The Klassikist’s first experience with club DJing took place during an amazing time in modern music history when rock, hip-hop and indie were colliding with electronic music of all shapes and sizes. His first gig was at a seedy but lovable restaurant and bar venue called Calico Jacks in Durban. Inspired by clubs such as The Rift, The Bombshelter, Retro’s and The Station, it was here he hosted a Thursday night alternative evening for young degenerates who couldn’t get enough of Offspring, Green Day, The Clash, Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden.
It was at these sessions that he met two other young degenerates who were about to become Durban pioneers of the trip-hop, breaks and drum’n’bass scene. This sparked his interest in electronica and it just so happened that soon after he arrived in Cape Town, the phenomenal Kid Koala, DJ Food and godlike Amon Tobin of Ninja Tune fame arrived to perform. It was an amazing time in the city’s musical growth with the likes of Ghetto 3000 and The Pickle Parties throwing incredible beats-inspired parties. Krushed and Sorted remixed King of the Swingers and started African Dope Records and life was never quite the same.
Cape Town also happened to be the capital of South African hip-hop and had a vicious drum’n’bass and trance scene which he immersed himself in. The Klassikist and a friend started a low-key night called Milkrate where he began to play electronic music for the first time. This ultimately led to Thursday night sessions at the 206 Lounge under The Jam.
Back in Joburg his first foray into DJing was opening and playing in-between bands whenever Authentic Ideas would let him, and then finding his way to the Roxy Rhythm Bar and doing the same there.
Perhaps the defining moment of his time in Joburg and the catalyst for his career as a DJ was the opening in Melville of the Asian pop diner and bar known as Tokyo Star. It was there he met two brothers who were about the flip Joburg on its head as punk funk took centre stage and this little venue drew hundreds of like-minded people together every Thursday.
The Klassikist spent many a Thursday night keeping sneaker-wearing, hip-swaying and stomping kids going until the early hours. Luckily he had a Sunday to Thursday work week! It was here he forged the set that he is known for... a mixture of old school, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, indie, rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop and swing tunes that are fondly slung together!
Out of this scene grew a legendary number of scenes and parties and ultimately a generation of DJs and promoters, some of whom still dominate parts of the Mzansi scene today!
The Klassikist’s post-Tokyo Star world has been spent initially playing at Kitcheners in Braamfontein, a pioneer of the Braam scene. He also spent many Saturday afternoons entertaining the Gin regulars in Greenside and more recently at Bobrocks on a Friday night. These kind of clubs or venues are primarily where you find The Klassikist playing in a club environment.
At the moment is could be said The Klassikist has returned to his roots as he’s a regular feature at Hell’s Kitchen rock diner in Melville where he plays a mean rock set. He also plays his own personal collection of vinyl at Stanley Beer yard every now and again.
So if you have a new gin bar or all-day breakfast venue, The Klassikist would be as comfortable there as he would be at 11pm with a full dance floor in front of him.