ANOTHER great European techno temple was created on Halloween in Glasgow apparently.
Slam applied Maximum Pressure to SWG3 in Glasgow on the scariest night of the year, putting together a devilish line up featuring Richie Hawtin, Rødhåd and Laurent Garnier to launch their new and improved party series.
By all reports it was a night that will be fondly remembered in the rich tapestry of Scotland’s techno annals and marks an exciting new chapter for electronic music in Glasgow following the closure of the Arches last year.
We caught up with one half of Slam this week, Orde Meikle, to chat about Maximum Pressure, the dynamic scene in Glasgow, Soma 500 and what’s coming next for himself and Stuart McMillan. Plus they very kindly gave us their set recorded at the start of this summer and originally broadcast through Slam radio from the Riverside festival in Glasgow, a rave which marked the start of another huge season in the Illustrious careers of Orde and Stuart having just celebrated 25 years of their iconic Soma label.
Check out the mix below and read on…
We last spoke after The Arches had closed down. What has the impact been like since it’s closure and how has the vibrant scene in Glasgow reacted and recovered?
The Arches closing was a big blow to us and the whole Glasgow scene – but Glasgow is way bigger than just one venue. As with any other vibrant and dynamic scene the people involved just evolve , that’s the nature of the beast. We found the club SWG3 and re-launched Pressure and Maximum Pressure there – which have been superb nights. As promoters we never look back always look forward to the our next new challenge.
It was a relief down our neck of the woods to see fabric get its license back and reopen at the start of this year. Do you think the problem has gone away now or is it still bubbling under?
Yes it was fantastic news for everyone involved that they managed to argue their case and win, allowing them to re-open. I fear that the underlying reasoning for the original decision is still there and won’t go away until politicians start addressing the wider reality that exists in UK society today – they seem unable or unwilling to face it, unlike many other countries.
You recently launched your new concept Maximum Pressure, how did the first event go?
Maximum Pressure was absolutely off the scale – one journalist described it as “Another European techno temple being born and in Glasgow at last”
You also run Return to Mono at the Sub Club. How important is it for you guys to retain these regular nights in terms of for you as DJs and also for your fans?
We all started our serious clubbing experiences in the Sub Club when it was actually called Lucifers. So many great nights had in that space and we have held a residency there for many years – it’s a small club that has a very intimate atmosphere which we feel is very important for you as a DJ to experience regularly and that connection with floor, plus Glasgow crowds are some of the best in the world to play to.
You have had a pretty prolific release schedule this year, most recently with the Sanctuary EP. What’s coming next?
We have another new Slam EP ready to release on Soma, also an old set of “Pressure Funk” tracks we found on an archieved DAT recorded back in 2003, that we’re going to give away for free, they sound remarkably current. There’s a new series of club 12’s we’re working on for the future and a new Soma Track Series 7 we’ve recorded with Green Velvet about to drop and other secret projects that we can’t tell you about at the moment – but will surface next year.
You celebrated 25 years of Soma last year but this year back in August you celebrated another milestone, your 500th release on the label. Can you tell us about the tracks you decided to rework for the release and why you chose them?
We choose the Robert Hood track from the Soma 25 compilation to rework because he’s been such a guiding light to us and so many others with his musical vision over the years – just an honour to be involved with him in every way. The “Relevee” track had been in of sets for so long that we felt we really wanted to produce our own take on it to play out – so we then decided that they would both be nice to represent Soma 500 single release.
You also released the Soma25 album as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations. The album is very much looking forward while also looking at the past. Can you tell us a bit more about the album, the artists on it and your favourite interpretations on there?
The Soma 25 Album was almost 3 years in the making – the concept was to ask certain artists that had influenced us all, at the label, over the years and ask them to produce a brand new track.Then to ask some newer artists, that we all admire, and ask if they’d be interested in choosing a track from Soma’s back catalogue to re-interpret. We love all the tracks on there, all the guys did us proud.
What artists have shone for you this year and as we are getting closer to the end of 2017 who should we be looking out for in 2018?
Our new signings “VSK & Conrad Van Orton” have produced their first release for Soma and it’s stunning. Also “Drafted” have new single due out soon – which is really great. Cleric has been a real shining light this year with his productions. Oscar Mulero and the whole Pole Group stable continue to amaze with their releases. Tensal has an album coming soon on Soma which is amazing – the list just goes on and on….. even we find it hard to keep up with the talent that keeps emerging.
It’s said these days that you can’t make it as a DJ if you don’t produce your own music. This has been the case for you guys since day one. Do you think it is possible to break through in today’s climate just by being a great DJ?
Not really sure – but it is certainly harder to export your name internationally as just a DJ without the vehicle of musical productions, but not impossible.
Catch Slam at Maximum Pressure on New Years Day in Glasgow alongside Alan Fitzpatrick, Jeff Mills, Radio Slave and more. For more info and tickets head here.
Slam return to fabric London on January 20th taking care of business in Room 2 welcoming Kobosil and Jay Clarke. For more info and tickets head here.