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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Monday Choon: Calvin Harris ft. HAIM - Pray To God


According to the latest Forbes chart, he's the highest earning DJ for the past two years now, having performed world over  including making regular appearances in Ibiza and Las Vegas  it is a wonder where he finds the time to create music in the studio, He's latest work which includes a few tracks with Ellie Goulding, have done well which is easy to see why he is so in demand and making all that cash. His latest offering features American Pop Rock band HAIM. The song was released in February and has been doing pretty well in the charts, it's just recently broken into the SA market and I'm sure it will be another chart topper. If you like me, were a fan of Scandinavian pop group Ace of Base, you will easily take a liking to this song as well since it's of a similar sound and tempo. 

                    

Friday, February 27, 2015

#UberUp


As most of you may know by now, today I'm driving around town in the all new snazzy VW Up! The latest addition in the VW line up slots in just below their best selling model the Polo Vivo, although very small, the car is damn spacious and extremely fun to drive with the 55kW, 1 litre engine proving to be quite nippy. To celebrate the launch of this trendy new comer, VW SA and Uber South Africa are teaming up to bring you an awesome opportunity. From the 2nd till the 8th of March, Uber SA is offering South Africans in the major cities (Joburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban) a chance at getting free rides in the all new VW Up! Also, if you're lucky enough, you could be chauffeured around in style by local celebrities from the likes of Sureshnie Rider and Jonathon Boyton-Lee! The car can accommodate 3 passengers with the driver, so be sure to not have more than that many people if wanted to request a ride in this awesome little car. 


How it works?

  • Sign up for Uber by downloading the free application here
  • Enter the promo code: UBERUP to unlock the unique UberUp view.
  • Toggle over the VW icon, and request a ride as per normal. 
  • A VW Up! will arrive at the user's destination within minutes. 

Terms and Conditions:
  • Available only in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.
  • The service is available for request between 13h00-21h00 on weekdays and from 15h00-23h00 on weekends from Monday 2- Sunday 8 March. 
  • Trips can be maximum of 20 minutes in duration or 20km in distance.
  • Users will be limited to two free Uber trips in the Volkswagen Up! during the campaign period.
  • Maximum three passengers in one vehicle. 

For clues on which celebrity will be making a surprise appearance in which city driving the #UberUp, be sure to follow @VolkswagenSA  and the respective Uber city handle for clues. 


For more information, be sure to see the various social media streams. 


Facebook: VolkswagenSA | UberRSA





Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bucket Tech: Nokia Lumia 930


When Nokia told me they were sending the Lumia 930 to me to test, I immediately thought it would be much like all the other Lumia's I've been sent in the past. The things I liked about them are, the build quality, it is second to none, the user interface is simple and easy to use, the range of apps is forever increasing and the Nokia feature apps were brilliant. But with the current market being flooded with smart phones, the stand out favourites were always going to be the Android based makes with the iPhone coming in second thanks to their faithful support, so it was always going to be hard for the Nokia Lumia range to take on these brands as there phones seed foreign and lacked appeal, well that was until the 930 came out.


Now I'm not saying that all the other Lumia's are rubbish, they were excellent phones but relatively speaking they weren't going to catch the eye of any would be cellphone buyer. However, when I received the 930, it was evident that this phone is going to be a game changer. It came smartly packed in a nice slim line box with just the essentials in it. The phones design for me is what struck me the most,  yes it is much thicker than most of its competitors (9.8mm) on the market but for some reason that didn't bother me that much. With the 930 range you get to choose from a few variants of colours for the back cover, the test unit was a bright orange, perfect for me so I can't lose it. Other colours include, bright green, black, white and gold.


Dimensions
The size of the phone is just right, measuring 137mm X 71mm it feels comfortable in the palm of your hand and isn't as bulky as the other phones out there. The thickness helps you be at ease as any thought of the phone bending and cracking in your pocket is eliminated, also Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is pretty tough as I demonstrated to many in horror with the coin test. The phone is fully enclosed like all the other Lumia's,  with a removable slot for the Nano sim. The device comes with 32gig built in memory and 2 gigs of ram, the disappointment has to be the lack of a memory card slot, 32gigs is a lot but as I'll explain later, it isn't enough.



Performance
Windows 8.1 is the OS that runs this beast with a planned upgrade to Windows 10 in the future, it has the preferred Qualcomm, Snapdragon chipset with a Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 CPU. The phones performance is smooth and real time responsive with out delays or freezing noticed during my time even when memory was 90% full. The various apps available on the Windows Store rivals that of iTunes and Google Play, with even more apps that are based on Windows 8 for PC.



Display
With a 5" screen which is roughly 71% to its body ratio, boasting an AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16 million colours, covered with the before mentioned Gorilla Glass 3 it is quite a sight. Easy on the eye and picture realistic. Once again Nokia got it right with their multi touch screen keyboard, there is no better keyboard touchscreen keyboard than this. Even when typing fast and not looking at the screen,  chances of making a mistake are very rare.



Camera
It comes with a 20 megapixel camera as it's primary, capable of taking pictures are maximum resolution of 4992 X 3744 pixels. The lens made by Carl Ziess optics is a step up from the previous devices as it features optical image stabilisation which comes very handy during moving shots and the colours it captures are fantastic! It videos in two times full HD at 2160p@30fps , the video quality is brilliant but recording at such high quality is where we experience memory problems,  a short 5 minute video can take up as much as 700mb! Also the camera saves pictures in two formats, regular and high resolution,  so you will also have two of the same photo on your phone. But I suppose with the phone being built mainly for the US and Europe market, cloud storage of 15 gigs would be the answer to that trouble but sadly for us here in SA, we still have to fork out an arm and a leg for data. The front facing camera is pretty decent at 1.2 megapixels and has that wide angle lens effect which makes for cool selfies!



Features 
Other stand out features of the phone are it's senor,  namely the accelerometer,  gyro, proximity, GPS and compass.  The browser is also capable of browsing in HTML5 and the phone can charge wirelessly provided you have the charging mat. Nokia has a host of features for its phones such as Nokia maps, HERE maps, Here City lens, Nokia Camera and photo editor which have been discussed in previous posts. Up till no, now other manufacturer has come up with rivals to these,  in fact only this week Google announced that it was going to have detailed maps of shopping malls on Google Maps. Nokia have had this for over 2 years now...Welcome to the late show.



Battery
Whilst I did use this phone as a secondary phone,  all my social media accounts were still linked to it so that meant always connected at 4G or WiFi where ever possible and receiving notifications the entire day. I also made good use of the camera whenever I could so with all of this the phone still gave me at most 3 days standby time, so the claimed 11 hours talk time is believable.



Verdict 
Like I said from the start, this phone seems to be the game changer for the Lumia range.  It's more appealing and looks attractive,  the functionality is great and the camera is stunning.  You're not missing out on anything as most of the applications are now available for Windows OS and as mentioned the Nokia featured apps are a step ahead of everyone else. Whilst the other Lumia's were great phones,  this is the one that would make me say "I want that phone!"


Specifications
Processor: Quad-core 2.2GHz Krait 400
Memory: 32gig onboard with 2 gigs of RAM
Screen: 5" HD LCD, 16 million colours, 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. 441 ppi
Camera: Primary- 20 megapixel with optical image stabiliser, lens by Carl Zeiss Optics, Front - 1.2 megapixel with 720p recording
Battery life: Talk time - 17.9 hours, Standby - 16 days

Some pics taken with the camera and a video!











                     

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Choon: Hardwell ft. Harrison - Sally


If you were at Ultra South Africa a few weeks back you would have heard Hardwell playing this new track of his featuring Harrison, if not you probably will hear the radio stations pumping this on out on the airwaves quite regularly as its been play listed into most of the shows. It's something new from Hardwell, bringing a mix of EDM and Rock together, so far, people seem to like it. A Few years back Avicii tried his own hybrid of genre's by fusing Country Music with his Dance music and with that abomination of "music" lost himself many fans, including myself, I hope Hardwell is just experimenting and doesn't see this as a way to get rich quickly, and kill his music into the commercial segment like ol Avicii did. I like this track, its got the right mix of rock and is a nice track to listen to, hence it's featured today. Plus the girl in the video kinda looks like Charne Jade Slee.... or is it just me?

                      

Friday, February 20, 2015

Relive Ultra 2015



It's been almost a week since Ultra South Africa came and knocked us off our feet and into the air in a a frenzy of song and dance. Bigger, better and more louder than 2014, this years event sure did not disappoint. Cape Town kicked off proceedings with an Ultra exclusive event hosted by Uber which saw a select few who have the Uber app and were quick on the button, go on a sunset party cruise with Goldfish, Oliver Heldens and Martin Garrix. Seeing videos and pictures from the cruise made everyone who wasn't there extremely jealous but we had the next two days to party with those legends and thousands of others. 


Cape Town's show saw an increase in numbers since last year and everyone was blown away from the performances but since I and the many others were going for the Joburg leg, we had to wait one more day to experience the greatness that is Ultra South Africa. Gates opened 11am sharp, with scores of people starting to trickle in, many already having attended pre-ultra parties and were psyched to start the celebrations. With 3 stages and endless amounts of talent ranging from local to top listed internal DJ's, it was bound to be an incredible day no matter what form of electronic music you fancied. 


The UMF Radio stage seemed to be place to be for early goers as the area was packed to catch the on stage DJ's but as the hours went by and the numbers came pouring in by the thousands, the place filled up. Whether you were in General, VIP, VVIP or back stage like some of us, the vibe and energy was amazing to experience. On the main stage Rodger Goode, Goldfish, FeU and Mark Stent warmed the crowd up with their mixtures of local electronic, house and tribal music until the first headliner hit the stage. 


Oliver Heldens, the youngster from the Netherlands came onto raptures from the crowd, having never played in SA before, Ultra SA Jhb leg was his second time and the ovation he received was well deserved. Following him saw Canadian dance music duo brothers Chris and Alex Andre, better known as DVBBS (pronounced dubz) come on, the live interaction between them and the crowd was something to behold with many rating them as their favourites from the day. 


As the sun began to set and the air began to cool, the entertainment started to heat up with a repeat from last year taking to the decks. Martin Garrix has been sensational over the past few years in the EDM scene, producing hit after hit and climbing up the DJ Mag list as well as beatport lists, it no wonder why many who have been in the industry for a while now hold him in such high regard. The kid is a talent and he proved again, with another mind blowing set, coupled with pyro's and laser lights. He sent the crowd into a frenzy when he played his latest hit featuring Moti, "Virus". 


With the sun completely gone and the crowd amped, it was time for the number DJ in the world to make his mark on the number 1 dance music festival on the continent. Hardwell who last toured the country back in Decemeber 2012 was back with a bang. With plenty of new work and some crowd favourite oldies, it was exceptional set for the guy who's ranked above them all in the world for two years in a row now. Having seen the best in the business, you would think it would be hard to top that but step in the legend of Trance, the one, the only, Armin van Buuren. 


Fresh from his ASOT700 world tour, Armin just went to prove that no matter what number he's ranked, he is still one of the best in the world. With his uplifting beats, 3D electronic show and his new stage trick where he controls the lights with the movements of his hands, left the crowd spell bound. He played most of his new work and towards the end brought out some classics that have been re-worked, most notably his mashup of Exploration of Space by Cosmic Gate and Andrew Rayel's remix of Insomia by Faithless. It's probably one of the best sets I've heard from Armin, to see him on stage, in his element, doing what he does best to please us, his fans was unreal. 


Feet aching, back breaking from walking around the whole day from the media tent to the various stages, we had to muster up energy for one final act on the mainstage but while Axwell and Ingrosso took time for their stage setup, some of us made our way down tot he Electric Music Stage to catch the opening 30 minutes of Gorgon City, many felt they deserved their own time slot on main stage but can see why the organisers decided to let them close off things on that side of the park, With hits such as "Real", "here for you" and many adoring SA fans, there was quite a crowd to see them play. 


With the stage finally ready and the voice of Ultra Damian Pinto ready to introduce them, it was time for the lass stage act of the night. Axwell and Ingrosso have joined forces again after the break of up Swedish House Mafia, whether they'll go onto the same success as they did when Steve Angello was still part of the group remains to be seen but they are heading in the right direction. Their set, although consisting a lot from their SHM days was phenomenal and for me having missed the SHM tour, sort of made up for it. Axwell, true to his nature grabbed the mic and got the crowd going, it was a great way to close off what has been an amazing 14 hours of music ecstasy. The crowd begged for more after their set seemed to have ended and they responded with probably their greatest SHM hit, "Dont you worry child" , an amazing fireworks display to end off saw the thousands that made their way to Nasrec that day leave with a massive smile on their face knowing that they were part of something special and already at the back of their mind, planning next years visit. 


Big thanks to Electric Music, AmpliconPR, Ultra South Africa and SMG Rocks for making this trip for me possible. See you guys next year for Ultra SA 2016!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Road tripping with SMG Rocks!



The weekend of Ultra had arrived, myself and 3 mates decided that we would make a road trip out of it and drive up for the biggest music festival on the continent. Being the only media representative from KZN I figured we had to do it in style, so I rang up the guys at SMG Rocks Umhlanga to see if they could assist and they came through with flying colours!


On the day of departure I rocked down to their dealership which is situated in the eye catching corner of 21 Lighthouse Drive, Beacon Rock in Umhlanga, it's kind of hard to miss, especially when they have an actual Mini stuck to the wall! It was my second visit to the dealership, my first was rather different as I was invited to the Mini Roadster launch and we visited the construction site of what was to become this awesome, one of a kind showroom in South Africa. I say one of a kind because SMG Rocks is the first exclusive Mini dealership in the whole of South Africa, every other Mini showroom is attached to another car dealer, mainly their sister company BMW. 

When you walk into the place, you immediately realize this isn't your normal car showroom, bright colours, funky lights and cool Mini memorabilia adorn the space with a variety of the Mini models on the showroom floor for display. The place spells one thing and that is FUN! Which fits the description of the car perfectly. At the front reception desk, once can find the original Mini, the car that started it all. It's quite amazing to see how it has evolved from that into what it is now, one can say it "grew up". 

I was greeted by Clairice, the lady that made this all happen, she handed over the keys to my very own Mini for the weekend. Seeing that we were 4 in total, SMG Rocks sponsored us the new 5 door hatch Cooper S. Having already driven the Cooper at the official launch late last year, I was keen to get behind the wheel of the S and see what it had to offer. The car, although small does pack a mighty punch with its 2 litre, twin scroll engine pushing out 141kW and 280Nm of torque, enough to match some hot hatches. The cars design keeps to Mini's philosophy and looks great, even with the additional two doors, the car still looks proportional and is a looker of note. 


After a quick cappuccino from the Vida E in the showroom... (yes, they have their very on Vida Cafe in store, how awesome???) It was time to hit the road. My biggest concern was the size of the boot, yes boys are known for packing light but times have changed and guys trends too, so gone of the days of one t-shirt lasting us the whole weekend. Suffice to say there was more than adequate space in the Mini 5 door's trunk, and with the added storage cabin below, it made things very handy when packing. Once loaded, and with a full tank of fuel, it was time to hit the open road to Johannesburg. 


The first thing you realize when driving a Mini is how easy it is to drive, it's hard to put into words the sense of joy it brings to you while even performing the most mundane task like going to the shop to buy bread and milk. With its low center of gravity, short wheel base, small turning circle, ultra responsive steering, coupled with that beast of the engine under the hood, it really does feel you're driving a go-kart. Tackling the twisty high speed bends of Inchanga and Cato Ridge was loads of fun but once on the road to Pietermaritzberg we had to behave since those average speed camera's would be keeping an eye on us all the way to Johannesburg. 

It wasn't a major issue though as I got to test out the cruise control feature, which is dead simple to use. The controls are located conveniently on the steering wheel, simply activate it, set you're speed, take your foot off the pedal and enjoy the ride. Someone in front of you slows down? No need to tap the break, just decrease the speed using the controls again, you can  decrease or increase speeds intricately by a 1kph or click down harder for 10kph variants. This made the drive to Harrismith a breeze as it is hard on your foot to keep the vehicle speed at 80 while navigating your way through Van Reenen's Pass, especially when you have such a punchy engine under the hood. 


Having driven many previous generation Mini's, because of the size and the amount you push the car, it did tend to be on the thirsty side, surprisingly at the half way point on the journey, the only thing that needed filling up was our belly's! The Cooper S range still showed that we could do 291km's with only 280km needed to go, one tank would suffice. The average fuel consumption was sitting on 6.7l per 100km which is damn impressive for a 2 liter engine and a car that's packing weight with a full boot and 4 adults.  

On the road again and now deep in the Free State, where the only radio station one can pick up is OFM, it was time to make use of the bluetooth audio streaming function of the Mini. Simply sync your phones bluetooth with the car and not only make hands free calls from your phone but also enjoy your music being played on the 6 speaker sound system. Having compiled a special "Ultra 2015 playlist", it was the perfect way to get amped for the even the next day. 

As fate would have it, we'd reach the City of Gold, right in peak time traffic, this made me very grateful to have an automatic transmission. Plus with the scorching temperature, the dual climate control aircon made things comfortable for all of us in the car. Getting around the streets of Jozi with the Mini was a blast and we also got a lot of heads turning and the attention of other Mini drivers seeing that the 5 door is still new to our roads. It certainly made an impression in the Media and Staff parking lot at Ultra, with some of the organisers wanting to take a closer look at the car whenever I went back to get stuff out of it during the event. 


After partying the night away at Ultra for almost 12 hours, with very sore legs and lack of sleep it was time to head back to Durban. The trip again was made so much better with the Mini, the car just kept on surprising us. Many asked if it was comfortable for the four us, and we always got bemused looks when we told them, the car is small but its spacious! None of us were cramped or bothered and the fuel consumption got better on the drive down as most of it was downhill driving.

It was a sad goodbye when I had to return her to the dealership on the Monday morning but having spent the whole weekend with it and doing just over a 1000km's, it was an awesome experience for us all. The people down at SMG made the trip all that more special with their excellent service, it's no wonder they picked up top honors at this years Mini awards, with them winning top volume sales in South Africa for the Mini Countryman, Paceman, Cooper and Cooper S hatch. Kirsten Hickey, a sales agent at the dealership also received 3rd runner up for sales agent of the year and Ian Greig received runner up for manager of the year.  Every Mini owner I know only speaks in high regard of them and it's no wonder they getting the credit they deserve. So next time you're in the market for a new car, pop by to SMG Rocks and give the one of the many Mini's a test drive, I'm sure you'll be in for a surprise.


Location: 21 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks, Beacon Rock Building
Facebook: SMG Rocks
Twitter: @SMG_Rocks
Instagram: smg_rocks

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Choon: Paul Oakenfold ft. Tiff Lacey - Hypnotized (Markus Schulz Remix)


As everyone in South Africa is suffering from post Ultra depression this Monday morning, we decided to keep the good tunes going even though we're all in a major slump mode. Paul Okaenfold, the legendary English Trance DJ has had a few of his songs remixed of late, we featured one of them not too long ago on Monday Choon segment. This week see's another one of these great songs being remixed, this time it receives remix treatment from Markus Schulz and boy is it a good one! Enjoy.

                      


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bucket Babe: Ty Mathias

While the country is still recovering from the shock of last nights circus at the Presidents State of The Nation address, let us be grateful for other things concerning our beautiful country. For instance, this weeks featured model, born in Durban, raised in Johannesburg but later on moved to France but now she's back and back with a bang! This beautiful lass can now be seen around the streets of Cape Town, her blonde locks, striking features and legs that seem to go on for days are an instant attraction. She and I even share the same likes of cheese and popcorn toppings but less from me and more from her, here is...

Ty Mathias




Bio
Born in Durban, lived in Johannesburg till I was 9 then moved to South of France where I grew up. I moved to Cape Town in October and absolutely loving it!!! I started modeling in 2010 when I was a finalist in a swimsuit model search but then I moved to Mauritius and stopped working until now. I also have a cashmere company called Gia Bardot that I run with my amazing mother :) 
Links
Twitter: @tydettmer
Instagram: tytycpt


Q&A

1. Hot girls and hot cars go hand in hand, what ride would you like to see yourself in?
  • I am a shocking human and still don't have my drivers license... So I am going to have to say any ride with a driver! (Just got my learners so beware drivers of Cape Town )
2. What sandwich are you most likely to make for me? and will it be toasted or plain?
  • Toasted. Always go for the crunch. And cheese, lots of cheddar cheese. Maybe some finely sliced tomato. I like it simple.
3. Everyone loves popcorn (well I think they do) what is your topping/ sprinkle of choice?
  • Butter, butter and more butter!
4. Dream cover shoot?
  • W Magazine or Sports Illustrated.
5. What type of music gets your booty shaking?
  • Rock, hip-hop, house, pop... To be fair it really doesn't take much to get my booty shaking.
6. If given a choice, full time model or full time singer, what would you choose?
  • Full time executive model.
7. Anyone holding that hand yet? or is it available?
  • Got a tiny 2 year old hand to hold :)
8. Growing up you must have had someone you aspired to be, so who is your role model?
  • Princess She-Ra, the most powerful woman in the world.
9. Obviously being a female you would love fashion. Favourite label/ designer?
  • Zadig and Voltaire because their clothes are kick ass and I love wearing their men's collection too.
10. Which city is your dream party destination?
  • That is a tough one but if its a city city, I'll go with New York!