Despite a collective hangover, Johannesburg's pulse never slows. The city is alive - bustling with the prospect of the night ahead. It's an infectious buzz that keeps everyone alert, eyes tracing the forms flitting through the crowds, looking for familiar faces.
By the time I'm done at Carfax, it's 3AM and there's no sign of anyone going to bed. RudeOne pounds the shuffling bodies on the dancefloor as the crowd at And (next door) swells. The beams of light in Carfax whirl around the room casting fractured patterns across bodies, walls and faces.
1Fox is a venue that reminds me of home. It's rusted iron frames stand firm and unmoving (obviously it can't move - it's a building). Manthe Ribane’s slim frame is obscured by a mass of bodies in front of me. Her performance stretches across the whole stage. Outfit changes and a troupe of pantsulas ensure that the crowd is transfixed - eyes front - it's art in motion!
Meanwhile, Jullian Gomes and Trancemicsoul are mesmerizing on the second floor. The lighting is moody and enchanting, lights strobe and smiles flash in the dark. There's no going home until the whole venue is ushered out by security as the doors close in the morning. Even in the dark, you can see the energy filling the room - faces are vibrantly animated and gestures become more ebullient.
Zone 6 in Soweto is unlike any venue I have ever had the pleasure of occupying. It's split into an outside area, that caters to the day party (wastes none of the great weather there is), and as soon as the sun dips the doors to the club inside are opened. The crowd moves inside and the music gets louder. The night feels like it will never end. The week feels like it will never end. There's no way to impress you with words about the party - there is only the bruised experience of having been there - swirling in the mass of gyrating, heaving bodies pressing up against each other. The air is thick with expectation. This is what I do.