Tune Raider is Pamm Legg. She’s been rocking the Cape Town’s dance floor for over 10 years and is considered to be one of the top female DJs in the country. Tune Raider plays a variety of psychedelic sounds and with her versatility you can be sure to catch her deep into the night with a full on set or rocking a Sunday morning session at any outdoor! She hosted Twisted Sessions on Mutha FM promoting local psytrance talent and in 2008 directed and produced Under the African Sky – the first documentary detailing outdoor psytrance parties in Cape Town. No one can doubt her commitment to the scene, so we only thought it was time to have a chat and get to know her a little better.
Psymedia: Hey Pamm! To start off tell me a little bit about how you got involved in psytrance ten years ago and how you got the name Tune Raider?
Tune Raider: Hi guys, well I hit the Cape Town scene as a fresh 17 year old from the Knysna forest area. I had experienced a small amount of the ‘organic, old school’ style parties in the Garden Route, but my first Vortex which was January 2000 featuring Tsuyoshi Suzuki – that party blew my mind, I knew I was home (I was a bit of a freak at school, hehe) so I partied for a season, then started getting involved with parties from working the bar, the door, décor, I just loved the scene and meeting overseas DJs that were touring and living the life, it was so inspiring.
I eventually decided to go back home (Knysna) in 2002 and finish my Matric cause you kind of need a Matric to get a college education, and when I was home I met up with a group of trance DJs and party promoters called ‘Psynapse’. They had a studio and hippy style farm right next to mine (go figure), I literally walked into their mellow style yet very intimidating studio and asked if they would teach me how to DJ, they helped me but didn’t spoon feed me. I then moved back to Cape Town and started playing the small club circuit – Getafix/ Organafix, Upstairs Bar, Club Babylon and joined up with a record label called Psy-station and that’s where the name stemmed from (you know psy-station –play-station, Tune Raider – Tomb Raider), from there I pushed and played all sorts of gigs, and slowly season by season I built myself up to finally getting booked at a Vortex, which was quite a milestone for me. That was the party where I wore fairy wings on stage. I apparently blew some trippers heads right off (Laughs). I also had a radio show called the ‘Twisted Sessions’ on Mutha FM for about 2 years, that was fun times, we started off as a pirate radio show, so you could drive through town and pick up psy trance on the radio, but then Mutha FM became an internet based radio show and are currently running Psy trance shows every Thursday evening.
Psymedia: You’ve mastered both the night and day time styles making every Tune Raider set a new experience. Why did you decide to take this approach? I’m guessing you don’t hold a preference to either style, but do you have a preference in terms of the night and day atmosphere?
Tune Raider: This is the problem; I love both styles, so I figured I would play both. Over the years I have played different styles, but I think that’s because the scene itself has gone through many changes, technology has advanced making it possible for more creative producers to make great music. Daytime style has become almost full-on in speed yet very melodic and psychedelic and playing in the daytime, bouncy beats and lots of smiles on the dance floor, it’s so much fun. Night time style on the other hand…. is very expressive, I love the big bass, breaks and build ups, getting down to some serious beats late at night, having a private stomp moment on the dance floor, unleashing the beast so to speak, so you see my dilemma. So to answer your question, no I don’t have a preference, I just love being at a party / festival atmosphere in general – it’s like stepping inside the bubble of a different world.
Psymedia: One thing I love about your sets is your enthusiasm on stage. Do you think other artists should be a bit more pro-active about having a great stage presence?
Tune Raider: Thank you! I think one should just play from your heart and if you dance and go mental on stage cause you feel it, then so be it, don’t be fake or act, you can’t really work on your presence as it comes playing from your inner energy and moving within the beat. I think because of your concentration of the sound and the beats in your mix you begin to move in a natural way and express yourself. I think that’s why I get the dance floors moving because my love of the beats is infectious. If you don’t love your tunes, why would your dance floor? Also I was taught “old skool” that it’s about the dance floor and not about you, it’s our job as a DJ to create the space for the people on the dance floor to go on a journey, and to travel within the trance space, let go of ego and just have fun and be silly, by letting your body go and just move.
Psymedia: Tell me about your 2008 documentary Under the African Sky – the first documentary detailing our local psy scene. Why did you decide to put the documentary together? Are you considering releasing a second one with the recent years?
Tune Raider: Blood, sweat and tears! A couple of years ago I was on the side of the dance floor chatting to a DJ friend about the scene and that it was close to 10 years of psy in South Africa back then, and that someone should document the scene. So I decided that is what I wanted to do, and I’m so glad I did it; we now have a piece of history to look back on. It’s insane because the scene has been going for almost 20 years! One of my reasons for seeing it through was to try and tell the story and pay homage to the people who have created this beautiful and unique scene that we have here in Cape Town. It was born when the chains on South Africa truly lifted, and electronic music and dancing was accepted and from there the hippy movement of outdoor music festivals somehow morphed into Psytrance parties like it is today. Technology has accelerated in the past 14 years, and this has aided music producers to create the most insane sounds and beats. Do you know that our South African artists have been recognized worldwide for years now, thanks to the boys from Timecode and Nano Records being the 1st guys who paved the path for South Africa producers.
The film took me about four years to make, it was challenging because I didn’t have funding until the final editing process and I was working and touring with Madame Zingara at the time, so I worked on it from my bunk bed on tour and internet cafes, I was a very determined young thing back then. Thanks to Hemporium, Alien Safari and Vortex for sponsoring the film Under the African Sky and making the dream of it a reality. One can download it on Youtube for free – download and share please; it’s all about getting it out there and educating everyone about the beginning of Psy-trance in Cape Town and South Africa.
Am I considering making another one? Yes I am, I just need to find other people who are determined at making another piece of history, and of course the funding. So if you are a film editor and you want to make a psy film, and contribute to this beautiful scene – contact me – I’m always looking to make new projects.
UNDER THE AFRICAN SKY PROMO VIDEO:
Psymedia: How was your first European tour earlier this year? It seemed like you played at quite a few different parties – secret locations, boats and carnivals. How did the atmosphere and scenery differ from Cape Town?
Tune Raider: It was so much fun, getting to see a different part of the world, and meeting other people who love psytrance. The fun thing was that each party was very different, the first one was in Algarve, and it had quite an old school feel to it, then the next party was in a boat that was whack! People there are fun and very friendly, they just love to party. Next I met up with Raquel (Ganiesha) and I stayed with her in Porto, it’s such a beautiful city, we then played a party in Colvanhia which was in a massive night club, it was really awesome, then the next night we played in Spain, Barcelona. The traveling and then playing was hectic, some nights I got a hotel room, other nights we slept in a van in the backyard parking lot, in Europe people only party late at night, so every set I played was at 5am, it was wild, and I had a great time. I don’t really think the vibe was different at the parties, I think that’s probably one way we unite – on the dance floor you know, but I must say that here in South Africa we bring on the GEES!
Psymedia: I believe one of the parties had a small turnout due to numerous parties on the night. Do you think this could become an issue in Cape Town with how many indoor events we’ve seen this winter?
Tune Raider: I must say I have been pleasantly surprised at how many indoors parties there have been this past winter, I think it’s great. The one thing promoters need to be careful is not fighting over dates, and having a peaceful “let’s all work it out’ approach. Overseas it seems an ‘all for one’ approach and it’s clearly not working, new kids on the block are not respecting the older promoters dates, charge less and offer something different, but not necessarily slick and professional, and thus a standard that is set isn’t being followed, that’s how the wheels come off, and I hope that here in Cape Town we can keep things tight and tidy – Respect is the main thing. What we have noticed in Cape Town this past winter, there seems to be enough party people to all over Cape Town to fill each club, its brilliant, because us DJs can become working DJs and having more opportunities to play and thus allowing us to make some kind of income for our efforts, so it’s a win win all round.
Psymedia: Tell me about your relationship with Lady Lea’s Divas on Decks and Magnetika Agency. Are there any other psytrance artists working with Divas on Decks?
Tune Raider: Lady Lea is a legend, it was so awesome meeting each other as we are both very similar type of girls, but we come from completely different music scenes. Divas on Decks is really fun, because it brings girl DJs from all music genres together, the only problem is that psytrance is a whole different planet, it’s like we all in our own bubble, and so it’s hard to combine psy in a commercial scene. I played at two Divas Parties in Joburg, and we had the psy floor where the hard house floor usually is in club TRUTH, but the people who might not have heard psy before seemed to have loved it, so we were spreading the psychedelic sounds. I was also able to do a compilation release through Divas; it was the Volume 2 of the Divas on Decks series, I was very lucky to have my compilation sold at Look n Listen. We are still trying to figure out if the psy girls will continue to work with Divas because our bookings work differently in our scene, and sometimes we just don’t fit in the commercial settings, we stick out like sore thumbs. Magnetika is a European agency run by Ganeisha – myself and Myzo represent South Africa with the agency, so when I go overseas they will help promote me, it’s basically a way for all us ladies to unite under one umbrella.
Psymedia: When did you join the Nutek family?
Tune Raider: I became a Nutek Records DJ in 2010, I met and became friends with Roy from Painkiller (the label owner) when he was here for the Rezonance New Year’s Festival 2009, so I spoke to him about me representing the label in SA and he will represent me overseas. It has been a great help being involved in an overseas label and at least getting ones name out there on the international media. So that’s that really.
Psymedia: After playing for so long, are there any annual parties that always deliver? Any really memorable parties from the last decade?
Tune Raider: Um, shew, I can’t answer that. That question is like saying which one of your children do you like best? For me it’s like stepping into a trance party bubble, like it’s another world we visit every weekend, so I don’t think I have a favorite cause each one is unique and special.
Psymedia: Are Capetonians generally supportive of female DJs?
Tune Raider: I think Cape Town has always been supportive, but I have learnt that in any male dominated industry, the boys just wanna see that you have got the balls to play the game, if you fu*k up or don’t get your way, tears and drama get you nowhere and neither does screwing the crew to get to where you want to be. It’s dedication to master your craft, evolve into an artist when you play, love for the scene and the music and a certain amount of sacrifice. I think the dance floor can hear and see that by your mixing, you can’t fake it and you can’t just learn it, it has to exist in you. In the beginning I remember getting very judged every time I played – my mixing, stage presence, track selection, crowd interaction and ability to take the dance floor on a journey, but soon people noticed I wasn’t going anywhere. Now a days more girls are getting up there, and I think it’s a fair fight for everyone, but us girls just look cute doing it!
Psymedia: Thanks for the interview! Anything else you wanna say to finish off?
Tune Raider: Keep partying with love and respect in your heart, open your eyes to what is happening around you, psytrance parties are not all about getting completely totaled, it’s about all us freaks coming together and having a great time in the sun and the nature, respect that nature, clean up and collect your rubbish from your camp site area when you leave and please don’t throw your fucking cigarette stompies on the ground, the cleaning crew can’t pick up every stompie so where do you think it’s going when you just discard it on the floor? Why must we disrespect the beautiful outdoors? As much as the scene is growing and the baby boom is now overtaking the dance floors, it’s up to each and every one of us to make an effort in keeping the peace, because then we can carry on for another 20 years and the authorities won’t close us down. Love and light!
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