Goodbye, Blogger. Hello, WordPress

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik

Dear Blogger;

By the time you read this, I’ll be gone. You were good, and then we had bad sex, I broke up with you, then we had make up sex and it sucked, and now we don’t talk any more. It’s so funny how we don’t talk, anymore. I’ve moved my stuff out and what I’ve left behind, you can keep, burn or give to charity. I don’t care. I’m off with my new love, her name is WordPress.

So long and take care,


p.s: if you need to contact me or send mail on, my new address is Steaknife Tuesday


OK, Computer. Have It Your Way.

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik

Ladies and gents, we apologise for the interruption in service. We have our best technicians working on the problem. Please talk amongst yourselves for a moment...

To be honest, the Blogger platform sucks, and I think it's high time I migrated this blog to WordPress, which I've realised is a much tighter package. And who doesn't like a tight package, hmmm? Therefore, consider this one of the last posts at this URL, with info to be posted shortly as to where you will find The Voodoo Kitchen v.2. Bear in mind I'm moving to Cape Town, so the forecast will be for scattered posts with intermittent bursts of activity.

But before we leave you hanging, please take note of the last NONONO!!! event Mrs Hedmekanik and I will be staging in Durban, which will feature the talents of the team you've come to know and love and will be topped by a serving of the brothers Skene, a.k.a GRAVE DANGER, pretty much one of the hottest pieces of electronic action doing the rounds. We're doing it at Origin, which features a Funktion One sound system. If you don't know what that is, we suggest you find out. Here, have a flyer:

(for those who cannot contemplate a life without NONONO!!! events, rest assured that the team will continue to bring you your regular serving of cutting-edge electronica and mandatory socialising. Thanks for reading, and have a fucking great year!)


Apologies, Snowed Under, Here, Have Two Flyers

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik

As stated above, snowed under with year-end stuff, so I'll keep it short and sweet.

Tis the season to get so motherlessly wrecked up that you forget your own name, your dog's name, your mother's name, where you live, where you left your car/girlfriend/boyfriend/morals and how you got home. Traditional stuff, then. Thus and therefore, you should get your ass to the two events represented in flyer form above, where you will find yourself in very good company.

If I post nothing before the festive season truly hits, please accept my humble merry wishes in advance.

All the best.


This Chorizo Assumption

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik

Bluff Headland Heritage Park? Not a sausage...

For all those who live in Durban and wonder why our local tourism industry flounders, consider the following:

The Ethekwini Municipality, through its erstwhile tourism marketing arm, Durban Africa, put out a tourism brochure a couple of years ago. This brochure, entitled ‘101 Things To Do In Durban’, has since been scanned as a low-resolution PDF and is now resident on the internet, despite containing some incorrect information. Perhaps it was a ‘blue sky’ marketing ploy, designed to ramp up the city’s profile by including projects that had yet to see the light of day. One of these is/was/may be the ‘Bluff Headland Heritage Park’ which I, understandably as a Durban resident would love to see, considering that the Bluff headland remains the largest undisturbed tract of original Durban bush, due to its military history. However, despite much to offer the local or international tourist this elusive place, which could provide a whole new way of seeing the city, remains shrouded in mystery. A visit to the army base on the Bluff yielded no clues, as the soldiers stationed there were nonplussed when asked of the whereabouts of this fabled destination. Calls to Tourist Junction, the city’s tourism marketing hub located in the centre of town, went something like this:

Me: (Dials 031 3044934) Ring ring...ring ring...ring ring....
Unidentified Tourist Junction Employee: “Toozumshin, hakinelpyoo?”
Me: “Hi there, I’d like to find out some info about the Bluff Headland Heritage Park?”
UTJE: “Huh? Bluff what?”
Me: “Bluff Headland Heritage Park?”
UTJE: “Plizold”...scratchy electronic marimba and drums, dial tones and finally:
Another UTJE “Twos Gumption, hakinelpyoo?”
Me: “Hi there, I’d like to get some information about the Bluff Headland Heritage Park?”
AUTJE: “The what?” (Possible snickering in the background from one UTJE to another upon realising that the bilious brochure continues to sow discord.)
AUTJE: “National Park? You try KZN Ezemvelo on 031...”
Me: “NO! The phone number in the information brochure is for Tourist Junction – 3044934!”
AUTJE: “Yes. Is our number. Hakinelpyoo?”
Me: “Please – I have a brochure. From Tourist Junction. It lists the Bluff Headland Heritage Park. And says that there is public access, but that you may be able to provide me with further information.”
AUTJE: “You want information, you call 1023. This Chorizo Assumption.”

By which stage, of course, the bile is leaking out of my ears, my eyes have started to froth blood and the chance of ever unearthing the truth about the Bluff Headland Heritage Park is rapidly receding into the distance. If anyone has more luck than I, please let me know.
\p.s: please excuse the screwy fonts etc. Blogger is in the throes of thrombosis, it would appear...



By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik
Pic courtesy of Wonderleka Woeskus team leader, Liz Linsell.

Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t go to AfrikaBurn: Puff adders. Sunburn. Chapped lips. Hangnails. Infected fingernails. Thorns. Cracked heels. Dehydration. Choking dust. Sharp stones. Stubbed toes. Scratches. Bruises. Cuts. Exhaustion. Blisters. Burnt fingers. Disintegrated bearings. Bald tyres. Punctures. Road blocks. Stop ‘n Go’s. Baking hot days. Freezing cold nights. Winds that shred tents. 100km on a gravel road, along which there is no cell signal, no petrol station and very few signs of humanity. Sound good? You should get your ass to AfrikaBurn. We did, and it was fucking fantastic for the second time round. Who the hell are ‘we’? We are the AmaDeadlies and we regularly provide CPR to the Durban and KZN electronic music scene, in the form of AmaFullThrottle, NONONO!!! and a variety of other events. Why did we go on a 3300km round trip go to the Karoo and set up a dancefloor tent at AfrikaBurn? Because Tankwa Town is where it’s at, and because we smaak it like a bergie smaaks his papsak.

For the second time in a year, we created a Camp called AmaDeadly Disco, this year with a circus theme. In order to do so, we stuffed a van to the roof and loaded a trailer to the hilt with speakers, amplifier, CDJ’s, laptops, lighting, costumes, fabric, décor, tents, electrical gear, rope, tools, cable ties and duct tape. Lots of cable ties and duct tape. Did you know that cable ties and duct tape hold the universe together? Little-known true fact, that. But before you get to thinking this is a ‘oh, sweet, a road trip, yay!’ mission, think again.

Driving to the Tankwa Karoo from Durban makes most weekend festival missions look like a doddle to the corner shop for bread and milk. But then AfrikaBurn isn’t your run of the mill festival. Hell, for a start, it isn’t a music festival – although there’s music, and plenty of it, mostly electronic. AfrikaBurn, like the big bad voodoo daddy that spawned it – Burning Man, which takes place in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada each year at the end of August - is an ‘invent’, not an event, and if you attend, you can’t just rock up and proceed to get liquored and behave like a muppet, which is pretty much the standard procedure at most festivals. No, it’s an anti-muppet gig, AfrikaBurn is. And unlike other festivals, at a Burn, you get off your hynie and make shit happen – your participation, and the participation of others attending, is what makes the substance of the experience. In Tankwa Town, there are no Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, there’s no branding, and you cannot buy anything, because it’s a cashless community. OK, that’s a white lie – you can buy something, one very important thing: ice. And goddamn, do people jump to it when they see the iceman cometh, because it is hot. How hot? So hot you could fry an egg on your ten buck bag of ice, that’s how hot. But for everything else, if you need it, you bring it. Or someone gives it to you, no strings, in keeping with Burner gifting culture. If you think this is a novel way of spending a week in the desert, fantastic. Novel is the new black and it lives in Tankwa Town, where the citizens create art pieces, stage performance and come together to make shit happen. The beautiful thing about this is that when people are free to express themselves in whatever way they choose, amazing shit happens because within the bounds of decency, you’ve got free rein to get out there and get on with it. As for us members of Camp AmaDeadly Disco, we chose to express ourselves through music. Thus the mission of taking of a dancefloor to the desert, something we were not alone in doing – quite a few Camps this year featured a wide selection of great tunes, all of which are supplemented by two mobile music wagons; one hitched to a trailer, the other (named ‘Clever Sausage’ and manned by the VuvuCreative, which makes up a substantial part of the organisers who put heart and soul into each year’s AfrikaBurn) led by a flouro old school Land Rover. But then many Camps didn’t feature music – and these were generally manned by participants who created art pieces. And damn, was there art.

Everywhere you look, you see amazing creations and interactions. Artworks are dotted all over the desert landscape, some of which are burned, some of which are not. For example? A masterfully replicated and massively upscaled creation of huge Lego pieces. ‘The Wish’ - a massive white dome consisting of interlocking circles of plywood, which was erected at AfrikaBurn 2008, which was burned on the Friday night this year. A beautiful and complex arc, also made of plywood, by the same crew (Brendan Smithers and The Upsetters), called ‘Memory’, was created for this year - it didn’t burn, but may do next year. The rigging of a three-masted galleon, sunk into the desert floor. A huge wobbling flouro octopus, manned by a posse of intrepid Jozi psychonauts. Mutated art cars bearing flags, sails and armour. A huge three-wheeled trike, straight outta Mad Max and manned by a six-foot muscle mary in gold lame and heels. Labyrinths. Puzzles. A 20-foot post box, where you can send a card to other Camps, or to the default world. And then of course the San Clan, a huge multi-headed effigy that represents the temporary community of Tankwa Town. It took a while, but it went up in flames on Saturday night, the ‘main’ night of AfrikaBurn. These are just a very few examples of the kind of creations you see at AfrikaBurn. There’s much, much more to see and do. Lots of which is kid-friendly and visually arresting.

If this all sounds a bit too out there for you, great. Stay home, keep the malls in business. Keep believing that you’re an individual, sunshine, there’ll always be a place for you at the banquet of unthinking consumerism, so tuck right in. However, if this sounds like your kind of headspace, get your ass to AfrikaBurn next year. You will not regret it.

For more info on AfrikaBurn, go to or do a facebook search for ‘Afrika Burns – Burning Man in South Africa’.

p.s: having some coding issues with this piece of shite Blogger platform. Considering moving to Wordpress. Please be patient, we have our best technicians working on the problem.


I Ask You With Tears In My Ass

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik

So, yes, I admit it – I’m a chronic purist when it comes to abbreviation, spelling and punctuation. I’m a bore, I’m going to hell in a hand basket for all my nitpicking, I should build a bridge and get the hell over it already, yeah, yeah, yeah – don’t even start, I’ve heard it all before, from foul-mouthed poets who can deliver a knockout blow from fifty paces and would make any other comers look positively juvenile, to haughty high society dames who think the measure of their worth is the height of their stiletto and the depth of their cleavage. Offenders all, and when I am King, first against the wall.

No, it’s not curable, and yes, it’s a petty matter which shouldn’t drive me into the loving embrace of a sanatorium, but there you go – when the world’s crapping out and atomic mushrooms are blossoming overhead, I’ll still be bent double over a restaurant menu, fiercely twitching at the gross injustice of a misplaced comma. And, whilst it is the opinion of some that a sufferer who can admit to and identify his shortcomings is well on the way to recovery, I, a sufferer for life with a chronic dose of the Corrections, will not be - and indeed do not wish to be – cured, as mine is the finest kind of malady – that which may be my downfall but brings the promise of a better world for all mankind.

The day that we all give up the pursuit of proper grammar and punctuation is the day that the white flag of surrender to guttersnipe virtues is seen over the carcass of language the world over. And with language being the bedrock of culture, you can only imagine the bland quagmire that will suck us into. Don’t even get me started on the insidious creep that textspeak is making, stealthily abbreviating its cryptic way into the common psyche and demolishing the nuance and delicate tracery of language, word by word. Centuries of reason and history, demolished by the convenience of a pocket toy.

I ask you with tears in my ass.


One For The Money

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik
"Money often costs too much." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘One for the money’, that’s what we call it. And considering the looks of this joint, they have a lot of it to splash around. In this, the time of the financial house of cards, it seems this bunch of product pimps are doing a roaring trade. All the signs are there: parking lot crammed with all the right insignia, rows of shiny new models, winking away as the dirt poor shuffle past the electrified fence. Labels and egos in all the right places. Row upon row of unmentionably dear champagne – and none that Methode Cap Classique tat either, no, no, no – the real deal, mate: Champagne. Johnny Blue, too, a couple bottles’ worth, and they’re mixing it with…oh my god…cola. And catering from the only Michelin star in town. For a goddamn office party. Fuck me.

In any case, can’t complain. Although we’ll privately shake our heads at the sheer blind gluttony of it all. Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to stand behind this DJ console and take requests like the hired help we are; sit back and think of the cash. One for the money, like I say.

They were already roaring by the time we arrived, god alone knows how messy they’ll be when we pack up and head to the next gig. If they'll let us. The men are leery, the women have wild eyes, swimming in pools of eyeliner and mascara; the innuendo is thick as cigar smoke. Bet your bottom dollar there’ll be a divorce hatched tonight, or at the very least a serious fall out, perhaps an engagement will get put on ice. Office parties are like weddings like that – there’s always the indiscretion, some foul play, someone offside. And someone goes home in tears.

Christ, it’s getting a bit Hieronymus Bosch round here now, they’re pulling at each other and hurling themselves around the room, mouths agape, eyes leering. There goes a pair, into the room where the Xerox machine is. Hmmm - who ate all the pies?

Best have a medic on standby; the glass on those things has a breaking strain of only 60kg’s...


Turn That Shit Up! Turn That Shit Off!

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik
Supersonic Sound Systems...Or Silence?

So we're off to AfrikaBurn again in six(ish) weeks, and once again we members of Camp AmaDeadly Disco will be hauling a van packed with all the stuff needed to create our dancefloor and chill area: speakers, amps, DJ booth, scanners, fairy lights, CDJ's, mixers, carpet, dust covers, fabric, inflatable furniture, 10x20m stretch tent, poles and...all the rest. It'll take us a day and half to get there - the Tankwa Karoo is pretty much all the way across the country from where we're situated on the Panga Coast. Once we get there, it's all bang bang tish tish walla walla till the morning light. Or, depending on the outcome of discussions presently underway, maybe not.

As AfrikaBurns is a Burner event, it subscribes to the Ten Principles,which include Radical Self-Expression, although those expressing themselves do so within reason - for example, your expression shouldn't infringe on somebody else's experience. This is clearly illustrated by the expectations of two sorts of participants: those who go to AfrikaBurn to get away from the noise, and those who go to make lots of it. As you can imagine, this has the makings of a contentious issue: those who attend with the express wish of experiencing the serenity of the Karoo are bound to get pissed off with those who prefer to play Ministry's 'Jesus Built My Hotrod' at 6am.

As a Camp with a sound system, we AmaDeadlies find ourselves on the horns of this dilemma: our form of expression is music, and we like to express ourselves freely. However, we're not entirely unreasonable, and we're aware that banging it for four days straight is just not feasible. For a start, it's tough going out there on the baking flatlands of Tankwa Town, without going full throttle. We learnt that last year, which is when we got a sound complaint. No, we weren't playing Ministry, but for the complainant who was possibly hoping to have a peaceful lie-in, we had obviously overstepped the mark. You might say 'Fair enough, but what the hell are they thinking - going to a festival and expecting some quiet time? WTF?' Quite. But then again, the involvement of participants at a Burn event depends on cooperation - there is room for everyone to express themselves, it's simply a matter of finding balance. And, despite the fact that systems are limited to 400 Watts, bear in mind that the site used is flat and the air clear - sound, especially bass, slices through space in that setting like a hot knife through butter.

Solutions which facilitate this balance will need to be found: in my mind there are two routes - on the one hand, sound systems could be asked to tap it off at 4am and resume playing at volume from 9am. This is a possible arrangement currently in discussion by the organisers. Cooperation from those Camps which run sound systems would obviously be needed, but bear in mind that the kind of people who run systems - and those who stomp the ground in front of them - may not always be conducive to a punctual end to their festivities. On the other hand a separate area - selected for its distance from the main body of the event and limitation of sound bleed - could be designated as a noise area. This second route is that taken by Burning Man, where all loud systems are located in the Large-Scale Sound Art Zone, located on the outer ring of the event, with systems faced away from the main body of Black Rock City. With AfrikaBurn still a toddler when compared to the 22-year-old Burning Man, the application of this solution would mean locating the Sound Art away from the single-ring Binnekring around which AfrikaBurn's Tankwa Town is created.

It remains to be seen which option will be explored at this year's event in Tankwa Town. Whichever it is, we'll be there.

If you'd like to participate in a discussion on this matter, go here.

For your musical edification, here's a little ditty put together by that top geezer from African Dope, Fletcher - it's a song I've had on repeat in my head for some time and will be playing (possibly repeatedly) at AfrikaBurn. A fantastic warped dubstep cracker, this is some infectious shit:

Fletcher - Dreadlox Dub.mp3

For more on African Dope Records (including some fine free downloads), go here and for more on Fletcher, go here.


What Have We Done To Deserve This?

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik
Mine eyes have seen the glory of steel.

Holy flaming shitburgers, Batman, but I believe we have reached a new pinnacle in bad taste. Stopped in my tracks like a newborn duiker in the blitzkrieg hunting spots of a Land Cruiser, I was bedazzled into next month. From the dazzlingly sterile plains of the stainless steel door panels to the unfinished symphony of the triumphant doorside pillars with their aerial roots hinting at further shininess yet to come, all was full of bling. Cosmonauts on the International Space Station have reported that when the planet is at just the right angle they can switch their bedside lights off and read by the reflection off this cacophony of bling. But wait – there’s more! Note the broekie-lace gazebo. Marvel at the sheer breathtaking audacity of faux-colonial style forced to make sweet love to this paean to the gods of sheet metal in an unholy union that would leave lovers of bestiality slackjawed and speechless.

Put my eyes out with a hive of angry Madagascan tiger hornets, for mine eyes have seen the glory of steel.

This also published on Mahala.

Dust, Anybody? No?

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik
Burn, baby. Burn.

You’re standing in the middle of a wide, flat plain of baking hot red rock. Next to you is The Wish, a three-storey-high dome constructed out of circles of white-painted marine plywood. A little further off stands a multi-headed effigy, the San Clan, which stands a little higher than The Wish. In the distance you can make out the blue silhouettes of the Cedarberg. It’s midday and 40 degrees in the shade, and. There. Is. No. Shade. In every direction across the dusty red Martian plain on which this carnival of creative community takes place, you are encircled by camps, each of which is different, all presenting a colourful and varied addition to the numerous large and small structures and artworks scattered across the empty centre of Tankwa Town. Population? Around a thousand. Location? Tankwa Karoo, Northern Cape. Yes folks, you’re at AfrikaBurn, South Africa’s own regional Burning Man event.

One of the twenty themed camps at AfrikaBurn 2008, our Camp AmaDeadly Disco is the creation of my freinds and I. Promoters and DJs from Durban and KZN, we're familiar to punters who have attended NONONO!!!, Lightworkx, Jalarupa and AmaFullThrottle events in our neck of the woods. Let's just say we're...gregarious. Die-hards to a man (and woman), we undertook a road trip that eventually ate up some 3400 kilometres of tar and dirt, shredded one tyre and left a few marbles roaming the Karoo. As AfrikaBurn is a Burning Man event, it operates according the Ten Principles of a Burn (see for more on that), and meant that we AmaDeadlies took every part of their camp with us, from Durban, and took it back once the dust had settled (and been washed out of their hair). Dust, anybody? No?

Our camp itself consisted of a complete (and carpeted) dancefloor, including quadraphonic sound, a DJ booth, chill area and, of course, discoballs and lights. Covered by a stretch tent, our aim was to participate in the event by playing music, and offering their space to all comers. After four days of non-stop music, pyrotechnics, fun and games and self-reliance, we packed up our camp, and in keeping with the ‘leave no trace’ ethos of the event, left nothing more than a few small holes in the ground where industrial-strength staves once held our 20x15m tent down.

A few hors d’oeuvres short of a cocktail party, or just plain mad for the jol? That’s a matter of opinion, but one thing’s for sure – we’re doing it again this September out there in the Tankwa Karoo, bigger and better than last year. We held a fundraiser recently to spread the word , and raised some funds to ease the costpain of this motherfucker of all road trips, consisting of an information session where Burning Man and AfrikaBurn dvd’s and photos were shown, and of course a wild party which kicked on through to dawn. But we've got plans, big one, for this year's Burn, and have been beavering away with different configurations of structures and gear. Stretch fabric. Staves. Kingpoles. Rope. Poles. Inflatable furniture. Carpeting. Webbing. Ratchets. Dustmasks. Goggles. Jimmy-rigged showers. Diesel. Genny. Bowser. These are a few of our favourite things.

Participants from KZN are kinda thin on the ground at AfrikaBurn, by virtue of the distance to the event, but if you’re interested in attending Africa’s own Burning Man, or would like to know more, let your fingers do the mousing to the AmaDeadly Facebook Page

Brace yourself, Sheila. We're in for a wild one.

(This article also published on Mahala.)