Cape Town Beatmaker Damascvs' Dystopian Virtual Reality Video

Cape Town-based producer Damascvs talks his new 'BUT I AIN’T GOT NO WATER FOR YOU' EP and "Revogue" video with Okayafrica.

Courtesy of Damascvs
BUT I AIN’T GOT NO WATER FOR YOU, the latest release from Cape Town-based beat magician Luca Stefano, aka Damascvs, wears its heart on its album sleeve.

That might seem odd, given that the 6-track EP’s cover shows a crosshair aimed straight at Stefano’s forehead, but in traversing the project’s dense sonic landscape, it starts to make sense. From the get-go this is a set of songs that says if you want to simultaneously thank, shoot, blame and praise someone for what your ears just went through, here’s your man.

“You know some days when you’re on the internet, or at a party wherever, and people that are out are really too thirsty,” Stefano tells me over Skype, trying to find the exact words to describe his new EP’s title. “I guess this is just a funny way of saying that I don’t need any of that shit.”

In an age where the digital floodgates have been opened, an argument could be made that when it comes to music, we’re never left wanting. Yet, it’s also fair to say that the more we consume, the more we need. BUT I AIN’T GOT NO WATER FOR YOU stands firmly against this flood of demand—a wellspring borne of the tide, but not quite of it.

Fortunately, Stefano has found added fortification in the form of Quit Safari, a beat-making, smack-talking collective of likeminded heads in Cape Town, which also includes Christian Tiger School and Fever Trails. “We decided we didn’t want to be roaming around, we could make our own things, our own little campsite,” says Stefano, describing the impetus behind the group’s forming. “It’s a platform that allows us to know when we we’re making something, at least there’ll be a place where it can find a home and that we can work together for it to happen in the right way.”

In light of this all, it makes perfect sense that Stefano would seek out further artistic collaborators for the EP’s single, “Revogue,” in the form of the Kets brothers, a Cape Town-based duo known for their idiosyncratic approach to filmmaking. The result of their collaboration is a pre-digital, nostalgia-fused, future dystopic vision of a video.

Screenshot from Damascvs' "Revogue" video.
"I was thinking about if we get to a point with Virtual Reality in which we are creating an infinite reality itself then who is to say the human experience as a whole cannot be imitated or re-created,” says director Stuart Kets.

“I liked the idea of there being some kind of underground club of people that almost used VR as a drug, these experiences being sold as this taboo experience."

Wondering what that all translates to? Peep our premiere of the video below and download the full BUT I AIN'T GOT NO WATER FOR YOU EP here. For those around SA, be sure to catch Quit Safari (Damascvs, Christian Tiger School, Fever Trails, Hessien + & Selphir) on a nationwide tour this week with UK producer Rival Consoles.

Robin Scher is a New York-based South African writer and polyrhythm enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter at @RobScherHimself.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

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