Tumi & the Volume. Story: Sylvester, Pic: Thys Dullaart

The Bassline will mark Africa Day on Saturday, May 24 with a great line-up of South African and African artists.

Vusi Mahlasela and rappers Tumi (pictured) and Reason will perform alongside France’s Alake Wube and Smarty.

The incredibly popular dancehall DJ duo of Admiral and Jah Seed will bring their Thursday night sounds to the party.

Bassline have also included newcomers to the line-up. 8 Bars Short play indigenous folk, while Ygen Blakrokc is a female goth rocker from Yeoville. Her recently released debut album is called Return of the Astro-Goth.

The brand that is Bassline is celebrating 20 years this year and they plan to grow even bigger by going on to the festival circuit around Gauteng. Owners Brad and Paige Holmes recently acquired a new partner, Lance McCormack and their vision is to grow the live music scene through Bassline. Already they have upgraded the sound and lighting at Bassline.

“We took all our profits from last year and re-invested them in new sound for the main area in Bassline,” said Brad.

They have also renovated the smaller area upstairs and turned it into a posh jazz area including a reworked drum kit as a chandelier. They have upgraded their rehearsal area and now have five fully equipped rehearsal rooms.

This is their 10th year celebrating Africa Day. Brad said they decided to celebrate the day because many African artists have been introduced to South Africa via Bassline.

“We have done more Pan-African artists than any other venue,” he said. “We have bought out people like Femi Khuti, Asa, Ishmael Lo and D’Banj.”

Over the years, Bassline have provided an integral platform for many live artists. Who can forget those magical Edgars Series nights with artists from Zuluboy to Skwatta Kamp and The Parlotones performing? Groups like The Soil had their first gigs at Bassline.

To this end Bassline are now inviting newcomers to perform on Friday nights at the venue.

Tumi and Mahlasela recorded live DVDs at the venue with much success. Bassline was also where TKZee saw Moses Molelekwa for the first time. The pairing of the jazz musician and kwaito artists went on to see a collaboration of groundbreaking music.

Bassline are planning a few festivals in the future which will include Arts Alive in September, the Joburg City Festival in October, the Maftown hip hop festival and their 20-year anniversary celebrations.