Friday, January 19, 2018
Deep house is certainly a genre that took off locally in 2016 and the same hype and drive of it followed into last year and continues into this year. It's with this that organises of Ultra South Africa have announced the return of the Resistance stage to this years festival with killer line-ups for both the Cape Town and Johannesburg legs. It will be it's 3rd year that the Resistance Stage features at Ultra South Africa and the crowds for it are ever growing, hence the call to bring in more talent has been answered with the likes of SA's on Black Coffee and the international acts from the likes of Dubfire and Eats Everything will headlining the stage. A list of the full line-ups for both Cape Town and Johannesburg can be found below.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
The compact sedan market is hotting up as the luxury sedan segment pricing seems to be rocketing up, consumers, especially the middle class earners are looking for affordable family vehicles but also should look good and have most of the bells and whistles that you would expect from a compact sedan. For years Toyota have dominated this aspect in the market with their Corolla, and to this day remains one of the best selling vehicles in its class, worldwide! But over the recent years, the Korean's have come to the fight and they got the weapons to match. A little over 10 years ago I watched an interview and interview of the President of Toyota, of which he was asked if he fears the competition from VW, and he replied, no, its the Korean car-makers which he worries about .Fast forward to present day, and you will see what he was talking about. The likes of Hyundai and KIA have stormed the market with their variety of vehicles and exceptional service and guarantees.
This week saw KIA launch their 3rd generation Cerato sedan, a car which has done reasonably well in SA, well not so much the actual sedan but rather the variants with the hatch and Koup being the popular ones from the line-up. Not sure what the reason for that was, maybe the styling? If that was indeed the case, then this new Cerato shouldn't have the same problem as it looks great! Unlike the Rio and Picanto we tested last year, the design of the front is more on the lines of the new Sportage with a similar angled grille and elongated headlamps. The rear ties in quite nicely with the car as well and also similar to the Sportage rear with the straight-line tailgate linking the both rear lights. From the pictures, it looks like they're LED lights as well.
Moving on to the interior, it is very similar to the Rio, slightly more spacious though. Interesting to note is that it comes standard with the 8" touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as this was an optional extra or model dependent in the Rio and Picanto, it however for the US market, I'm hoping it also applies to the local market. I did mention in my review of either car that it is a must as it integrates so well with your smart phone, from navigation, to phone calls, it even reads out sms's and whatsapp messages to you. The Cerato has some nice options for the interior, like a wireless charging tray and a 320-watt sound system that has been developed with Harman Kardon! I'm liking this car already. In terms of safety, the car comes with the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which is offered in many of the other premium models and now is featured in the Cerato. It has blind-spot collision warning, lane keeping assist, it also comes with forward collision avoidance assist and smart cruise control which maintains a specific distance to the car in front of you.
Performance wise, the new Cerato comes powered with a 2.0L Nu four-cylinder engine that benefits from Atkinson Cycle technology and cooled EGR system. They have eliminated the CVT transmission and developed the IVT with adaptive style shift logic with a chain-type belt instead of a push belt, which is a first in the compact class.They have also reduced engine noise by wrapping the transmission case in a sound-insulated cover to help minimise the "drone" associated with this technology. The engine pushes out the same figures as the current Cerato, with 110kW and 179Nm of torque but efficiency levels have been bettered with an approximate 6.7L/100km. KIA's have some of the best Eco figures from the host of cars I've test so I can only imagine this must be just as good.
Overall this looks like a very exciting new addition to the compact sedan market, certainly has a more premium feel to it than its competitors. While the battle for the top spot may be dominated by Toyota with its Corolla, Hyundai's Elantra might have some good competition with the Cerato for the battle of second place.
love this cheeky little advert from KIA comparing the Cerato to the Aventador
love this cheeky little advert from KIA comparing the Cerato to the Aventador
Monday, January 15, 2018
No doubt this was the song of the summer in SA, Camelphast & Elderbrook's Cola was the choice of many over the holidays and many a party would not be complete without this track being played. However it would be generic of us to feature that track, hence we sort out for the best remix of Cola and I think we've found it. The insert has been take from the live set of Steve Angello at last years Maya Festival in Thailand but boy is it good!
Friday, January 12, 2018
As some of you know, MINI went through a small change late last year with their logo change, while subtle it did echo a progressive statement from the company that they are keeping up with trends. It's imperative that a car company such as MINI does this as their key target market is the youth and while current drivers of their cars might already know what it's like to experience driving one, to get the attention of prospective buyers, especially those who just look at the price and get put off, need something else to draw them in. In saying that, just a logo re-design wouldn't be enough, with the North American International Auto Show just around the corner, the German owned British motor company took this period to showcase the updates made to their 3 Door, 5 Door, and Convertible derivatives.
The overall design of the cars remain the same with minor cosmetic changes, some engine enhancements, new LED lighting, new tech and alloy wheel choices. MINI while being in the small car segment definitely is at the premium end of the scale, with most of it's offerings coming straight from it's sister company BMW. From the engines with TwinPower Turbo technology to the user interface in the car, is sourced from its German engineers. The ride and feel is unmistakably MINI though, that go-kart feel, low center of gravity and great driver experience is something that you can replicate in any other car.
Overview of the new features in the MINI 3 Door, 5 Door and Convertible:
- LED headlights with Matrix function for the high beam.
- LED rear lights in Union Jack design.
- New MINI logo, new body finishes, Piano Black exterior.
- New light allow wheels.
- Extended range of leather trim, interior surfaces and colour lines.
- Unique individualisation with MINI Yours Customised.
- Further developed engines with enhanced efficiency as well as increased capacity and torque for MINI One and MINI One First.
- 7-Speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch, 8-speed Steptronic transmission.
- Mulitfunction steering wheel and radio with 6.5" colour screen, USB and Bluetooth interface as standard.
- Optional radio and navigation systems with touchscreen monitor.
- Telephony with wireless charging.
- MINI logo projection from the exterior mirror on drivers side.
- MINI Connected and MINI Connected XL with new functions.
All in all there is quite a bit to digest on that list, personally I love the new LED lights, the rear Union Jack design just add's character to this already iconic car. I'm keen to test the engine enhancements on the cars, seeing that they claimed it increases driver efficiency. The list of trims and textiles as well as body finishes just means that you can make your MINI even more unique than before. I love that the brand gives the buyer such a wide variety of options to make their MINI theirs. This all rolls back to what I spoke about earlier, about them keeping up with trends, attacking their target market and with things like this, it will only expand their buyers. Once you get behind the wheel of a MINI, you will find it very hard to enjoy driving anything else.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
This past weekend, many Liverpool supporters were left asking themselves this very question, why Phil? Why did you leave us? I, like many others were angry, but also it wasn't the best kept transfer secret and everyone knew it was bound to happen but for us Liverpool supporters there still remained that glimmer of hope the Philippe would see the bigger picture and stay with the club a little longer but alas it wasn't to be. The rumour mill started from the new year with his sudden thigh strain which kept him out of 2-1 win over Burnley and then the 2-1 win over Everton in the FA Cup, concerns were growing, all eyes were on Twitter to see the latest in terms of the on goings of this transfer. When news of him having not traveled with the rest of the squad to Dubai for some summer training, the writing should have been on the wall for us but yet, like the blind some of us refused to speculate. Then the news came, late Saturday night, Liverpool have accepted a bid from Barcelona for Coutinho. It was done, he was leaving us for Spain, for a club that is no stranger from hijacking our star players, as they did not so long ago to Luis Suarez. But why? Did he not see the bigger picture that was unfolding at Anfield? Was he fed up with the cold miserable weather? Did he not get enough hugs from Klopp? What was it? Why did he leave?
Well, I have a theory, well not so much of a theory but it makes a lot of sense. Hailing from South Africa, we for some odd reason love the English Premiership, and hold it in high regard as on of the best, if not the best leagues in the world. Many other countries share the same sentiments even though 90% of the die-hard supporters will never get a chance to see their team play live, we still cherish the weekends when they play. Much like how our fanfare with the English league is, down in South America, they love the Spanish League. Perhaps it has to do with the culture, the language, the style of football. The appeal is there and and there's many a kid in the street playing football with a dream to play in the La Liga. Philippe was one of those kids, Born and raised in one of the biggest cities in South America, Rio de Janeiro, he showed great promise in Vasco da Gama's youth system and was eventually signed by Inter Milan, he didn't have an easy time in Italy but it was a stepping stone into Europe and a step closer to achieving his dream of playing for Barcelona. After a few seasons being loaned out to various clubs, eventually in 2013 he was signed by Liverpool. Under the guidance of Brendan Rogers, he didn't take that long to settle down and fans saw glimpses of what the kid could offer.
"Little Magician" as he is fondly called, he started making his way into the league, with some acute passing, masterful trickery and that deadly curling shot at goal. He soon became a fan favourite and won numerous awards with the clubs but sadly no trophies, In his 5 year spell at the club, he became a fan favourite one player that we hoped started every game. Just before the 2017/18 season could start, speculation came in that a bid for him was received from Barcelona. With him being integral to the squad, you could understand the clubs decision to turn down any sort of bid for the player but for Philippe, this was his moment. That kid playing in the dusty streets of Rio, dreaming of playing for Barcelona one day was now a reality. Hence he submitted a transfer request, which the club also shot down. Now, whether or not the he could see it, Liverpool are on a long term building program with the manager and the owners for the first time on the same page. They both trust each other and they both want success, while I understand the player must be frustrated for one, not winning and silverware in his time, and two, finally having his dream move in place only for the doors to be shut, which made him oblivious to the bigger picture at hand.
While for him at that time as a kid, LaLiga was the be all and end all of football, times have changed and English football is highly regarded in Europe and it shows on its center stage with all 5 teams now in the knock-out phase of the Champions League. But I suppose if you have to take into account the language barrier, the weather and the style of football, you can see why his mind was still dead on making the move. After what seemed to have been ages for the summer window to close, he still remained at the club. Whether he was unhappy or not, we couldn't tell as he still played well for us, scored some amazing goals, none more so than what proved to be his last for us against Swansea. What a pearler that was and just the right way to remember him.
His decision to leave the club in January may be odd, we're not sure what sort of agreement he made. maybe if the club were still challenging for the title he would have stayed till the end but whatever the case is, he's gone now and with that he became the second most expensive player in world football. That burden of the price ta won't bother him though, he's going to shine at Barca, with Messi and former partner in crime Suarez its only evident that he will. At the same time, while over the last 3 games, we've proved we can win without him, and we no doubt have the fire power, he still will be missed for created chances out of nothing and scoring some cracking goals.
Monday, January 8, 2018
It's our first post for 2018 and while today's featured track was released late last year, I think it's worth the hype for it to being the first track that we have on the Monday Choon this year. Armin vaan Buuren rated this track as the official anthem for his ASOT mix of 2017. And speaking of the Dutch legend, in less that 2 months we will see him play LIVE at Ultra South Africa! We cannot wait for that and will be bringing you exclusive features of the DJ's that are due to perform at this years events, so stay tuned for more! Until then, here is Fallout from Davey Asprey of Walsall in the United Kingdom to lead us into 2018 with some trance!
Friday, December 29, 2017
With old age comes bad memory, unfortunately as I get older I tend to forget things too which is why every time I go out or see something interesting, I take a picture of it. Also in line with the blogging, there is a lot of pictures involved there too, so it's a good way to document my life as such and it comes in very handy on days like today, when I decided to a year in review post so I can scroll back in my photo feed and relive some of the most memorable parts of the year.
2017 sure was an eventful year for the blog, in my personal life, it was pretty hectic as well seeing that apart from many, many, many friends of mine tying the knot, my own brother did so too. It also saw my fear of public speaking being put to bed for a bit after I had to deliver a speech at his wedding. This year also almost saw me move cities, I've never left Durban, only on holiday. The thought of leaving this city was a daunting but the prospect of a new beginning somewhere else did prove to be quite exciting but in the end it wasn't to be and I remained in Durban...not that I'm complaining. But anyway, back to the blog, I launched the blogs dedicated Instagram page, which I didn't realise at first how much hard work it would be but I enjoy the challenge, keeping people up to date on a daily basis on the ongoings of the world that represents the blog. It hasn't reached the following I expected it to, but I rather continue posting the things I do and generate an organic following instead of taking the buying follower option *side eye*.
This year saw an increase in the car reviews on the blog with some new manufacturers being introduced, one that might stand out from the rest is the Italian luxury sports car brand, infamous with their trident logo, Maserati. I drove the Maserati Ghibli in March this year, and I still struggle to find the words that would do this car justice. It was my first experience driving a supercar on my own, unsupervised, it's a terrifying but exhilrating at the same time. I was due to get another model from them but due to overlapping events, this was not possible but not to worry, we will do our best to get more of these beautiful beasts featured in 2018. Another new manufacturer introduced this year was Mazda, I've always been a big fan of this Japanese motor-manufacturer . From their new Kodo design philosophy to the great tech used in their engines. Having just tested two of their models, I cannot wait to get behind the wheel of otheres next year.
Interms of car launches, I was fortunate enough to attend the new MINI Countryman launh as well as the new BMW 4 Series launch and most recently the new BMW X3 launch. Both fantastic vehicles and readers of the blog would have read my indepth thoughts on two o the new 4 Series variants that we had on test. I was also lucky enough to attend the launch of the all new Ford Kuga, with the unfortuante problems that faced the original model it was great to see Ford SA bounce back with an awesome product and one that offered more but was less in price that it's predesscor!
On the Tech side, we were introduced to a new cellphone manufacturer to the market, Hisense. While the brand isn't popular known for their mobile devices, we've come to learn a lot about their offerings. Huawei still remains one of the biggest growing brands in the world and we're glad we could continue bringing you the latest information on their new products, as well as attending the launch of the all new flagship smart phone device, the Mate10 Pro. The devices introduces a new era in cell phone technology with it being the first device of its kind to offer AI technology on its device, which does not require a network connection to operate! Next year we pre-empting the release of the P11 and the Mate11 so we're keen to see what new features that these have to offer.
Music whise, we didn't attend any of the noteworthy music festivals but thats not to say there were not any, just happened to be that I had weddings to attend when they were on...another *side eye*.
Next year see's Ultra South Africa return for it's 5th year and we will be there to bring you all the happenings at the event. On the blog we've featured a great number of new songs and were introduced some great new talent in the process. A stand out for us had to be W&W aliais trance name, NWYR. After a mind blowing performance at Ultra Miami, the Dutch duo were back at Tomorrowland to wow crowds there with their great mixes and electronic beats. Most of their music is still unreleased and we hope to hear them soon.
2017 also saw us attend a lot of events in the restaurant scene with many new places opening up in Durban. We will still be continuing this segment in the future with more awesome restaurant reviews coming up on the Bucket Scene. We haven't been reviewing much hotels of recent, due to other engagements but we hope to have the travel part up to speed next year with Tsogo Sun. On the Bucket Babe front, it had been an issue finding time to interview models with their busy schedules but we will try to improve on this in time to come. Overall, 2017 has been a rollercoaster ride for us here on the Bucket, and normally with posts like this, we tend to worry about the year that past instead of focusing on the future, hence the title of this post is "here's to 2018", as we look ahead to whatever is instore for us. A big THANK YOU to all our readers, from all over the globe, without you guys, none of this would be possible. We look forward to your support in 2018.
Friday, December 22, 2017
I'm starting to take a liking to the now ever popular "SAV" - Suburban Activity Vehicles, while they're aren't as big as SUV's they're not small either, so it offers the occupants a great spacious interior and of recent most of the models that are being released look damn good too! Take for example today's reviewed car, the new Mazda CX3, based on the Mazda 3 platform, the car is higher, just a bit wider and looks fantastic. It looks sort of like a big, raised hatch back but with Mazda's Kodo design language, the edges, lines and angles on the car just give it that cutting edge look which is distinctive of the brand. Driving the car over the next 7 days proved to be quite fun as you will find out and seeing what Mazda has to offer in terms of optional extras for a car like this was pretty impressive.
Mazda's design philosophy and language "kodo" means a car isn't simply a mass of metal but they believe its more like a living creature. Hence the design team creates a design that is so much more than just aesthetically pleasing to look at but actually creates a bond with car and driver. I know it's a lot to take in but from someone who has been passionate about car design their entire life, I get that. While I still think that Mazda need to let more creativity flow down from their concept to production cars, what they're doing at the moment is great. The CX3 doesn't differ too much from it's bigger brother the CX5 which I reviewed a little earlier this year, while the CX5 did have better design lines and angles, the CX3 still looks damn impressive. The car looks bigger than it actually is, so if driving big cars daunts you, don't be too intimidated by it. On the inside, it's practically a Mazda 3, all the creature comforts of a sedan, but in a more spacious environment.
The 2.0L engine that I had in the CX3 was surprisingly lacking at times, especially on open road driving., even being on the coast I felt that at times I struggled to get power out of it. With me fighting to get some speed, this did impact the fuel economy a lot which saw me having to visit the petrol station after doing just 483km. I suppose it's not entirely bad given the size of the engine but just in terms of response from the car, I was expecting more. The 4 cylinder Skyactiv-G engine derives 115kW and 204Nm of torque which is adequate for city driving.
With it's bigger frame, the CX3 is much more spacious than regular hatch backs, there is plenty of space in the cabin for 4 adults. The luggage space is also quite decent with you being able to get as many bags as passengers in there, which also meant there was enough space for a set of golf clubs. Tech wise, I was pleasantly surprised to see the CX3 had just as much toys as the CX5, with a quality Bose sound system, sat-nav, easy to use infotainment system, bluetooth telephone/ audio, USB and Aux inputs. The car also came up with a heads up display giving you critical info when driving. The car also comes with collision detection, which also brakes for you if you unaware of oncoming danger.
While I did complain about the lack of power at times, I've been known to have a heavy foot so others might not have the same issue as me. The car is built really well, looks pretty awesome and really appeals to everyone out there even though the styling might favour the youth. The automatic gearbox could do with some work but if you shift into manual mode and use the paddle shifts, it does give you a different experience, even in sports mode. With the pricing of the CX3 being very competitive to the market, Mazda have something special here which sales figures are already proving to be true.
2.0 litre Pterol 4 cylinder
8 speed automatic with paddle shift
Pictures by Kapture
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Earlier this year I reviewed the Hisense C30 Rock, which is a mid range smart device which also is pretty rugged with it being IP68 rating and IK04 shock resistant, my verdict on that particular device was that it was a great all round device for the everyday person, with standard features and it gets the job done. A few weeks ago Hisense sent me another device to review, this time the smaller brother to the C30 Rock, the C30 Rock Lite. With recent times, a lot of smart phone manufactures have been releasing Lite versions of their premium phones, with it offering slightly less in specs than the main device. Most of the times, it uses tech from the older generation devices which was replaced but of recent, the market has gotten more competitive so manufacturers had to up their game.
Like the C30 Rock, the design is very similar, with round edges which are rubberised, a nice metal finish on the side and a rubber back. It's got a decent weight and feels good in hand. Being under the Rock name, this phone is already Shock resistant, IP67 water resistant and dust resistant. So it's a pretty hardy phone, and if you have to look at the current offerings in the market, not many brands have a device such as this available. The phone comes with a 5.0" IPS Display which we'll chat about a little later. It has that old iPhone look to it and it's quite a decent size, not being too bulky and doesn't feel uncomfortable in your pocket.
Unlike the C30 Rock which is IP68, the Lite is IP67 rated which is still a good rating for water resistance. I wouldn't necessarily take it swimming but I won't stress over if it does happen to fall into some water. However, I did take this for a swim but unfortunately for me, I didn't save the pictures before formatting the device when I sent it back. Rookie error on the part of us! The device is also shock and dust proof, so if you're the outdoors type of person who loves going running/ hiking, this would be the perfect phone for you.
With Lite devices, this is where the main talking point comes in, processing power. While the bigger phones need faster processes to perform the tasks on demands, buyers of these devices aren't going to be using the phone for running multiple apps, editing spreadsheets etc. With the Rock Lite, it comes with still a decent chipset, having the Quad-core 1.3GHz processor and has 2GB of RAM which is sufficient for a phone of this nature and size. For memory, it has 16GB of on board memory and a memory card slot up to 128GB Micro SD which also doubles as a dual SIM slot. The phone is primarily 4G but the secondary SIM slot is 3G.
The camera on the light is also slightly downgraded from to the 8MP camera with LED flash. Still capable of taking great quality pictures in proper lighting environments. It records in 1080 @ 30 frames per second and has an auto focus feature. The front facing camera is a 5MP, perfect for all your social media needs and you don't have to worry about your battery running out quickly as the device comes with a 3900mAh battery, which gives you about a day's worth of use.
When looking at this phone, while it might not win any contest against other smartphones, it boils down to pricing. This phone is available at retailers for under R2,500. That is an absolute steal compared to what you can buy from the bigger name opposition. And with Hisense great product support locally, should you have any issues, best believe it will be resolved without a fuss. Serious value for money with this device and for someone who spends most of his time on a construction site, I wouldn't mind one for myself.