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SA's DJ Bu$ka plays it straight

Reported by simpat / Submitted 06-10-08 21:26

As one of South Africa’s foremost elite clubs over the past 25 years, Numbers of East London has certainly had the pick of the cream of the crop when it comes to their DJs. Paying testament to the Numbers reputation for the last three years, at their dedicated dance evenings, is Bu$ka, who has ripped up dance floors alongside both national and international acts alike. Known for his awesome presence and crowd interaction, clubbers are assured of seamless mixes, awesome tune selection and a guaranteed journey of euphoria.

With Bu$ka headlining Octobers UTOPIA party, the UTOPIA'n crew took some time out with the man; in an effort to reveal what makes him tick, on and off the decks.

Brad, what would you describe as your first clubbing encounter with dance music?

The first actual club encounter was one of the Beatroot parties in East London, probably around the year 2000.

So throwing you back to those heydays, what single night in the dance scene would you gladly make a return to? When and why?

I think it was in about 2001 / 2002 at Numbers Dance Club in East London – The Warp Brothers. It was the most insane night of hard dance / hardstyle mayhem I have ever experienced. The vibe in the club was electrifying and the energy generated by the boys in the booth was and still is unforgettable.

You use to club it with Utopia's fellow resident Russtec. Care to let us in on a juicy clubbing tale of him?

Russ and I go way back. I met him through his brother-in-law and sister. As for that juicy tale – use your imagination.

What life values did clubbing instil in you, and which have you remained indebted to?

I think that one of the most positive things to come out of dance music is the acceptance of people as party goers, irrespective of race, colour or creed. In the old ‘rave’ days, P.L.U.R. stood for peace, love, unity, respect. If the world could adopt some of this attitude, it would be a much better place to live in.

In the past, when clubbing, people used to put so much love and effort into their outfits and accessories (e.g. whistles, dummy’s, glow-sticks, glitter hairspray, etc.), which really added to the atmosphere and vibe, would you like to see a return of similar efforts in SA?

Most definitely. I think that the reason it has died in South Africa is because it is not pushed over the air waves. In Europe and the UK, radio stations and television stations support and promote dance music. Trance music is probably the biggest and most popular form of dance music throughout the world. The fact that trance jocks have been voted as the number one DJ in the world for the past 7 or 8 years is proof of this. Of course there are other factors that have caused the downfall of the scene in SA, but I don’t want to get into that.

What got you started on the wheels of steel and how did you learn this magical craft?

I have always had a passion for ‘electronic’ music. I started out listening to 2Unlimited and 24/7 way back in primary school, so the interest has always been there. My interest in DJing just grew from my passion for music. Initially, I tried to teach myself, but after a few weeks of struggling, I got a mate of mine to show me the basics. I practiced every day, four to six hours a day, literally for about six months until I had the basics waxed. Thereafter it’s like anything else – practice makes perfect, but you never forget how to mix. It’s like riding a bicycle. The basics can be taught to you by anyone who knows what they are. The rest is up to you.

Could you touch on your early days as a DJ and where this colourful road has taken you?

I started playing in 2001, so it’s been seven years now. Initially, I had a short residency at a small club called The Funky Munky and also played regularly at ClubNINE30. They have both since closed down. I have also played at various festivals and dance events in and around East London. In 2005, I started playing at Numbers where I play at their harder dance events.

What genre is your preference and has this changed with time? Also, what other styles do you dish out?

I started out playing hardstyle. For me, the harder and faster the music was the better. That slowly changed to hard trance and now I play mainly energetic / uplifting trance. I am more into the emotional; ‘take you on a journey’ side of the music, but still enjoy driving bass lines. There is no better music than trance, in terms of becoming one with the music. I play pretty much anything that has trance influences from uplifting trance to hard trance, hardsyle, techno, progressive trance and house. I enjoy a little electro too, if it is the harder kind, but I don’t play it myself. I am not at all interested in house music of any kind – other than progressive house, due to the trance influences. Trance is who and what I am, so that’s what I play.

So where did the trade name Bu$ka come from?

One of my lecturers at university suggested it and I liked it, so it stuck. A mate of mine who is really into his hip hop suggested the dollar sign for the ‘s’ and so I used that too and there you have it - Bu$ka!

What’s the most hilarious thing that happened to you whilst DJing?

Honestly, nothing. I am extremely serious about what I do, but I have fun at the same time. I will always be completely sober behind the decks as this is how I believe one needs to be to perform at your best. I do find it hilarious when jocks get hammered, try to play, make huge stuff ups and think everything is cool. It’s not cool. DJing is my passion and jocks who make fools of themselves by stuffing up because they are too out of it to play, shouldn’t be behind the decks.

Which spotlight DJs have you rubbed shoulders with and possibly even caned it with? Care to elaborate?

Wayne Burgess, Aquagen, Ferry Corsten, The Warp Brothers, Bonebreaker from Brookly Bounce and many of the top SA jocks such as Dizzy, Surge, Roger Goode, Costa, Manuel, Spiro, Morgan, Lea, Kirsty, The Bandit etc.

And what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on a night out?

A huge cane rat ran across the wall in front of me upon entering a party once. I almost left and went home. Some people also really make total fools of themselves on the dance floor. I have had many a good laugh.

So then, Vinyl, CD’s, Laptop or jukebox, Where do you stand?

For the past seven years – vinyl. Currently – cd.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you whilst DJing?

Not knowing how to use the mixer at Numbers the first time I played there. It wasn’t really embarrassing, as the crowd wouldn’t have noticed, but it was nerve wracking.

Which track(s) never leave your record box and are guaranteed to get any party rocking?

Delerium – Silence, Paul van Dyk – For an Angel, DJ Tommyboy – Poseidon, DJ Digress – The Frequency. There are too many to mention all of them.

Ever had any bizarre requests?

People asking for house music during a trance set – What the f*ck!

Where (club or location) would be your ultimate gig to play (past or present or future)?

Amnesia – Ibiza without a doubt.

Do you produce your own tracks/remixes or if not, do you plan to get into production?

It is something I would like to get into. Unfortunately, I don’t have the cash at the moment for software. I am still paying off my CDJ’s and my beautiful Yamaha R6 - J

And how is Numbers and East London catering to the fans of dance?

Numbers is the only place making an effort. The dance music scene is pretty much dead in East London. Personally, I don’t consider house to be dance music, so let’s leave it at that. South Africa’s dance scene, worries me – I suppose it’s not fair to compare it to Europe, but I do, to Germany, Holland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

The music scene in and around the Eastern Cape was very underground and hard dance orientated in the late 1990’s and early 2000's! It has since moved towards house, electro and commercial . Do you feel it will ever go full circle and return to underground?

Times have changed and so have people’s preferences. I don’t think things will ever go back to what they were in the 1990’s – the good old days. There will always be those who love what is not commercial / mainstream. Currently, in SA, especially here, I would consider trance to be underground, purely because it is not supported by the masses.

Utopia is presenting a night of euphoric progression which aims to extract the very best euphoric sounds as it tips toes through the predominant house and electro subgenres to the more harder underground sounds. What can patrons expect from you on the night and where do you plan to take them?

I plan on playing my more chilled progressive house for the first 45 minutes or so and then building up the set, finishing the set off with some of the most electrifying energetic trance. We’ll have to see how things go on the night though. One can never plan a set.

Should you be stranded on a desert island, what 3 essentials would you kill for?
Food, water and my sound equipment (CDJ’s, music, speakers, amps etc). I hope there is electricity on the island!

If you had the pick of the world finest, bling bling was of no limit and you could throw a party, what would it be, where would it be and who would be in the line-up?

It would be a massive trance party weekend, with all the trance lovers flown in from all over the world. The line up would be headed by myself of course, but would include Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Paul van Dyk, Sean Tyas, Aly & Fila, Jose Amnesia, Fred Baker, Sebastian Brandt, Leon Bolier, Nic Chagall, Andy Moor and many others.

If you were writing a book on clubbing etiquette, what would your top 3 be?

1. Party safe;
2. Party hard;
3. P.L.U.R.

Thanks so much for your time. Famous last words?

Thank you very much!

Photos courtesy of Bu$ka and Utopia. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Friday 10th October 2008
At: Moloko (South Africa) [map]

From: 2000 - LATE
Cost: R35 on the door, but R10 less if you email / sms 'guestlist' name/s to / 073 7138014, by Wednesday 1st October.


UTOPIA presents Euphoric Progression – a supercharged journey into the dimension of Ecstatic Bliss, jet-blasting us into the musical stratosphere live and direct from the superb Moloko, on Friday 10 October 2008.

Featuring a main room positively crackling with uncontrollable energy, local Dj’s Lee, Shane, Russtec and Psi-Psi are set to man the core reactor for Numbers resident Dj Bu$ka, on his first trip to Port Elizabeth.

Dj Lee, resident at the groovy Aqua, will perform the preflight-launch tests enthralling us with his brand of funk-fuelled house.

Dj Shane, legendary and most-respected aural wizard, will initiate the start sequence and get the reactor up to boiling point in preparation for lift-off.

Dj Bu$ka, longstanding resident @ South Africa’s foremost elite club Numbers (East London), will crank up the energy and deliver blast off, launching us into a new dimension.

O2, a brand new concept formed by the teaming up of Dj’s Russtec and Psi-Psi, will keep us in orbit with their brand of uplifting energy, delivered smooth, pure and utterly essential – just like oxygen.

The gorgeous Moloko, launch pad of many a wicked ride, will be rocked to the foundations with seismic frequencies and monstrous basslines. In the second room, the outer dimensional explorers Psyther, NifeX and Detached will prepare their capsule for a second blast off, probing the boundaries of the space-time continuum.

Date: Friday 10 October

Time: Boarding opens at 8pm

Venue: Moloko (76 Newton Street, Newton Park)

Admission: R35 at the door -
(or R25 should you email / sms whole ‘guestlist’ name / names to / 073 7138014 by Wednesday 1st October)

Free Guestlist:
- The first 15 people emailing names through (and strictly single names per email), will receive free guestlist. Please specify name & venue to qualify. Those winning will be notified.
- For those accompanying us at Moloko in Port Elizabeth, they will automatically qualify for free guestlisting to Equilibrium in Grahamstown, so please leave your names at the Moloko admission door to qualify.

For details of UTOPIA at Moloko in Port Elizabeth, please follow the facebook link:


As if one party was not enough, the last men standing of Utopia (from the previous night), shall endeavour to repeat the feat in a gun slinging battle of the dj's in Grahamstown.

In the left corner Utopian reidents Psi-Psi & Russtec, will be coming through with guns blazing. In the opposite corner, Simon (previously of electrosoc) & Iggy of Twylight Gathering, shall attempt to keep Grahamstown proud in an effort to hold the fort.

Courtesy of the magnificent Equilibrium, this do-or-die battle will be unleashing itself at this epic location. Miss it at thy peril.

Date: Saturday 11 October

Time: Shootout begins at 9pm

Venue: Equilibrium of Grahamstown

Admission: R25 at the door -
(or R15 should you email / sms whole ‘guestlist’ name / names to / 073 7138014 by Wednesday 1st October)

Free Guestlist:
- The first 15 people emailing names through (and strictly single names per email), will receive free guestlist. Please specify name & venue to qualify. Those winning will be notified.

for those from nearby towns / cities, email us for the cheapest overnight stays in Grahamstown (as hostel links are available)

For details of UTOPIA at Equilibrium in Grahamstown, please follow the link:


simpat / UTOPIA:

PS: Please forward onto your mates, nutters aplenty + fellow PARTY PEOPLE!
Region: South Africa/Other
Music: Trance. Hard Trance. Old Skool. House. Bouncy House. Funky House. Hard House. Prog House. Vocal House. Commercial Dance. Club Classics. Electro.
DJ's: Bu$ka
Simon H

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