In mid-2016, UK-based electronic duo Darkstar made up of James Young and Aiden Whalley travelled to South Africa to put together a new live music and film show from what they’d gathered from interviews with local Cape Tonians, as part of the Encounters Documentary Film Festival, in partnership with the British Council Connect ZA programme – reflecting the substance of their album Foam Island. With incredible performances going down in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the recordings of interviewees were woven into existing tracks from Foam Album to form a powerful combination of audio documentary, electronic music and political statement.
‘We went to Cape Town thinking it would be about applying what we did with Foam Island to the people we met with over there. Obviously this only goes so far as both environments are nuanced to their own outlook and understanding of the world. What worked in West Yorkshire in most parts had not much relevance in South Africa so it was about learning a great deal on the job quickly and being sensitive to the social dynamic that is in place. For all our intents and purposes trying to capture a picture of a society that is hugely complex in a week is impossible. But we were able to meet people willing to collaborate and show us a snapshot of their lives. As the film shows we were fortunate enough to be able to spend time with people in Cape Town that wanted to give us a tour of their neck of the woods and what they did everyday, rather than us trying to create a narrative that was a reach at best we decided to just observe and put together something both them and us knew was genuine.’ – James Young