Glasgow’s ever presents Slam have just released a new CD called ‘Collecting Data’ on Soma. The CD features features collected tracks and remixes between 2008-2012. We caught up with them recently to learn about some of their key moments since their conception in the late eighties.
SLAM IN THE PARK sept 1990
This was our third large scale event – the first having been a mad party with the Hacienda guys in the The Tramway Theatre in Glasgow, with almost 6000 people turning up to the 1500 capacity venue. the police had put roadblocks up and we nearly got lynched by our mates who couldn’t get in! So we put together a series of 3 all-nighters which would be much better organized – the first legal all-nighters in the country in fact. Slam in the Park was a huge tent on an island, in Strathclyde Park, just outside Glasgow – with artists such as Derick May , The Orb and .808 state. on til 8am and the sun even came up on queue to “Come Together As One” Weatherall mix of Primal Scream!
People came from all over Scotland and as far south as Manchester – wading rivers and crossing motorways to get there if they weren’t lucky enough to be oe of the 4000 ticket holders– – a fantastic affair – we stopped doing all-nighters a year later as the scene went overground- yet it was the blue-print for the now super successful Slam Tent at the “T in the Park” festival in Scotland
IBIZA 90 was a trip organised by the infamous and legendary Charlie Chester (or is that leg-end hehe) – with the likes of Andy Weatherall (sporting long shaggy locks) , DJ Harvey, Rocky and Diesel , Terry Farley , Clive Henry, Primal Scream , and many many others – 14 clubs + 2 weeks of partying every single night – and so much good music . They produced a Channel 4 documentary called “ A Short Film about Chilling” about the trip – definitely worth a watch on YouTube if you haven’t seen it or just want a trip down memory lane – captures the time and the spirit – the the essence of the early Ibiza.
TOKYO WOMB since 2003
Tokyo is one of our favourite destinations to DJ , the Japanese crowd are just so responsive and musically open minded –the Womb is one of the best clubs in the world, an immense , 3 storey high , warehouse with a wicked sound-system , amazing visuals and glass clad balconies. We get t go over every year or 2 if we are lucky. Aside from the club it’s like taking a trip into the future and the food is our favourite and the obligatory Bathing Ape T-Shirt purchases – always as much of a holiday than a working trip (don’t tell the Mrs. that!)
SAN FRANSISCO – MISSION ROCK – 1993
We spent a month out on the west coast of the States , our first time in America, doing some parties, just after the vinyl had arrived for the first pressing of “positive education”. The record had got their before us just – and paved the way for the gigs we got and the reception we received. We started off in LA , where the scene was in its infancy , with a couple of drug-fuelled gigs seeing mates that lived out there. Then we hired a Lincoln town car and our mate Chas who was the only one with a licence, drove up the Big Sur to San Francisco for a couple of gigs there too. One of which was Mission Rock down on the Bay , a Sunday morning affair – we dropped Positive Edducation and the party exploded – unbelievable reaction – all the Hippies freaking out . What a city – one of the most European of American cities – much better than LA – we had a ball playing Boogie Buffet and the End Up too before having a drive back to LA through the desert and a long hungover journey home.
FABRIC since 2001
Just simply one of the best clubs in the world – ever since we first played there many years ago – in the early years of the club– its become one of our favourite ever clubs. We were one of the first 10 to do a fabric CD which was also an immense honour. Everyone there is so professional and underground – its a pleasure to have a semi-residency there. (we are lucky enough to get to play every 2 or 3 months and have donefor several years. Judy , Craig and Terry have fought dance commercialism with every bone in their bodies – and the line ups are still second to none Guys we salute you – its always been an absolute pleasure. And the crowd respond to our sets – they let us open up room 2 and take everyone on a 5 0or 6 hour musical journey.
Atlantis Glasgow 1990 to 1994
We had been doing Fridays at the Sub club and we got offered the Saturday which was the holy grail in Glasgow for DJs at the time- we asked Harri to join us and started a party called Atlantis – we had loads of underwater weird fish and stecils on all the walled seating areas that surrounded the dancefloor. It got so hot and sweaty in there people looked like they had been underwater when they emerged from the basement club at the end of the session. Atlantis was the first proper taste of what proper clubbing is for alot of folk and we had a kick start because we had a 5am licence for 1990 because glasgow was european city of culture-we were importing the balearic attitude after trips to ibiza in 1989 when we witnessed the closing parties of Ku and Amnesia in their original formats. happy days. we left the sub club in 1994 and harri stayed on still playing saturdays to this day – we returned monthly after 10 years with our return to mono night which we do 2nd friday of the month.
Remixing and Recording : since 1989
Our first remix was “nature boy” by Botany 5 -they were an Edinburgh band on Virgin – great guys including Aqua Bassino who later recorded for F-Com. We did the remix in their studio – they showed us how to use the gear. Many more followed – a few early remixes of note – worth a mention – that stand the test of time include the Sandals “Feet”, House of Virginism, Morgan King “I”m free” and One Dove “White Love”. One of the most special things we worked on at the time was The Orb’s “Close Encounters” with Alex Paterson and Youth in 1989 – special memories.
soma 20th anniversary (2011)
we passed a milestone with our label last year – and it was all very forward thinking – even though we were taking elements from the past. We are proud that a who’s who of producers remixed the catalogue – Soma’s really flying this year with a single every week or two.
The anniversary made us think back to the beginning – we used to make tracks in a guy called Nigel’s house – well his mum’s house – we used his bedroom as an office and the lounge as a store room. soma 1 – our “eterna” was shipped in a thousand at a time and we called up shops and mailed it out unil we’d sold them then ordered another thousand – the first thousand were all written by hand -and numbered 1 to 1000- all the record labels by hand – done by all of us – almost 200 each-some of nigel’s saying “sorry mum!” – i met someone recently who’s says that. positive education created in that tall white house where it all began for soma otago street- the 8th soma release and the last one done there before we moved to a proper office and studio.
slam at the arches 1992 to 1998
we played every single friday night for 6 years- with only the occasional guest- along with the sub club saturday Atlantis – this friday is really part of where we cut our teeth – even now we still warmup up for ourselves whenever possible – the best nights are musical journeys – when we decided to stop the weekly night we put one hell of a party on- the last night had irvine welsh and kris needs playing as the disco kings and daft punk djing as thomas bangalter and guy manuel de homem- christo- and we closed it of course with positive education to a crowd that would not go home. 6 months later we started our monthly Pressure – the first night was oct 1998 chemical brothers and cajmere over 2 rooms as the venue licence was expanded to sell booze in the back room too.
the first slam tent 1998
with daft punk headlining and other luminaries such as andrew weatherall and laurent garnier joining us at T in the Park -
we got the chance to do something and we put our all into making it one of the best dance tents at any festival – it really orks like a big club – dark – no gaps bewteen DJs or live sets and over the years we have had some great performances in their from people like leftfirld, jeff mills, dj sneak, Richie hawtin and ricardo villalobos on 4 decks- you name it – this year is the 14th anniversary and 15th occasion and we are doing friday for the first time – we are taking a 5 hour set and sven vath plays 3 hours afterwards.
we had a thrill playing Panorama bar in Berlin for the first time at the Cadenza party with Luciano in – since then we played it for Drumcode more recently and we are lucky enough to get asked to play the more techno-orientated Berghain which is ajoining – great people – great attitude and you can play and do what you like – we also enjoy watergate a lot – last time we played we got given an extra 4 hours – a total pleasure each time we visit.