I didn’t recognize him until we made eye contact for the second time.
I remember being as infatuated with Riccardo Moretti’s eyes as I was his music, which says allot, considering his performance combines synths, percussion, hang, beat-boxing, loop, and didjeridoo.
It was the way he was scanning the crowd, seeking out the passionate listener, and then locking eyes with them, establishing a rare and personnel connection between the listener and the performer, a treasure to bring home.
I had been that passionate listener, sitting at an old Mill deep in Cape Town, absorbed by Moretti’s creativity and style. He sat barefoot on the ground, crouched over his synth, ringed by his various sounds. His posture gave way to his instruments, but his eyes stayed loyal to his listeners.
Four weeks later, I’m sitting at a long wooden table in Jerry’s Burger Bar, surrounded by tattoo artists and skateboarders. I feel a tap on my shoulder and a man asks me if anyone is occupying the table space to my left. He sets down his belongings and begins to wait for a friend.
Minutes later, we both throw a poorly timed sideways glance at one another and lock eyes for a quick second, and I suddenly realize that this is a second occasion.
A fascinating man and a friendly character, Moretti, ‘the Electro Nomad’, is a refreshing breath of air in the world of electronic music, which has become overrun by artists who crouch behind a computer, adjusting their beats and sounds with the click of a mouse. For this reason, Moretti see’s the world of EDM on the verge of collapse, and is striving to be on the forefront of progressive musicianship.
Moretti laughs with me and explains that if your audience has to be rolling or tripping to enjoy your show, you must improve your music.
He prides the patience of his audiences, as they listen to him create his sounds, but more importantly, as they watch him create these sounds.
*Moretti leaves Cape Town in a month to return to his home in Italy and start on a European summer tour. While he’s never been to the United States, he hopes to make it to the home of The Aftermath Music in San Francisco soon, where we’ll be eagerly awaiting his arrival.
Spring Break down here was big, and it was wild:
Klaus hands us the final piece of paper work needed to complete the car rental, his thick German accent reminds us: “Remember boys, she’s old, no long trips, she’s a city driver, low mileage, lower speed.”
Three weeks later, our 1998 Toyota Tazz weaves it way through the mountain passes of the Cederberg Wilderness, 240 km North of Klaus’s ‘German Auto Rentals.’
About every ten minutes, a Range Rover Safari rig roars past us, unhappy with our 20km pace, engulfing our car in a cloud of yellow dust. But often, right after the pass, a thumb or shaka would slip out of the driver’s window, amused by the low suspension car with a blue and white igloo cooler strapped to its roof, crawling along roads usually dominated by 300 horsepower machines.
Each time we pass over a good size rock, my ass clenches and my backs arches, awaiting the torturous noise as a slab of broken boulder scrapes along the bottom of our 4-gear wagon.
The temperature in the arid valley is exacerbated by the five bodies stuck to the torn seats. The air conditioning doesn’t stand a chance. My thigh sticks to the one next to me. My knee’s are pressed tightly into my chest; a case of cold Black Labels occupies the floor space below me. I lean my head out the window for an escape from the sweltering heat.
Then I see it!
The perfect drop in, the cleanest line, the ideal turn space, and even a fifteen foot mando-air carved delicately into the side of the mountain. Suddenly, the jagged rocks are disguised by fluffy pillows of powder, the dry cedars become maps for tree runs, and the the crystal clear pools of water are held still by thick walls of ice.
The cooler on top of the car is replaced by a rack of cleanly waxed skis, and the driver now navigates slowly to avoid the streaks of black ice lining the mountain pass. My sticky cotton shirt becomes hidden beneath layers of flannel and down.
“Holy fuck boys! That was a huge rock! Someone get out and make sure we didn’t loose any parts down there!”
The warm rocks press into my knees as I peer under the car. My laughter echoes off the mountain walls.
Anton scrambled up the tree with ease. I followed, screeching like a monkey the whole way up.
You know the moments I’m talking about? Those moments when the only thought pulsing through your head is: it’s fucking awesome to be alive! Well I had one yesterday, perched on a tree branch, sixty feet up, lost in the Kirstenbosch Gardens, Goldfish playing below me, and an orange sky above me.
It felt great to be back in a tree. My brothers and I used to spend allot of time in trees.
As we climbed as high as the branches allowed us, Goldfish announced that they were playing their final piece of the night.
The live sax almost knocked me backwards off my branch.
And we’re back: Back to memorizing supreme court cases, analyzing ethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka, and plugging in regressions to see the effects race and religion have on voting turnouts.
As the last college degenerate left in the Aftermath crew, I bring you the second coming of Wet Ink, the playlist that aims to bring some rasta-vibes into those dusty courtrooms, and some deep drops to drown out the click and clack of the keyboard.
Finals are daunting, but the image of barrels thrashing against the shores of Jay Bay are close on the horizon. This January (contingent on passing these exams…) I’ll be following in the bootie-prints of Aftermath heavyweights D-man and WalterCronkTight, to live under the shadow of Table Mountain in Cape Town, SA.
Cheers to last minute-cramming, all in the pursuit of great adventures ahead.