Saturday night saw the welcome return of drum ‘n bass to one of Cape Town’s premier live music venues, The Assembly. With its last appearance at the Harrington Street venue in 2009, most punters were of the opinion that a d ‘n b night was long overdue. And, indeed it was. Enter ‘Devastation’…





The brainchild of Cape Town DJ/Producers Willie Els (Pziezzo Electric) and Allan Slow (Multicrisis), the night launched on the 25 February with the twofold aim of becoming a successful monthly drum ‘n bass night in Cape Town, and also to launch – a website dedicated to bringing the South African audience the very best in local and international drum ‘n bass happenings through weekly podcasts, reviews and the like.


The first two events brought with them a reasonable amount of success, but hosting the third at Assembly meant the night was always going to be taken up a couple of notches! With the event held just down the road from the venue that plays host to the biggest, and longest running d ‘n b party in SA (Homegrown at Mercury), the choice of venue was a bold step indeed – it could’ve gone either way, but it ended up going the way of one sick party!



The line up boasted the who’s who of the current new school of d ‘n b DJ’s coming up through the ranks of the Mother City. Whilst names like Counterstrike, Niskerone and SFR have established themselves in the game; it’s refreshing to see the emergence of a new crop of talent. Behind the decks at Devastation in the annex were upstarts like Half-Life, Mysterion, Totem and Riot Squad whilst the main stage hosted well known acts Hyphen, Bruce Willis??, and of course hosts Pziezzo Electric and Multicrisis.


With such a strong line up, most people spent the night going back and forth between the annex and the main stage as beats competed for ear time with increasing ferocity. The club reached capacity by midnight and the resultant combination of a full club and otherworldly bass music meant that every person was lost in their own piece of euphoria. Few genres bring about such a change in people as drum ‘n bass. All pretence is left at the door, and devotees lose themselves in the music in a way that most other genres (with the exception of perhaps psytrance) just don’t command. Flaying limbs and contorted facial expressions; sweaty bodies and spilled drinks – this is what a night out should be. All about the music!


Highlights included the ever-improving Riot Squad (keep an eye out for an upcoming one small seed feature on the boys) and Pziezzo Electric commanding the main set around 1am. By that stage of the night, the visuals do more to your brain than when you first walked in – usually a good indicator that you’re pretty wasted – and you’re left staring open mouthed in a state of total bliss as the bass pulsates all around you. The next event cannot come soon enough!


words by: Cameron Duncan, photography by Gregg Smith