Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ultra South Africa 2020 - Phase 2 Line Up


Last week saw the release of the second phase artist line-up for Ultra 2020. Additions to the already star studded list include Chilean-Swiss DJ Luciano who will be touring the country for the first time. His music is strongly influenced by Latin American Music and his sets in Ibiza are world renowned. Another International headliner announced was the Dutch DJ duo of Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano who are legends of Ultra Miami. Their music style is progressive and their stage presence is second to none, they will also be making their Ultra SA debut and no doubt will be a strong favourite with the crowds as well. Last but certainly not least is the introduction of Camelphat as another of the support act, the British duo need no introduction to South African audiences as their hit single featuring Elderbrook "Cola" was played in full force around the country during its release. Since then the pair have made a number of hits as well as remixed some great tracks along the way, definitely one not to be missed come Feb next year. Tickets are on sale from the WEBSITE so get yours now before its too late! Phase 3 artist line-up to drop soon so keep an eye out! 



Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday Choon: MK, Sonny Fodera - One Night ft. Raphaella


I've been blogging about electronic and house music for about 10 years now and I'm actually embarrassed that I only found out about today's featured artist only last week. But that's the thing, the genre's have grown so vast that sometimes it will take you that long to discover artists who produce great music that just resonates with you. It doesn't matter if they not mainstream popular who get their songs played all day on the radio. Then again, Marc Kinchen isn't a small time artist, he's been plying his trade for the past 10 years and has grown a massive following. I discovered his music through a friend and in particular today's featured track which made me go digging. I think I watched his set at this years Creamfields Festival about 20 times now, that's not an exaggeration by the way, it was that good! One Night was released last week and featured Sonny Fodera and Raphaella. It's a proper banger and could be one for the summer, so turn it up and enjoy. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Bucket Babe: Abigail Ackerman

.The year is winding down and Christmas is around the corner but here on the blog, Christmas has come early as we have another installment of our famed segment, the Bucket Babe! Today's model hails from the smoke smoke, aka Johannesburg. She's a student, looking to become a social worker as she is passionate on helping others, animals also have a close place to her heart. She claims she's not a great cook but at least she has great taste in cars. She's a stunner of note so that is enough from us, here is...

Abigail Ackerman



BIO

Hello, my name is Abigail Ackerman, I am 22 years old and I am studying social work because I love the thought of being able to help as many people as possible. With this I would like to eventually open up a rehab for adolescents with substance abuse problems and mental illness. I love dancing and through my life I've done ballet, modern and hip hop, I also really love drama and art. I am vegetarian because of my love for animals and I have grown up being taught nothing but compassion and love for animals and people. During my life I have received rewards for community service, for which I enjoy volunteering at old age homes and animal shelters, as well as  for public speaking. I also am a bit of a party animal and will never turn down a festival or a night out. 




LINKS

Abby Ackerman

Q&A

1. Hot girls and hot cars go hand in hand, what ride would you like to  see yourself in?
  • G63 AMG is my absolute dream car, Matt silver with red interior, got it all planned out!
2. What sandwich are you most likely to make for me? and will it be toasted or plain?
  • I can't cook so, cheese and tomato okay? 
3. Everyone loves popcorn (well I think they do) what is your topping/ sprinkle of choice?
  • I usually put every spice on my popcorn at the movies, but that's probably something I shouldn't tell people.
4. Dream cover shoot?
  • The day I'm on the cover of anything will be a dream come true. But Vogue is definitely the end goal... crossing fingers!
5. If given a choice, full time model or full time executive, what would you choose?
  • Full time model for sure.  
6. Growing up you must have had someone you aspired to be, so who is your role model?
  • I find this question so difficult, I don't think that I have one role model but I have so many amazing people in my life who I look up to and even a lot of celebrities. Usually the people I admire are compassionate always willing to do and learn new things and have respect for everyone regardless of who they are - that's what I value in a person.
7. Anyone holding that hand yet? or is it available?
  • No one is holding it, but its' not available either, haha!
8. Obviously being a female you would love fashion. Favourite label/ designer?
  • Moschino has always been one of my favourite labels - I love how vibrant and eccentric it is. 
9. What type of music gets your booty shaking?
  • Any music gets my booty shaking but I think I'd have to say that hip hop and EDM are at the top of my playlist.
10. Which city is your dream party destination?
  • Oh wow, I have so many! Ibiza, Los and Tomorrowland in Belgium... just to name a few.



















Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Bucket Seat: New Lexus RX hits SA


The latest revision of Lexus RX has been launched this week in South Africa and it brings with it a much needed update to the range. The RX was the first SUV that the luxury Japanese manufacturer launched in the country and while sales were not through the roof, they were consistent. The people who purchased the RX knew exactly what they were getting in terms of luxury and refinement. Also the Lexus RX was the first SUV offered in a Hybrid option in the form of the RX450h, so there's a lot to the RX that many don't know and hence it still remains a popular model in the Lexus line-up. 


The new RX receives striking new looks courtesy of the new design language from Lexus, highlights include the spindle grille, sharp edgy front headlamps. Lexus aren't afraid to flaunt lines with their cars and that is none the different with the RX , the side character lines sweeps down from the floating roof to the rear, to slim the overall rear expression, creating a coupe-like silhouette for the car. There's lots of bold enhancements to the body work which you can stand and appreciate all day but eventually you have to get inside to enjoy what the car is all about. 


Interior see's the RX get all the familiar gadgets we've become accustomed to with Lexus of recent, which means that tricky touch pad is back again. In all fairness it has gotten better to use in the later models than when it was first introduced, maybe that's just me getting more used to it. Lexus claim that the cabin in the RX is more "Human-Friendly", the dash features a huge 12.3" central display which is a touch screen, so the screen has been brought more forward and sits prominently on the dash unlike the older models. The infotainment has mobile phone connectivity with not just Bluetooth and USB but also Apple Car Play and Android Auto. With regards to the luxury refinement of the cabin, you just have to experience it yourself, Lexus doesn't cut corners when it comes to textures and trims and the same can be expected for the RX. 


The Lexus RX petrol engine see's it retain the monumental 3.5-litre V6 engine, linked to a quick-shifting eight speed automatic transmission. This delivers 221kW and 370Nm for the RX350, 216kW and 358Nm for the RX350 L, both of these models offer dynamic performance at every curve. For greater control and innovative dual VVTi system offers precise engine performance as it reduces emissions and enhances fuel efficiency.  In the RX450h, it still retains the 3.5-litre V6 paired with powerful electric motors and electronically control CVT for a combined output of 230kW, this equates to a 0-100km sprint time of just 7.7 seconds and ultra-low emissions. 


Overall, Lexus have another remarkable RX model that is hitting our roads, premium luxury SUV like you've never experienced. While performance figures won't flutter the petrol heads, how it works in a total system is brilliant. Pick for me has to be the Hybrid, Lexus have been playing in this segment the longest and for them to still have a system that doens't require you to plug in and charge, but still deliver such great results is remarkable. 


Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Choon: Alok & Hugel - I Don't Wanna Talk (feat. Amber Van Day)


Brazilian DJ and producer ALOK doesn't need any introduction on the blog, his hit single "Hear Me Now" has been well received in the electronic dance music world and got his name prominent on the scene. In 2019 he was ranked 11th in the DJ Mag listing and he's forever experimenting with his music and style to keep his work clean and fresh. Today's track see's him team up with Spanish DJ Hugel for their track "I don't wanna talk". The song has a mixture of melodies which see's each artist drop a bit of their own signature style to it. Amber van Day adds the vocals to it, and ensures the song ties up well. It's a great track and slightly different to what we're used to featuring, hope you like it!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Bucket Seat: Toyota Hilux GR-Sport


In a bakkie obsessed nation, it was only a matter of time before manufacturers decided to take advantage of this segment by introducing enhanced performance variants to the market. While it still may be relatively new to South Africa, across the globe, especially in the US markets, this has been a much loved segment for over a decade now. Step in Toyota, fresh off celebrating their victory at this years Dakar with South African built Hilux models, it made sense for them to introduce their sporty variant of the Hilux to the country. The Hilux Gazoo Racing Sport first broke cover a few months ago, with Toyota SA later confirming that a limited number of models will be heading to our shores. While the engine still remained the same, there were mechanical upgrades done to the GR-Sport in the form up suspension upgrades, revised dampers and a change in wheels to make this a proper off-road menacing machine. 


DESIGN

While the overall design of the Hilux GR-Sport is pretty much the same as any other Hilux Double Cab, there are subtle changes to make you aware of this particular model. Those with a keen eye will notice that the Toyota sign on the front grille is spelled out and not just the emblem as on the other models, the bonnet on the GR-Sport is black, there are plenty of GR badges around the car as well as a bigger aluminium side step. The GR Sport also has graphic stickers on the side extending from the front door all way to the bin at the back. The wheels are different to other models as well, with it have blacked out 17" six spoke alloy wheels on all-terrain tyres which have a thicker profile, The car seems to be raised a bit more than normal, could be due to the revised front suspension, giving it that more sportier look. The wheel arches are blacked out and there are hints of carbon on the grille. Moving onto the inside, very much like a normal Hilux but colours and trims that make this one stand out a bit more. The dash made up of a combination of soft and hard touch leathers as well as high gloss finishes in black and red. There's red stitching to the seats and since this being a limited number production unit, a plate with the model number sits just below the gear selector. 


PERFORMANCE

While nothing much has changed under the hood, doesn't mean its not worth mentioning, the GR Sport comes with Toyota's bulletproof 2.8 GD-6 turbo diesel engine which features on popular Hilux models as well the Fortuner range. This engine produces 130kW and 450Nm of torque. While this particular GR Sport model did come with an automatic transmission, the car does have paddle shifts for manual mode. The automatic gearbox does produce 30Nm or torque more than the manual version, this is purely down to the smooth and easy self shifting box. On the road, the GR Sport feels and drives like a normal Hilux, it does feel a bit racy on take off but that could be down to the torque and gearbox. On the dirt, its loads of fun, with it sliding around corners and making dust. This is where you get a real good feel of that revised front suspension setup which consists of a monotube design and revised dampers in action. The GR Sport is a fully fledged 4x4 with all the bells and whistles, it even has a power mode which you can use to up the anti when driving. 


COMFORT

While this may be a bakkie and a performance one, it did feel a hell of a lot more luxurious than other bakkies I've been in. The quality of materials used in the interior are of a high standard, the same as what you'd find in the top of the range Fortuner. Leather dash, high gloss plastic finishes and soft touch leather coverings and steering make the cabin of the GR Sport a very comfortable place to be. The dials of the GR Sport are different to the other Hilux variants, more sportier and finished in white. The large screen infotainment system is easy to use and to sync with your device. The system is compatible with most mobile apps and recently Toyota SA launch an app of their own which is available in the app store of most devices. 



VERDICT

While the price might be a major talking point with the Toyota Hilux GR Sport, it still remains the second most expensive bakkie in the line-up. Also in terms of pricing in its segment, and the exclusivity of the bakkie with only 600 being made, you can see why it is priced that much. The product you getting from Toyota in general is always unquestionably good so this is none the different. Also in terms of the Gazoo Racing models, this is the first model being sold in South Africa, as we were not lucky enough to get any of the GRNM Yaris, but a few months later did get the new Supra. It's a bakkie for the enthusiasts or the thrill seeker, or maybe you just want a collectors edition bakkie, whomever it is, they sure are going to get a great product. 


SPECIFICATIONS

Engine
2.8 Turbo Diesel
Gear Box
6 Speed Automatic 
Torque
450Nm
Power
130kW
Consumption
8.5L/100km
Price
R 714 500



















Pictures by @DBN_Spotter

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday Choon: DT8 Project - Carry On (Myon Return To 95 Mix)


English DJ and producer Darren Tate better known as DT8 Project had his track "Carry On" tweaked a bit by one of our favourites Myon in his "Return to 95 Mix". The track was debuted at ABGT350 in Prague by Above and Beyond themselves. The track has this very old school trance vibe which seems to be making a big come back at the moment. The drop has some elements of hard style but not too hard, if that makes any sense at all. The vocals and beat synths are done to perfection and it is one track that can definitely get you listening to it on repeat. It's just one of the tracks from ABGT350 that we will be featuring on the blog. There's loads of ID's which were played, that are amazing, we're just waiting impatiently for them to be released now. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Bucket Travel: MSC Cruises Milestones


MSC Cruises today took delivery of MSC Grandiosa from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, one of the world leaders in cruise ship construction.  The delivery ceremony of MSC Cruises’ newest flagship and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea took place in the presence of Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group Chairman.

Earlier in the morning a second important milestone event took place with the traditional cutting of the first steel and naming of the first World Class ship, MSC Europa, by MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco VagoMSC Europa is the first of five liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships on order and the first LNG ship to be built in France.  The two events marked another important step forward in MSC Cruises’ long-term commitment to environmental stewardship, both at sea as well as ashore.


Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, says, “Since its inception, MSC Cruises has embraced a commitment to environmental stewardship and ways to minimise and continuously reduce our environmental footprint, both at sea and ashore, with the use of innovative, leading-edge and effective technologies across our entire fleet. With each new ship we raise the bar of environmental performance and our ultimate goal is zero emissions operations. MSC Grandiosa moves us another significant step forward in that genuine ambition.

Mr Vago continues, “Today is even more significant as we begin the construction of the first of five LNG-propelled ships, which will further elevate our standards in environmentally-sound cruising, thanks to this use of alternative fuels, as well as other cutting-edge technologies.”


Mr Vago concludes, “Our commitment to environmental protection, both while at sea and when calling at the port communities that we serve, does not stop here. With each new ship we will push further the boundaries of innovation in terms of environmental technology. We will specifically focus our R&D investment into accelerating the development of next-generation advanced solutions and other technologies – from more alternative fuels, shore power availability, batteries, fuel cells and beyond. All of this while we retrofit and upgrade our existing fleet – one of the most modern at sea – with the latest technologies to continuously improve our environmental performance fleet-wide.”  

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, adds, “The delivery of MSC Grandiosa and the official start of construction of the first world-class ship are two major milestones in the history of our partnership with MSC Cruises.  At Chantiers de l’Atlantique, we are happy and proud to provide our privileged customer with state-of-the-art solutions that significantly lessen the environmental impact of the ships.  MSC Cruises can thus benefit from the result of our R&D programmes on energy saving schemes and environmentally-friendly technologies that we have been leading for the last ten years.”


MSC Grandiosa is MSC Cruises’ most environmentally-advanced ship at sea yet and is testament to the Company’s long-standing commitment to protect the seas and respect the communities that it touches. The ship is equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies geared to ensure ever cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance, both while at sea and ashore.


In addition to a hybrid ‘closed-loop’ exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) that reduces ship sulphur emissions by 97 per cent, MSC Grandiosa will also be the first MSC Cruises’ ship to feature a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that helps reduce nitrogen oxide by 80 percent. All other MSC Cruises’ ships currently under construction will feature the SCR technology, including MSC Grandiosa’s sister ship, MSC Virtuosa, due to come into service in October 2020, as well as MSC Seashore, currently under construction at a different shipyard. This active emissions control technology conducts nitrogen oxide from the engine operations through a catalyst – a high-density device made from noble metals – and converts them into harmless nitrogen and water.
When speaking of alternative fuels, MSC Cruises is investing €5 billion in the construction of five LNG-powered ships. Compared to standard marine diesel, LNG reduces sulphur oxide emissions by more than 99 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85 percent. It also largely eliminates particulate matter in the ship’s exhaust and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as an additional 20 per cent. The 205,700 GT LNG-powered world-class ship MSC Europa will come into service in May 2022 and is the first of four futuristic world-class ships to be constructed at the French yard, with further deliveries scheduled for 2024, 2025 and 2027. In addition, one Meraviglia-Plus ship will also be propelled by LNG when the ship comes into service in 2023.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Ultra South Africa 2020 - Phase 1 Line Up Announced!



In case you missed it yesterday, Ultra South Africa dropped their phase one artist line-up announcing some big name headliners to grace the 2020 event!  Ultra SA 2020 see's the return of some greats and the first time appearances of some new international acts, returning to our shores are DJ Snake, Afrojack and Dash Berlin. Making his first Ultra SA appearance none other than the time-traveling DJ global superstar Steve Aoki! Steve is no stranger to South Africa having toured the country before, his performances were high energy and full of entertainment with some lucky fans getting their face smashed with some cake. Aoki is ranked as one of the DJ Mag's top 10 DJ's in the world and local Ultranauts are in for a treat with his thunderous performance.


Confirmed for 2020 is Ultra's award winning underground music stage, Resistance, it returns with local and global superstar Black Coffee headlining along with Jamie Jones who will be making his debut in SA, the hot creations label-head and respected taste-maker will undoubtedly mesmerize audiences with his melodic brand of house and techno.  Them along with others who will be joining the line-up will be providing the crowd with groovy house and techno vibes to take them into the night. 

Dash Berlin
Tickets for Ultra South Africa 2020 are on sale with most of the Tier 1 tickets sold out, Tier 2 tickets go on sale too. More announcements regarding ticket sales, artists, the brand-new BudX stage and many other expansion plans for 2020 coming soon! Visit www.ultrasouthafrica.com for more

Jamie Jones

Monday, October 28, 2019

Monday Choon: Armin van Buuren ft. Candace Sosa - Runaway


Friday saw Dutch DJ Legend Armin van Buuren released his seventh studio album last week Friday titled "Balance" and features 14 tracks in which he's teamed up with a number of other artists. While most songs on the album are trance focused there a few that Armin has added with a bit of twist. Today's featured song is a personal favorite of mine and features the vocals of Candace Sosa, titled Runaway, the song was featured in his set for ASOT900 in Mexico. It's one of those tracks that just has you liking it from the first second you here it, the vocals flow so well with the melody and its hard not to turn up the volume when it starts playing.