Cape Town’s DJ scene may not have been hurt by a curfew. DJ Robbie Dinnie says Cape Town’s live scene closure helped its musicians.
A vibrant cross-section of rookie and veteran DJs is still bursting from their bedrooms onto the scene, which keeps going whether the summer is over or not. Or at least that’s what versatile, and empathic DJ Robbie Dinnie did with his time in lockdown.
Robbie’s new and genuine take on the music scene is fueled by a genuine love for the music he creates. His ability to adapt to any setting and perform exciting new sets every time sets him apart; no, REALLY, while it is set to be standard for all, Dinnie’s approach possesses a mix of sensory awareness and quick but graceful glances at his crowd. His intuitive sets pulse and the scene’s energy to beat with the heart of his synths parade.
“I want to keep people on their toes… and provide them with a new experience and sound journey each time… some feedback I have gotten back is just what I want to hear! For example, I had someone say… ‘I have no clue what you’re going to play, but I know it’s going to be good!’”
Robbie has an almost supernatural instinct for reading the energy and mood of the crowd. He builds the energy to a wild crescendo and brings it back down, taking the crowd on a rollercoaster of a performance. He groups his tracks according to the energy and motion of the crowd so that he can tailor his sets on the fly.
This is an almost extinct skill that we can track to another god of sound: Blake Baxter, which takes us back to the first wave of Detroit techno.
Quoting Music Journalist Bronson and witness:
“At first, Robbie’s set seemed random, but that was just our 21st-century short attention spans, and when you’re high, the need for fast stimuli heightens, but that was just Robbie’s tuning us, and it was quite mesmerizing once I realized that the distinctive echo came from him sounding past, present, and future, without the massive gear from Detroit’s or Chicago’s 1980s and early 1990s back then, using present technology well, and if you were high enough, using some gear that hasn’t been invented yet, which is pretty fucking sick!”
That connection keeps Robbie’s head firmly on the dance floor. “It helps keep a flare to my sets; not only seeing but feeling the crowd helps me read the dance floor and not get too stuck looking only at the decks”
While there seem to be two distinct styles, he let his “slips” experimental tune is what Robbie appeals to a broad audience. His hard techno sets feature intricate, hypnotic grooves, and for a much lighter set, he weaves indie dance in with some progressive music with some darker twists.
“Being original means being yourself on and off the decks and following through with why you started this journey, it’s the passion and love for the music you listen to. With that comes the privilege of going up there and sharing your taste with people on the dance floor.”
Robbie bleeds enthusiasm and passion for what he does. For what seems another Cape Townian’s surf boy story, he packs a punch, completely unexpected. He will make sure that no matter where you catch his set, whether that is at Blue Room or through one of LinkedTechno’s events, Robbie is going to blow your mind… with a nice soft caressing to the point where you’ll be looking for your scalp on the floor after he’s done.
Robbie’s Instagram: @robbie_dinnie
Check out Robbie’s SoundCloud here.
This article is a collaboration with music traveling journalist Troy Bronson for God of Sound.™