interesting unique stuff. The shit sounds like library music packs mixed into tracks at the moment. I also wish to hear some harder stuff coming out. Music to drink beer to is okay every now and then, but I’m helluva bored of this “boots and pants and boots and pants” club culture. Give it some horns man.

Your adorable huskies feature quite a bit on your Instagram page. What do they think of your music? Are they fans?

Yeah, Wolfie, the fat husky, loves low bass frequencies. The older doggie, Kiddo, prefers the calmer stuff. So when I’m producing HAEZER stuff, Wolfie comes and chills and when I’m composing for film, which is more classical and ambient, Kiddo chills. The third one just comes into the studio to pull me out for food or to play with him.

Check out the 3-date tour below.

Friday 14 June – Rumours Rock City JHB – Tickets available here

Saturday 15 June – Mercury Live CPT – Tickets available here

Sunday 16 June (Youth Day) – RAMfest PTA – Tickets available here