Die Antwoord, the prolific duo of Ninja and Yolandi Visser, is probably one of the most iconic, strange, and head turning acts of this decade. When ZEF management approached Melt Creative to design their new international show, we knew we had a special project on our hands.
We wanted to create something that offered a sense of environment, at the same time aligned with the Die Antwoord identity and its firm hold on South African ZEF culture. Designing a stage and international tour that would accommodate multiple performers, backup dancers, and the DJ gave us many challenging obstacles to overcome. First, was to design a stage that not only could be built on a national tour scale, with full mobility; but also on an international one. Melt Creative worked closely with Die Antwoord to design a stage that could be advanced and built in any size festival venue; from Arenas to small mobile stages. The result was a dynamic stage piece that allowed for their DJ, “GOD”, to overlook the audience while allowing Ninja and Yolandi a variety of multi level platforms and performance spaces to utilize as needed.
The ZEF Pyramid was built in over 30 international countries in the summer of 2017, as well as a 24 city US and Canadian bus tour.
On the art side, our VJs created custom content by creating vector images and content packages derived from Ninjas iconic art style, allowing a seamless integration of these elements at many different moments throughout the show. Our approach to VJing and programming a show of this nature was very different from how we approach an electronic music show.
Utilizing technologies such audio reactive ISF and GLSL shaders, custom 3D object files, real-time animation elements, as well as live camera feeds, we were able to program a show that complimented the live elements of VJIng while providing a backbone of traditional visual tools like SMPTE time code.
Each song in the show has a different feel to it, whether it’s the lyric tracks of “I Don’t Care” and “Love Drug”, or the 3D environments for “Enter The Ninja”. Our on site team was able to easily adapt the look and feel of each show on the fly depending on set length, amount of songs, and on site video screens. This was one of our most ambitious projects to date and we look forward to carrying on our relationship with the Die Antwoord team moving into 2018.
Client: Die Antwoord
Stage Design: Melt Creative, AE Systems
Creative Direction & Animation: Melt Creative, Aron Sims Creative
Live Operation & VJ: Morgan Lavery, Evan Glantz, Melt Creative
Production Provider: AE Systems
Stage Manager: Joel Lonky
Lighting Design & Operation: Chris Pekar
Photos: Anthony Norkus, Bumbershoot, Anchor Focus, Indie Image STL, Wide Awake in Latvia, NIWYIBEN, Antihero Magazine, Melt Creative
Artist Visuals, Stage Design and Fabrication, VJ & Show Operation