Monday, October 15, 2018

Monday Choon: Chocolate Puma & Firebeatz - Blackout


Dutch heavy weight DJ and Dance Music producers Chocolate Puma and Firebeatz have combined to bring us a cracking track of note! The track is being released on Tiesto's Musical Freedom record label is already available on the various streaming applications, it's already proving to be quite popular and why not? It's been featured on various podcasts since it's release and is sure to blow up this season. Titled Blackout, it has a brilliant synergy of where both groups come from, with that high bass line but for me the background vocals make it with the tempo build up as the track progresses. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ultra Music Festival 2018 - Aftermovie


If there's one aftermovie I look forward to every year, it's definitely Ultra Music Festival's in Miami. The production and great editing by Final Kid Productions is next level, they encapsulate what the festival is all about and get you so engrossed that you feel like you were there and makes you want to buy tickets for next years festival. Essentially that is it's purpose as Ultra always launch the Aftermovie when tickets go on sale for the following years festival. With Ultra Music Festival 2019 venue being in jeopardy with the city siding with residents around the Bayfront Park area to ban the festival from taking place there next year, it is still unclear if a resolution will come about or Ultra will choose another location, but for now, lets just enjoy another great aftermovie.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Bucket Seat: BMW 630d GT


As I sit to pen, well type this review, I can only imagine how much controversy it will cause. Why do you ask? because of the car in question, the new BMW 6 Series GT. You see, not very long ago BMW had probably one of the best cars on the market, the 6 Series Gran Coupe. It was everything I envisaged in a car, sporty nature, good looks, the practicality of 4 doors and while it was a 4 seater only, it gave the impression of a sports limousine. I had the opportunity to drive the 640d around Johannesburg for a few days and my word, that car blew me away and to this day I haven't driven another car that gave me the experience as it did. Now there's a lust for this 6 Series badge than adorned the BMW, it had a good reputation as a luxury sports alternative for the high flying individual so when the German automaker decided to take that badge and put it on a GT model, it didn't bode well for many, including me.


You see, the GT line from BMW was never visually appealing like some of their other models, some even dubbed the first 5 Series GT as the Quasimodo of their line-up. It even looked like it had a hunched back but while I mocked it, when I got the chance to experience the 5 Series GT, I totally understood what its purpose was. Now you must be wondering why I was upset with the 6 being branded as a GT? Well for me the 6 Series always was a sports coupe, not a Grand Tourer and it took away some of that nostalgia from it, and going forward we might not see it return with the re-introduction of the 8 Series, but none the less I had the opportunity to spend a few days with the 6 Series GT in Cape Town, a great setting for such a car if I might add, and true to my expectations of the GT, it was delightful in every way as the 5 was and had so much more to offer.


DESIGN

While the badge might say 6, this is realistically the new 5 Series GT, since the design is based very much so on the current 5 Series and there is nothing wrong with that at all. It's very familiar from the front and side but move over to the back and you have this swooping roof that ends in a fastback design rear end which I have to admit is quite nice to look at. What makes the rear even more sexy is the air brake rear spoiler which deploys at high speeds or by a push of a button, if you want to look cool while driving around town. It also tilts a bit so you can pretend to be an F1 driver, adjusting some wing. There's not much I can say about the front that I haven't said about the 5, the active grille also is standard on the GT, the car does look overall bigger than the 5 which is hard to believe but when you get inside, you understand why there is some bulk.  


PERFORMANCE

Being a big fan of BMW's 2 litre diesel engine, having its big brother in this car was only going to make things better. The 630d GT comes powered with BMW's 3 litre, TwinPower Turbo engine. It is monstrous, delivering 195kW and 620Nm of torque, in sport mode and standing start, when you floor it, you might have to go back to get your face. That's how immense the torque is in this car, but that's not what the GT is all about. While the model  range only includes two engine variants, this diesel and the 640i which is a 3 litre TwinPower Turbo petrol engine, a car of this stature deserves a big engine to power it. It probably needs the power to carry it around as it is not small. Driving wise, this car is a beaut, the suspension is unlike any other Beemer I've driven, it all just feels more softer and lighter. Almost like you're gliding along on every route you take, the balance on the car is quite something as well. You'd expect to get a lot of roll with a car this size but there is little to none, this was testing properly along Champman's Peak drive....more than once. 


COMFORT

With the 5 Series GT, it was all about comfort and I'm glad to say that BMW have kept that up with standard. The seats are very similar to the standard 5 series but with extra padding and a more comfy head rest with bendable sides that contour your head. Not quite sure what the function of that thing is but its pretty sweet. The options available to the buyer in terms of textures and trims are endless, I particularly loved the Cognac Dakota leather with diamond stitching that came in the model I had. Everything is virtually the same as the 5 series in terms of design but there are a few more toys available for you to choose from. The car came with the air ionizer built into the air-conditioning which is actually quite a smart idea, it detects when there is an odor in the car, whether it is from outside or in and there after puts a scent into the air that is pumped into the cabin. Moving into the back, it's the place where you'd want to be. Almost sofa like seats with the same pattern stitching, and a host of toys to keep the occupants busy. 


EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Not a normal feature I have when doing reviews but this car is worthy of it, plus it has its own section in the brochure so I figured, why not? I've already spoke about the air ionizer and the active rear spoiler/ air brake but there is so much more! The adaptive LED headlights are more improved and it's seriously magic witnessing them in action, bending around corners, brightening dark parts of the road, dimming or moving the light away from oncoming cars, it's spell binding! The LED fog lights are pretty cool too, which increase short range visibility. The panoramic glass sunroof might sound like a gimmick for many but the introduction of natural light into the cabin really sets the ambiance for a great drive and when opened, it brings in a great deal of fresh air. Comfort access allows you to access the car by hand or foot with the key being on you, it's strength is really opening the boot by waving your foot under the car when all your hands are full. The rear passenger is the one who will be properly entertained with 2 large screens which have a host of features, one which I found really cool was screen mirror with your phone. So you can stream almost anything from your phone onto the screen. 


VERDICT

While opinions may be out on BMW's GT, many will be pleased to hear that this will be the only GT model they would make as they have just announced the discontinuation of the 3 Series GT. It's a car that many won't understand and those who will, will enjoy very much. I still feel a bit aggrieved that BMW are bastardizing the 6 Series name but I honestly cannot fault this car, sure the price tag will make you choke on your drink but are really getting what you paid for in this car. Let people on the outside laugh at your odd looking BMW, but you can just turn up the volume on your Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround system by waving your arms with gesture control while the air ionizer musks the smell of their jealously. If you want a cruiser, this is the car you must get and while M Sport might be the popular package of choice for most BMW drivers, I suggest opting for the luxury line in this, it just takes that level of sophistication up a notch. 


SPECIFICATIONS

 Engine
3L TwinPowerTurbo
 Gear Box
8 Speed Automatic Steptronic
 Power
195kW
 Torque
620Nm
 Top Speed
250Kph
 Economy
5.6 L/100km
 Price
R1 159 300*
*Excludes optional extras



Sunday, October 7, 2018

Monday Choon: Markus Schulz feat. Nikki Flores - We Are The Light


German DJ Markus Schulz is no stranger to our segment, while his hard style trance music is not everyone's cup of tea he has certainly earned himself legendary status in the EDM world and credit to him, most of his recent work involves collaborations that make his music a more general appeal but while still sticking to his roots. I first watched Markus at the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange project in Cape Town almost a decade ago and fell in love with is work, his weekly show, Global DJ Broadcast has an ever growing fan base worldwide. He's one of the DJ's I'd like to see tour SA again soon maybe with Ultra Music Festival, so lets hold thumbs something can happen. Today we feature his latest work with Nikki Flores, titled We Are The Light. Another example of his colabs which he's been doing and hopefully attracts more to his work.



Friday, October 5, 2018

Monster Jam SA 2019


Monster Jam is coming to South Africa in 2019! Now many of you must be wondering what exactly is Monster Jam as I've been asking myself the very same question but after a brief read-up on what it exactly is, next year couldn't come soon enough! Monster Jam is an American based series where Monster Trucks compete in races and free style competitions, the great thing about Monster Jam is  that the competitors, all of which are world-class drivers vary, from old to young, male and female, but all are considered equal on the track. The real stars of the show are the Monster trucks that each driver pilots and South Africa is lucky to be seeing some of the best that there is to offer including  Monster Jam World Finals champion Grave Digger and Max D. 


These machines will have you in awe, measuring four-meters tall, weighing almost five tons with over 1,500bhp powering them to perform some insane stunts. Each truck is capable of reaching speeds up to 110kph and can jump as far as 43 meters in length! Monster Jam has been one of the biggest and most successful touring family shows in the US for decades and has provided hours of quality entertainment for families and now they're coming to spread to this our country with three shows taking place in the three major cities. 


Kicking off things in Durban, at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium on April 20th 2019, followed by Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, 27th April and concluding their South African tour at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday 4 of May 2019. Each city will have one only one show, starting at 6pm, tickets are currently on sale via Computicket who are the official Monster Jam ticketing agent. 


Monster Jam tour to South Africa is brought to you by American-based Feld Entertainment, leading local promoter, Showtime Management, in association with SuperSport and regional radio media partners, East Coast Radio, Kfm 94.5 and JacarandaFM. SuperSport have been airing introductory episodes entitled "Inside Monster Jam" which are being screen daily at 7pm and various times between 17h45 and 20h30 until October 8th, with repeats daily on their bouquet. 


Tickets for this larger than life Monster party range from R150, to R600 each, there is also an exclusive Pit Party which starts at 1pm, and takes place before the show, for an additional R150 you can par-take in this exclusive event where fans will have the opportunity to hang out with the drivers and their machines, take pictures, get signed autographs and get full access of the behind the scenes before the main event. Exclusive Premium lounge tickets are R800 pp and include a entry to the Pit Party. 


Monster Jam is a growing global phenomenon, and events have entertained more than 4 million fans a year with more than 350 performances in 150 cities on five continents. Their tour to South Africa will be their first in the Southern Hemisphere an as this country joins the likes of Saudi Arabia, Buenos Aries, Lyon, Beijing, Singapore and Brazil to host this event. Tony Feldman of Showtime management had this to say, "We are revved up and ready to go with three huge shows in South Africa. This is as big as it gets, and we are confident that crowds will not be disappointed." 

For more information on Monster Jam, log onto www.monsterjam.com or follow them via their social channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Bucket Seat: 2019 BMW 3 Series


Yesterday BMW AG lifted the covers on its all new 3 Series, with over 40 years of 3 Series this has proven to be the companies best selling model and hence the massive interest shown for it at the Paris Motor Show after its unveiling. The new 3 which will be rolled out from next year see's its design follow suit to that of its bigger brother, the 5 Series, with bolder accents, more edges and sleek finishes. There were some comments being thrown about online about how it borrows characteristics from other sedans in its segment, but apart from them all sharing 4 doors, I cannot see it myself. The design itself is great, it epitomizes everything there is about the 3 Series in both form and functionality while still having that mature look to it. 


When one thinks about the 3, you get reminded about its sporting heritage, and that comes out in this new design with the M Sport kit offering the end user a more aggressive look and if that isn't enough, BMW have also released a range of M Performance parts for the new G20 range. The thing about the 3 Series is its flexibility in design to morph into the type of car you want it to be. If sports look isn't your style you can opt for a luxurious option giving the car a more sophisticated and elegant looks. Lets look at some key design changes made to the 3 Series, first up is the new hexagonal twin LED headlights, which follow the same design pattern from the 5 Series but with a more edgy finish, these are also available in laser lights as an optional extra. The fused twin kidney grilles is an important new aspect to the BMW design language as it moves away from the split grille we've been used to in the past. Also the grilles are more large and prominent giving it that distinguished look. 


BMW also chose to redesign the Hofmeister kink which is synonymous in all of their cars, getting it up to speed with a modern twist. moving to the back where most of the controversy is sparking, is the new slim, L shape, 3 dimensional rear lights. Many liken this design to other manufacturers and while slight similarities are there, one cannot ignore this is not the first time we seeing this type of design from BMW as it's been showcased on the new Z4, the new 8 Series as well as the new X4,  so why now all of a sudden its kicking up a fuss on the internet is beyond me. 


Moving onto the interior, BMW stick to their minimalistic design but add some nice touches, they've adopted the new instrument cluster design seen on the 8 Series which has a large surface screen that displays all vital info and can also project the navigation map while driving. As always, the interior is finished off in high quality materials with precise workmanship, and the cockpit is very driver orientated. Other key features include the glass sunroof being bigger and the fancy new gear selector. With regards to technology advancements in the new 3, we're not exactly sure whether we will get all the cool new tech that's displayed but there are some noteworthy ones like the laser light option we spoke of earlier, the BMW live cockpit instrument cluster, a revised heads up projection but the stand out one is the new AI interface with BMW which essentially brings your car to life. Speak commands to it and it will do as you say or find out information for you if requested. 


There were 7 engine variants displayed at the Paris Motor Show but I'm sure we won't be getting them all, range topping is the 340i xDrive which will undoubtedly be a popular one. Still not sure on pricing for the new 3 Series and we will have to wait till March 2019 to get a better indication, since that is when the vehicle is marked to be launched locally.  















Monday, October 1, 2018

Monday Choon: Arty - Tim


Since the passing of Avicii in April this year, there have been many tributes to the former Swedish producer and DJ but none more touching than from Russian DJ, Arty. Like many, Avicii inspired Art in his work as a DJ and instead of penning a few words to remember him by, Arty made a song in dedication of Tim. "It was more than losing just the really good person, it was losing probably the biggest music talent that's been around." Arty told Billboard. "It was really hard to talk about it, to get the words out and think straight. I thought it would be easier for me to speak with the music". The track, a vibrant progressive house song inspired by the moments and melodies of Avicii that he shared with the world. It was also the song used to end off the Ultra Miami after movie. A great track by a great DJ, for one that we will remember forever. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Corona Sunsets Festival Guide - Durban 2018


With Durban's first Corona Sunsets Festival taking place tomorrow, we thought we'd bring you a quick guide on what to expect at the event, the do's and don'ts, the line-up, and some other FAQ's that could be bugging the minds of many whom purchased tickets for tomorrow. So first up, how do you get there? Well parking is limited and if you're planning on having a few Corona's while you're there, driving is a no no, hence the organisers have arranged shuttles with Zeelo, with pick up and drop off points in Umhlanga and Durban North, for more information on this, check the ticketing website to book your shuttle now.


Next up, the do's and don't and what to bring and what not to bring. The last thing we want is for you to bring a whole bunch of stuff that won't be allowed, so read up! Also there's a list of what you can bring with, so if you're not sure about something, you can check the list to see if its A-okay. 



At the festival, the organisers have tried to make things as easy as possible for you, so for payments they're using cashless transactions via your wrist band thanks to Howler. You will be able to load credit onto your bands, then whether you're buying drinks at one of the many bars, or some of the great food on offer at the food village, simply scan your band and you're good to go!


With a host of artists ready to perform, be sure not to miss your favourite by saving this set list with all the time slots of the various Dj's. That way you won't be standing around have a snack while your favourite DJ is doing their thing.


Lastly, we got a site map of the festival grounds, so you know exactly where everything is, another handy thing to save to your phone so you can navigate around on the day. Can't find your mates? Whip out the map, ask them where they are and go find them! Can't find the toilets? They're on the map too!


That is all you should need to know about tomorrows Corona Sunsets Festival taking place at the Shongweni Polo Club. If you are heading out there, be safe, be responsible and most importantly, have a blast! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Bucket Seat: BMW X4 - First Impressions


There's a comforting feeling when you get invited to a day launch in your home town. I'm not quite sure what it is about local launches that have me so relaxed, it could be that the roads we're about to travel on are familiar to me, that I know where to push the cars limits and where to be-careful, or it could be the fact that I don't have to travel on the dreaded "red eye" flight to the launch destination. Whatever it was, I was at ease last Friday when I was invited, along with a host of other motoring journalists to sample BMW's all new X4.


Now for many, the X4 would be an odd car, and I can see where they might be coming from. It's based on the X3 which is a family SUV but made in a sports coupe design, which see's the roof slanted and given a sport back rear end. With the ever growing trend of the market demanding for more crossover options, manufacturers can only head the call of the buyer I suppose and with that you have to salute BMW in it's efforts as global trendsetters, if I may call them that, for developing this once unique but very appealing segment of the "SAC" (Sport Activity Coupe). We've seen many others follow the trend of the BMW X4 since it's introduction to the market in 2014 which sold approximately 200,000 units worldwide, and while BMW may welcome competition, they have to stay ahead of the game and that is exactly what I came to find out during this launch.


The setting for the morning, Durban's iconic Oyster Box, while sipping my cappuccino and enjoying my savoury croissant, watching the waves break on the shoreline, I was wondering if my day would be as predictable as the tide that morning but rest assured it was anything but. See, having the launch in my back yard gave me an advantage over the journo's from outside Durban. While they were thinking about all the sleep they missed out on, to get to the airport on time for their flight, I got in a bit early to get a get a jump on what models were present for the launch. Being a very sporty orientated vehicle, the X4 is being launch in just 3 engine variants for now. A 2 litre petrol, 2 litre diesel and the range topping M40i (3 litre Twin-Power Turbo) engine of which there were two present. Obviously I threw my stuff in the back of one of the M40i's and took the keys before anyone could see, which made me feel a bit smug. Well in my defense, the chances of seeing the M40i in the Durban press fleet next year are slim to none so I had to get a sample of it at the launch.


After a brief presentation on the X4, highlighting the significant changes and differences to the new models, as well as giving us some basic statistics on the market, it was time to hit the road. Don't worry, the presentation wasn't boring but I'll fill you in on the important bits as we go along. Now for those who have never been on a launch, you normally pair up with another journalist and your journey to your lunch time stop is split in half. I opted to drive the latter half seeing that it had a more challenging route on what I thought would be quieter roads to navigate this behemoth. My driving experience started in Eston, where I was greeted with wide open fields making it's way into the hills and forests of the  KZN Midlands. The peace and tranquility which is synonymous with the area was harshly disturbed by the violent gurgling and crackling of the twin exhausts from the mighty X4 M40i. The engine is quite raucous as well, but in a good way, it makes all the right sounds that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand when you put it in Sport mode.


There's no other word to describe the X4 M40i other than a beast, and while I drove the X3 with the very same engine, the X4's lower body, wider rear and longer rear axel give it so much more life. It literally eats up the tar in front of it and with its solid stance, it attacks corners with force and almost feels like it bends the road to suit its path. With BMW's xDrive system, the car picks up which wheels are losing traction when gripping and alternates power to the ones that need it, helping you propel through the twists and bends. That coupled with the reverberating noise from the exhaust just makes you want to keep on going, even if the roars make the wildlife in the area disperse in fear. I was actually quite sad when my route ended up going through the bustling metropolis of Pietermaritzburg which meant I had to tone things done in the M40i but it also gave the car a chance to relax as we navigated the lunch time traffic in EcoPro mode. 


One would say the car has a Jekyll and Hyde complex, but we're in 2018, so let me bring the reference up to speed and say it has a Banner and Hulk complex. In the traffic, while in EcoPro mode, the car was calm and collected but you just know it doesn't take much to let the beast out. The journey to the lunch stop involved some dirt road driving. Now with a car as such, 3 litre, twin power turbo, sitting on 21" rims, not the ideal environment you would think? But that's where you'd be wrong, to quote another Journalist whom attended the launch earlier in the week, "I've never gone this fast on dirt!". Yup, the X4 M40i made minced meat of that gravel track, it unleashed the inner rally driver in me, all those hours spent playing Colin McRae on the PC as a child finally came into fruition as I left a trail of dust behind me while racing to the Karkloof Safari Lodge, to satisfy my appetite that was built up while driving this mighty car.


While sitting at lunch, contemplating whether I should skip dessert and rush out on the first shuttle to secure the M40i on the route back, I figured, if it brought me so much joy, imagine what it would do for the next person. So I guess you could say dessert won that one, but it gave me the opportunity to try out another engine variant and one I believe will be quite important to the X4 line up, the 20d. There's no secret that this engine is one of my favourites from the BMW Group, it offers the best of both worlds while making your trips the filling station less frequent. The drive back was quite the opposite with the diesel, not that it wasn't as fun, for obvious reasons it was much more tame but at the same time still quite enjoyable. It gave me time to appreciate what the car offered on the whole. BMW are becoming more of the giving type now, by throwing in a few more freebies in the X4. Like Business SatNav, BMW Connected drive which can be controlled by an app via your mobile device. This allows you to check on critical information on the car, like fuel levels, tyre pressure levels, oil levels, etc and also help you book your car in should there be a problem or a service is required. There's also a few cool things you can do with the app, like pre-set your air-conditioning, so the car is nice and cool when you jump in. 


Coming from a person who was not the biggest fan of the original X4, I got to say that there isn't much not to like in the new one. While it may be based on the new X3, there is some major variances in the mechanics of the two, so in essence, the X4 isn't just an X3 with a sexier bum. Yes, BMW have done a stunning job on that rear end, it flows so well and with that rear wing that sits above the windshield, just adds that much character to the overall package. A good thing to note is that this new design of the rear is something we will become used to with the upcoming Z4 sporting a similar design and from the spy shots of the new 3 Series which is due to show its face soon, it too will have its rear lights in a similar style to that of the X4. It this is an indication of what we can expect from the next line of BMW X models, the future for this line is very bright and very eXciting. 



 X4 xDrive 20i
 X4 xDrive 20d
 X4 M40i 
 135kW
 140kW
 265kW
 290Nm
 400Nm
 500Nm
 R843 000*
  R843 000*
R1 132 800*

 *Base model prices. 

BMW will have the M40d available to purchase from the first quarter of 2019.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday Choon: Robin Schulz & Piso 21 - Oh Child


With Durban's inaugural Corona SunSets Festival taking place this Saturday, we thought we'd kick off the week with a song from the International headliner for this weekend, Robin Schulz. His latest track has been the centre of most of the advertising campaigns for this weekends Festival and is one that is sure to get the crowd going when the sun goes down. Featuring Piso 21,here is Robin Schulz with 'Oh Child'.