Nano Records is one of the new record labels that have emerged from the thriving psychedelic trance music and party scene in Cape Town, South Africa. The men behind the label are brothers Regan Tacon and Gareth Tacon, Cape Town locals, and their partner from the UK, Anselm Guise. They have already released two out of eleven proposed albums, to wide acclaim, and more releases are planned.
The artists featured on the compilation albums include Protoculture (Nate Raubenheimer), Rinkadink (Werner van Jaarsveld), Hydrophonic (Gareth & Regan Tacon), The Electric Ant (Anselm Guise) and Bent Sentient (DJ Starspine) amongst others. In the last couple of years they have all been DJ-ing and playing live at parties around Cape Town as well as further afield, including England, Brazil, Greece, and the Solipse festivals in Zambia and Limpopo Province, South Africa.
The music is crisp and funky electronic trance music with strong bass-lines, loads of percussion, psychedelic synth sounds and numerous sampled lyrics. It is goes down best in the daytime.
The trance party scene in Cape Town has grown rapidly in recent years. I believe this is due to the city’s fine weather and beautiful scenery, the influx of tourists and travellers, and the country’s relatively permissive attitude towards drug-taking. Trance parties happen nearly every weekend during the summer months. These are usually held outdoors: on beaches, in orchards, on farms and in the mountains. They typically start on Saturday evening and go on right through Sunday. There are also longer festivals. Many people bring camping equipment and make a weekend of it, while others prefer to arrive at dawn on Sunday and spend the day dancing in the sunshine. Most people attending do take drugs, especially ecstasy, acid, magic mushrooms and dagga. A colourful trance community has developed, made up of people from various backgrounds, which promotes the PLUR ethos, and has a passion for the music and the freedom that the movement celebrates. Although the community is happy to have the top names in trance visiting South Africa, they are also fiercely supportive of the local talent. It is out of this environment that Nano Records and other labels such as Timecode have grown. The Nano DJs play regularly at most parties (Vortex and Alien Safari being the two most prominent organisers in Cape Town at present) and also host their own parties occasionally. Earlier this year they celebrated the launch of their first album Emergence with a party in a disused quarry; a few months later they launched their second album Dilation with a party near the beach. The albums are also being released in the rest of the world, I’m certain with the wish that Nano makes it big in the international trance scene.
Track listings of the albums:
- Protoculture – Ultraphunktional
- Rinkadink – Ultima (Flamin Hoons remix)
- Hydrophonic – Disorient Express
- Boogi Section vs Bent Sentient – Freak of da Week!
- Whiplash – Syntax & Whiskey
- Hydrophonic – Reality Game
- Hydrophonic – Elephunktitus
- Protoculture – Synergism
- Protoculture - Metaphysical
- The Electric Ant – Toxic Dart (Tripwire mix)
- Protoculture – New Directions
- Broken Toy – Devil’s Playground
- Bent Sentient – Suffocation Dividend
- Aphid Moon and the Electric Ant – Vicious Cycle
- Green Oms – Fucked Up!
- Rinkadink – Sheep Satellite
- Hydrophonic – Feels Good
- Hydraglyph – Wacko
Nano Records in their own words…
From their T-shirt: We arrive in peace, we leave in pieces
From Emergence sleeve-notes: The little ones make the loudest noise
From Dilation sleeve-notes:
...our humanity sometimes sparkles when we dance upon that pin
Yeah - our divinity sometimes let slip when we do our doof doof doof doof thing
(from: God's Spittle by Stephen Hancock)
Sources: www.nanorecords.co.uk and sleeve-notes from the albums