Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Genre deconstruction: Darkstep

The second nomination by readers for a genre deconstruction was ‘darkstep’, which in comparison to past challenges should be a fairly easy one given how established the genre is amongst the dnb community. Put simply, it’s a sub-genre of drum and bass, with a splash of breakbeat, industrial techno, darkcore - the major rule is dark and low-slung bass. Consider it a branch on the ancestral tree of dnb, growing out of junglist, hardstep and darkcore rhythms in the late 90s.

The major difference to mainstream dnb (a gap which is fast closing as more dnb artists break into the traditionally pop-dominated charts) is the ‘mood’. Ascending and descending semitones induce the sense of urgency or melancholy, building step by step to the typical dnb ‘drop’. Sampling comes in handy to create the ethereal atmospherics - if you can imagine the track in a sci-fi movie, you’re reaching darkstep territory.

Looking around the web, a great definition can be found on last.fm, and darkstep.org can deliver the goods as only a fan-site can, complete with upcoming darkstep releases for 2011.

Oh, and if you hear anyone chuck in techstep or neurofunk look no further than darkstep for your definition; if you become embroiled in a neurofunk vs darkstep row - agree to disagree, across pages and pages of darkstep/neurofunk debates no firm conclusion as to which is the ‘true‘ genre has been reached.

A few notable darkstep artists to get you in the mood:

Black Sun Empire


Trace


Ed Rush


The Panacea 


Calyx and Teebee


Counterstrike

Spor


 
Future genre deconstructions include tropical, post-dubstep, juke and any more nominations by the readers - email me or leave a comment to question the genre or sub-genre you're interested in!

Vinyl and Digital reviews: Shackleton - Fabric 55

Originally produced as a feature review for Clash magazine, below is the lowdown on Shackleton's Fabric mix.


Shackleton - Fabric 55 (Fabric Records)
... electric eclectic

Fabric 55’s live set is a seamless journey through dark and curious landscapes, at times sounding like a minimalist Martin Grech or a flamenco-bongo mash-up with weirded out disembodied voices. This is exceptionally effective on opener ‘Come Up’ which induces the feeling that you are awakening in a world where dubstep, techno, house and collective consciousness’ merge into one long bass trip. From there it’s a mixture of short samples, reworked tracks and a considerable amount of original tracks, slowly drawing you to a tribal drum frenzy before pushing you back into the deep cold. This is Fabric taking a chance and gaining a sea of bass and tribal rhythms.

Release date: 6 December 2010 


I'll have to wait a wee bit until I can post up Jan's, but they'll be here within 2 weeks! In the meantime stay tuned for more December / January release date reviews produced for the Lo-Quality blog.


Vinyl and Digital reviews: Lifecycle, Layo & Bushwacka, Rowdent & Mario Basanov

Like the previous post, the following are reviews originally written for Clash magazine in 2010.


Lifecycle - The Altruist Cookbook EP (Ricochet Records)
... many genres baked in there!

There is something of LFO about the title track, with acidic thrust, broken beat techno, and unnerving jangles, but Lory D’s remix adds cohesion despite further beat splintering. ‘Truly’ works best as a mixing tool for its’ crisp, tribal techno, but the 8 bit noises on Sync24’s remix had me worried the computer corrupted.

Release date: 29 November 2010

Rowdent - The Rowdent EP (Wonk)
... wonk, wonk, wonk

Wonky tech-house and melting synths, ‘Get a Bet On’ keeps the feet tapping but does let the mind wander, while ‘Rushin’ Roulette’ engages with its’ curious speded-up dub wonk. Tribal drums have been readily embraced by dance this century and ‘Um Bongo’ self-fulfills with taught, driving beats to work up a sweat .

Release date: 6 December 2010
 
Layo & Bushwacka! - Endangered EP (Plus 8)
... imaginative but slightly misses the mark

Each track represents an endangered animal, and they certainly nail that on ‘Black Jack Rabbit’ - a restrained techno thumper, bouncing and squelching towards the clicky claw-like percussion of ‘Grey Wolf’. Incessant one-note keys sound alarm as swarms of noise gather like human encroachment. Accomplished, but not spine-tingling.

Release date: December 2010
 
 
Mario Basanov - Up (Needwant)
... mmm, house

Mario’s low-slung house keeps the movement subtle for ‘Up’ - nicely layered yet simple, playing on the melodic drones and most non-offensive siren-esque noise to adorn a house track, and ‘Sheiker’s warm and wooden, hazy house brings the release to a chilled end.

Release date: 18 December 2010

Vinyl and Digital reviews: Future Beat Alliance, Mr Sofalumpkins, Carl Taylor, Space DJz & Turov

It's been a while since I've posted reviews up - so here's a glut of backlog! The following reviews were originally produced for Clash magazine.



Future Beat Alliance - 'Mourning EP' (Tresor Records)
... not to be mourned over

This clearly says 'fuck minimal', slathering on layers of synths and keys like a flowing tide of tingling melodies. Blurring the lines of house, techno and electro, Moroder arpeggio influences keep the tones rich and induce a shoe-staring vibe - like Junior Boys and Jimmy Sommerville meets Tresor. Wrong.

Release date: 15 November 2010

Mr. Sofalumpkins - 'The Masquerade EP' (Geniuskills)
... genre sponge!

This genre sponge EP manages to make each track feel very different, and a departure from the straight-up dnb of Sofalumpkins. Starting so gently, dainty minor melodies hang before breakbeat crashes the party and compromises on ambient breaks; bass-heavy territory prevails throughout with flashes of dubstep and even a disco-funk-hip-hop homage.

Release date: November / December 2010

Carl Taylor - DS Warehouse Trax 2 (Dust Science)
... Dust Science cleaning up

There's a strong resurgence in good, solid British techno, and more often than not from the North. Carl Taylor is impressive just for the fact that all four tracks were produced live on hardware with no edits; an exceptional advertisement for the Akai MPC 2000XL drum machine and Waldorf Blofeld Synthesiser.

Release date: 8 November 2010

 
Space DJz - Wrong Side of the Trax EP (Detelefunk)
... slung low sweet Space DJz

Ben Long and Jamie Bissmire haul out the killer techno and low slung rumbles, keeping a percussive focus without treading the minimal boards. Find yourself following the hazy plume of melody as the drums crash around you and be prepared for the funk taking itself seriously.

Release date: 8 November 2010


Dave Turov - Poplock (CSM)
... summer techno hangover?

Perhaps best summarised as jazzy sax techno, 'Poplock' comes across as a distinctly non-winter sound. Mimicking the lockdown of beats insinuated by track titles, there is a feeling of restraint and focus that gets progressively deeper and dubbier (and more interesting) as Grindvik and Echologist step in on remix duty.

Release date: 22 October 2010

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

December (Week 4) Clubbing Listings: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee (plus Inverness!)

Derrick Carter
Featured Club of the Week: Co-Op
 Venue: Sub Club 
Date: Thursday 23rd December

Co-op, the collective of four Glasgow clubs (Orderly Disorder, Dirty Noise, Mount Heart Attack and Scrabble) have invested in their first guest, and it’s none other than Derrick Carter; Chicago-house DJ legend peppering his sets with flirtations of jazz, disco, soul and funk. The Co-op residents support, with visuals from Mediaheroic.

Sounds like:
(Lovin’ DJ Sneak’s ‘stand-beside-Carter-and-point-and-smoke’ routine)

11pm-3am, £10 / £8 before midnight or students

Extra: Derrick Carter stays in Scotland to appear at Aberdeen’s Mothership club at Snafu, on Boxing day. He’s joined by Adam Ackers. 11pm-3am, £15 / £12 advance / £8 members

Edinburgh

Club: Taste’s Escape Xmas Party
Venue: Liquid Room
Date: Saturday 25th December


Taste return for their annual festive fixture of ‘Escape Xmas’ - generally the ONLY club in Edinburgh to go to on Christmas day for a packed to the gunnels dance party. Fisher and Price play what is to be the last Christmas escape so leave a little room from the turkey to ensure dancing legs!

Sounds like:

10.30pm-5am, £10

Club: Karnival’s Boxing Day Soma Party
Venue: Cabaret Voltaire
Date: Sunday 26th December


Karnival host a six hour party of deep house and techno from Slam and Silicone Soul of Soma Records. Put down those Quality Streets and feel the beats vibrate the excess!

Sounds like:

11pm-5am, £12

Club: Mutiny
Venue:The Store / GRV
Date: Sunday 26th December


Hardcore techno and breakcore for a most unholy boxing day; Mutiny invite DJ Producer, Scamp and Dr Um for dnb, hard beats, dubstep and a pinch of gabba.

Sounds like:

11pm-5am, £5


Glasgow

Club: Let Your Elf Go!
Venue: Sub Club
Date: Wednesday 22nd December


A bumper collaboration of clubs and DJs, Let Your Elf Go! is the Sub Club’s Xmas Party, featuring Sensu, Jackmaster (Numbers), Pro Vinylist Karim, the Cotton Cake DJs, and DJ Pumpio & The Groundskeeper. There’s no strict music policy, just good music!

Sounds like:

11pm-4am, free

Club: RPZ
Venue: Stereo
Date: Wednesday 22nd December


Gus Da Hoodrat (Modular Recordings), one of the founders of Australia’s Bang Gang DJ duo, visits RPZ for disco, punk, baile funk, electro-house and techno mixes to knock yer socks off. Melt your mind (and the snow from your shoes) with 80s pop art visuals at this mid-week adventure hosted by resident Hushpuppy.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £8 / £6

Club: SpiritAid presents Free
Venue: Òran Mór
Date: Thursday 23rd December


Feel like getting in some charity action after splurging on Xmas presents? This special one-off event invites donations in return for a night’s entertainment of house music from Harri (Subculture), Jasper, Bob Digital and special guests tba.

11pm-3am, donations requested

Club: Colours Winter Party
Venue: The Arches
Date: Sunday 26th December


Colours love their festive winter parties, and once again they’re pulling in the line-ups for wide-ranging tastes. Appearing will be: Sander Van Doorn, Mauro Picotto, Fergie, Menno De Jong, Dave Spoon, D Ramirez, Jon Mancini, Gio Ferri, Alan Belshaw and Chesco Ferri! A veritable platter of genres to pick from.

Sounds like:

9.30pm-4am, £25 / £20 Pre-Early Bird tickets

Club: Darkside meets Infexious
Venue: Soundhaus
Date: Sunday 26th December


The hardcore and hardstyle fans feeling their needs aren’t entirely met by the festive tv and radio schedules can indulge in this Boxing Day Special with Neophyte, The Beholder (TiLLT Records), and Tymon (Industrial Strength Records) headlining. Local hard-heads Al Twisted, Mikey Motion, Rob Da Rhythm, Joe Craig and more will support the extravaganza.

Sounds like:

10pm-3am, £12

Club: Der Supermax Boxing Day Blowout
Venue: Basura Blanca
Date: Sunday 26th December


Taking their cue from early NY disco-scenes, Der Supermax host a boxing day special with DJ Billy Woods, and featuring the Bozak - Balmain Sound System.

As Der Supermax says:
Double fisted
In flagrante
Should not be
Counted
Out

10pm-2am, £5

Club: Hung Up!
Venue: Sub Club
Date: Sunday 26th December


JD Twitch and JG Wilkes form the deadly DJ duo of Hung Up!, killing off cells of bad taste with the best tracks in dance music.

11pm-4am, £5 / £4 before midnight

Dundee

Club: Crtl-Alt-Defeat
Venue: Reading Rooms
Date: Sunday 26th December


No firm details of guests yet, but this is the best option for Dundee clubbers over the festive period - Crtl-Alt-Defeat programmes in the electro, techno and house.

10.30pm-3.30am, tbc

Inverness

Club: Funk D'Void
Venue: Ironworks
Date: Sunday 26th December

Fingers crossed Lars appears, followers of Twitter may have noticed his bid to drive through the snow of Scotland in a 4x4 to make sure he can play in Inverness. If he's going to that effort, can't be too hard for the Inverness house fans to make their way to the Ironworks! Rouse the huskies.

10pm-4am, £tbc

Monday, 20 December 2010

New digital release from Texture - Synaesthesia EP

I have to admit to being down on some elements of Scottish hip-hop in the past - sometimes the guttural and clipped Scottish accent distracts rather than flows with the beats - but I felt ashamed after listening to Texture’s ‘Non-Sequitr’, debunking the idea that Scotland and hip-hop as married concepts do not follow. The track kicks off Texture’s new EP ‘Synaesthesia’, available for a donation (or free) on Black Lantern Music, a netlabel offering DRM-free mp3s from independent musicians.

It’s the second part of Texture’s trilogy of EPs, and follows January 2010’s ‘Asphasia’ release which tipped reviewers to declare him a “bookworm emcee” - a title which holds true on the chemical-compound, philosophical quipping ‘Synaesthesia’.

As Texture says: “Synaesthesia is a neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. Synaesthetes may experience smells as colours, or sounds as flavours - they may mistake indie for house music, or rap for dubstep.”

The latter part sounds like a condition which can commonly effect reviewers - after the 30th release of the day beats start morph into other genres and the definitions become so blurred you do start to become hazy about what makes a genre.

Through this haze comes four tracks which have visited Earth in some format or another in previous months; ‘Non-Sequitr’, ‘Silver Age’, ‘Echo Boomers’ and ‘The Dawn View’. If you’re a listener to Vic Galloway’s Radio 1 show, you might have caught ‘Echo Boomers’ when Texture performed it live, and followers of Texture’s previous work may notice that ‘The Dawn View’ is a reincarnation of a track on Texture and Morphamish’s collaborative LP, ‘Future Proof’, released under the Double Helix alias.

But back to the creeping feeling of shame and ‘Non-Sequitr’! The track looks at not so much the ‘plight’ of Scottish hip-hop but of a realistic view that it’s sidelined in some way by the over-hyped US dominance and bling culture - something which very much does not exist in Scotland. He name-checks other Scottish artists who have helped carved the way for Scottish hip-hop, but there is a slightly sombre note to this when considering they have all yet to make breakthroughs on a multi-national scale. Texture’s lyrics make reference to the stark differences in US / Scottish culture; working night-shifts; spitting rhymes in over-crowded basements; being told by people like Kayne to dress in diamonds, “when all we can afford is costume jewellery”; and drinking cheap mind-numbing substances like Buckfast. It’s a slow swagger of hip-hop to a 6/8 beat, decorated by acoustic guitar - composed and produced by Salem Anders and will definitely hold appeal for Scottish hip-hop fans, but will the rest be ready for a rebuke at popular culture hip-hop, bling and all?

Kid Ritalin, co-manager of Glasgow’s Little Rock net-label and artist, joins Texture for ‘Silver Age’, featuring bassy glitch-hop, broken beat and sparks of wonk, and encompasses the ‘bookworm’ title with its digs at TV and ‘cultural’ distractions. The beats help to impose the feeling of urgency in the message, so the track works well in a holistic sense. Long-time Texture collaborator, Morphamish, steps in to do beats and production on this track and the following two.

Previously performed on Radio 1, ‘Echo Boomers (Generation Why)’, is warped electro hip-hop spitting you questions on Generation Y; questioning whether you’re “human or consumer”, just as I try to surreptitiously slide my new android phone under a cushion. The ironies of smoking cigarettes while driving through Bhopal (site of serious chemical disaster); bank balances growing and swelling like tumours; Starbucks authors; romanticised Woodstock; we are all “wikipediphiles”; and living out the carcinogenic inheritance of Baby Boomers - from chemical-laden technologies to surviving on celebrity gossip. This song has the potential to chip away at international boundaries given that it nails issues which stretch into lots of different cultures.

‘Synaesthesia’ closes with the revamped ‘The Dawn View’, taken from ‘Future Proof’, and taking an optimistic view of what I prefer to call ‘the walk of shame’ - that walk home from the club while still bedraggled from the night’s partying on MDMA, just as the milkmen appear. It’s an upbeat fusion of indie and jazzy cumbia tinges with added guitar by Richard Lindsay that would have you dancing home ‘Singing In the Rain’ style rather than the obligatory hood up, eyes down, shuffle quickly routine!

The trilogy will be completed with ‘Parasomnia’ due for release on Black Lantern in January 2011.


If you're stuck for a gift for your nearest and dearest hip-hop-lovin' friends, download the EP here and watch the video (filmed in Edinburgh) for ‘Non-Sequitr’ below:

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Tailored Communication: Xmas Mega Mix

From our friends at Tailored Communication comes an Xmas Mega Mix to cancel out the X-Factor chart dross!

"While you're roasting your chestnuts and knocking back the gluhwein, it's my pleasure to offer you an alternative soundtrack for your season. Jump deep into snow drifts of bass and dance giddily as delightful melodies fill the air...

Have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!"


Tailored Xmas Mega-mix 2010
mixed by, Santa's favourite elf, Exercise One


  Tailored Xmas Mega-Mix 2010 by Melissa

Or download here.

Tracklisting

Shed - STP2 / Ostgut Ton
Sideshow - Dub It all / Aus Music
Scuba - Before (After) / Hotflush
Emika - Cooling Room / Ostgut Ton
Exercise One - Prowl / Wagon Repair
Margret Dygas - Hidden (nsi mix) / PowerShovel Audio
Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Can´t Have Everything feat dOP /Crircus Company
Martyn - Miniluv /Ostgut Ton
Peter Van Hoesen - Irrational X (Exercise One Remix) / Exone
Scuba - Tracers (Deadbeat Remix) / Hotflush
Will Saul & Mike Monday - Sequence 1/ Aus Music
Joe - Claptrap / Hessle Audio
Shackleton - International Fires / Fabric
Sendai - Northeast / Time To Express
Mount Kimbie - Carbonated / Hot Flush
Space Dimension Controller - Temporary Thrillz / R&S
Phantasmeano - Vowels / Exone
Bloody Mary - Arabesque (Jin Choi rmx) / Dame-Music
Greie Gut Fraktion - Wir bauen eine Stadt (Alva Noto remodel) / Monika Enterprise
Massive Attack - Paradise Circus (Gui boratto remix) / Kompakt (from Michael Mayer's Immer 3)
Mathew Jonson - When Love Feels Like Crying / Wagon Repair
Mount Kimbie - Between Time/ Hot Flush

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

December (Week 3) Clubbing Listings: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee

There is no individual featured club of the week, this week, as everyone's gearing up for Xmas celebrations and pulling out all the stops!


Edinburgh

Club: Ill Behaviour
Venue: Liquid Room
Date: Thursday 16th December


Digital dub-lovers, ready! Toddla T fans, ready! Forget the Thurs night comedy schedule on TV and head to the thunderous bass of Ill Behaviour and hang on the words of MC Serocee. Boisterous dubstep, ragin’ ragga, and similar musical alliterations come from residents Taz Buckaster, Cadenza, A Meldrum, Tekkerz and more tba.

Sounds like:

10.30pm-3am, £6

Club: Souloco
Venue: Cabaret Voltaire
Date: Friday 17th December


Souloco vacate the second floor Speakeasy for the roomy halls of Cab’s mainstage to celebrate their first birthday of deep tech-house with special guest Jozif (Fist or Finger) and Fuse in the backroom.

Sounds like:

11pm-5am, £8 / £4 before 12am or students all night

Club: Xplicit
Venue: Bongo Club
Date: Friday 17th December


Another great headliner from Xplicit, as they welcome Dillinja and Loadstar (Xample and Lomax) to the Bongo. One of the men behind the Valve Sound System, you know Dillinja is going to bring the heavy dnb, and you’ll be catching Loadstar ahead of their debut LP, due for release on Ram Records early next year.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £10

Club: Musika
Venue: Liquid Room
Date: Saturday 18th December


It’s one of the first official Christmas parties of the year, and to help Musika on their to a banging night they welcome the return of Joris Voorn, Danny Howells, and the Musika debut of Edwin Oosterwal - Santa would want you to celebrate with tech-house, progressive and generally lovely electronic music!

Sounds like:

10.30pm-5am, £16 / £12

Club: Big’n’Bashy
Venue: Bongo Club
Date: Saturday 18th December


I fully expect a Big’n’Bashy birthday for their third birthday, and to make sure of it the crew are getting in the Messenger Sound System to blast their four deck mix of reggae, dubstep, dancehall, jungle and generally bouncy beats.

11pm-3am, £5

Club: Burger Queen & Yip Yap Reunion
Venue: Cabaret Voltaire
Date: Saturday 18th December


Making a welcome return for the house community of Edinburgh - for one night only - Burger Queen and Yip Yap cross the Atlantic divide to bring you US house. Huggy and Gareth Sommerville take you back in time with classic house grooves.

11pm-5am, £8 / £5 advance

Club: Wasabi Disco
Venue: Sneaky Pete’s
Date: Saturday 18th December


Another trip down memory lane for Edinburgh when DJ Brainstorm of Pure fame ditches the techno for a ‘no holds barred disco death match’ - same dude, different discs!

11pm-3am, £3 / members free

Glasgow 


Club: Deadmau5 - Cancelled due to bad weather conditions
Venue: Braehead Arena
Date: Friday 17th December



Not content with just any venue, Deadmau5 brings home the idea of stadium electro-house, when he hits the Braehead Arena for a packed show featuring Zane Lowe, Magnetic Man, and Calvin Harris. The party doesn’t stop at midnight, however, continuing without Deadmau5 and Magnetic Man at the O2 Academy for the official Aftershow. Pete Tong and Annie Mac join them.


Sounds like:


6pm-12am, £22.50. After-show until 3am, £24

Club: Numbers
Venue: Sub Club
Date: Saturday 18th December


One third of indie-rockers The XX, Jamie XX presents a special Xmas party DJ set. Numbers’ regulars Nelson and Goodhand support the jangly electronic feast.

Sounds like:

11pm-4am, £10

Club: Radio Magnetic Winter Rave
Venue: SWG3
Date: Saturday 18th December


If you’ve spent all your money on the Xmas shopping, the RM Winter Rave presents a bargain option - featuring four, count em, four guests for £5 over 6 hours. The internet radio station invites FOUND (Chemikal Underground), The Blessings (LuckyMe), S-Type (Phuturelabs) and Boom Monk Ben (Mixed Bizness), all blasting over the Radio Magnetic Soundsystem. Gear up for electro-pop, p-funk, hip-hop, new jack swing, rnb and jumpin’ electronica.

Sounds like:

9pm-3am, £5

Club: Death Disco
Venue: The Arches
Date: Saturday 18th December


The electro, house and sick disco party celebrate a special XXXmas Party with Burns, Zombie Nation, Unicorn Kid, and residents Wavy Graves, Hush Puppy, Josh Jones and Mingo-go. Techno-electro star Zombie Nation makes his second DD appearance, and Burns is better known as the UK electro-house producer and Calvin Harris’ tour DJ. Local star Unicorn Kid has been blowing away crowds since his mid-teens and has just completed tours with The Pet Shop Boys and Hadouken.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £14 / (£7 with a voucher from the Death Disco online mailing list)

Club: Mungo’s Hi Fi
Venue: Art School
Date: Saturday 18th December


It’s their farewell event to the Art School venue and to make sure it’s an affair to remember the Mungo’s crew will be playing an all residents special of dancehall, dub plates, grime, ragga, reggae and more. Do not fear however, Mungo’s returns next year at their new home of Stereo in Glasgow.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £5 advance and for Art School students; £8 on the door

Club: Subculture
Venue: Sub Club
Date: Saturday 18th December


Detroit soulful house flavours hit Subculture, taking on the form of 90s legend Terrence Parker this week. Personally, I really hope he still uses a telephone as a headphone! Harri and Domenic support.

Sounds like:

11pm-4am, £10 / £8

Club: Tronicsole
Venue: The Admiral
Date: Saturday 18th December


Residents HiRO and Steven Coyle welcome special guest Rozzo, founder of the Mountain People label, and a man of interesting monikers (Peter Dildo anyone?). Deep house grooves will be delivered Swiss-style. Part of me hopes that means house music served with chocolate.

Sounds like:

11pm-4am, £10 / £9 members

Club: Hung Up!
Venue: Sub Club
Date: Sunday 19th December


Special guests Honey Soundsystem are a collective of like-minded DJs and musicians, bringing the flavours and history of San Francisco gay dance culture to Subculture. They may call it queer house and disco, but it’s just damn good listening.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £5 / £4 before midnight

Dundee

Club: The Book Club
Venue: The Reading Rooms
Date: Thursday 16th December


When’s a book club, not a book club? When it’s a techno, disco and electro night.

10.30pm-2.30am, tbc

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Free Tunes: Sedge Warbler free track and mixtape

 

Ahead of their 'Welcome to the Universe' LP release in January 2011 on Skanky Panky Records, Lo-Quality has two free Sedge Warbler giveaways to whet your whistle. A mixture of glitch-hop, wonk, and electronica, the duo of Dank and Disko want to take you to the limits of outer space.

Sedge Warbler - Paranormal Ox Man


  • Free track from the new LP, titled 'Octopus Lover’- click here to download.
  • Sedge Warbler DJ mixtape- I Eatz Ribs on Tyhe First Date

I EATz RIBS ON TYHE FIRST DATE MIXTAPE! by DANk

Tracklist
1.Slugabed – Skyfire
2.Nasty Nasty – Knife Play
3.Mix N Blend – Get Crunk Wit Jesus
3.Mux Mool – Skulltaste
4.Eprom – Bubble
5.Sedge Warbler – Pretty Hop
6.ODB – Brooklyn Zoo / Harmonic 313 – Cyclotron
7.Nasty Ways – (LiL Wayne Lollipop Remix)
8.Mix N Blend+Narch – I got Bitches
9.Gramatik – Don't Get Weary
10.Pretty Lights – Total Fascination
11.VibeSquad – Aristocratic Static
12.Skanky Panky Allstars – (DJ Shadow Walki talkie REMIX)
13.Sedge Warbler – Paranormal Ox Man
14.Dank – The Game Needs Me


Full review of the LP will be available on the site soon, stay tuned

Friday, 10 December 2010

Anonymous: Dec 10th Press Release

ANON OPS: A Press Release anonymous logo Pictures, Images and Photos
December 10, 2010

Who is Anonymous

In their most recent public statement, WikiLeaks is the only group of people to identify Anonymous
correctly. Anonymous is not a group, but rather an Internet gathering.

Both Anonymous and the media that is covering it are aware of the percieved dissent between
individuals in the gathering. This does not, however, mean that the command structure of
Anonymous is failing for a simple reason: Anonymous has a very loose and decentralized command
structure that operates on ideas rather than directives.

We do not believe that a similar movement exists in the world today and as such we have to learn
by trial and error. We are now in the process of better communicating some core values to the
individual atoms that comprise Anonymous - we also want to take this opportunity to communicate
a message to the media, so that the average Internet Citizen can get to know who we are and what
we represent.

Anonymous is not a group of hackers. We are average Interent Citizens ourselves and our
motivation is a collective sense of being fed up with all the minor and major injustices we witness
every day.

We do not want to steal your personal information or credit card numbers. We also do not seek to
attack critical infrastructure of companies such as Mastercard, Visa, PayPal or Amazon. Our current
goal is to raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by the above
companies to impair WikiLeaks' ability to function.

What is Operation: Payback

As stated above, the point of Operation: Payback was never to target critical infrastructure of any of
the companies or organizations affected. Rather than doing that, we focused on their corporate
websites, which is to say, their online "public face". It is a symbolic action - as blogger and
academic Evgeny Morozov put it, a legitimate expression of dissent.

The background to the attacks on PayPal and the calls to attack Amazon.com

Amazon, which was until recently WikiLeaks' DNS provider, was one of the first companies to drop
support for WikiLeaks. On December 9th, BusinessInsider.com reported that Amazon.co.uk were
hosting the recently leaked diplomatic cables in e-book form. (Amazon.co.uk has since ceased
selling the bundle of the diplomatic cables.)

After this piece of news circulated, parts of Anonymous on Twitter asked for Amazon.com to be
targetted. The attack never occured.

While it is indeed possible that Anonymous may not have been able to take Amazon.com down in a
DDoS attack, this is not the only reason the attack never occured. After the attack was so advertised
in the media, we felt that it would affect people such as consumers in a negative way and make
them feel threatened by Anonymous. Simply put, attacking a major online retailer when people are
buying presents for their loved ones, would be in bad taste.

The continuing attacks on PayPal are already tested and preferable: while not damaging their ability
to process payments, they are successful in slowing their network down just enough for people to
notice and thus, we achieve our goal of raising awareness.

-----------------

You can download the original pdf here.


As someone who has attended Anonymous events - peaceful demonstrations with no police intervention - I can reiterate that Anonymous is not a 'bunch of hacktivists'.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

December (Week 2) Clubbing Listings: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee

Jack Beats
Featured Club of the Week: Moda & Mixmag Tour 2010
Venue: The Arches
Date: Saturday 11th December

Moda and Mixmag bring you fresh talent on tour, featuring jackin and bassy electro-house from Jack Beats (Beni G (Mixologists) and Plus One (Scratch Perverts)), Surkin’s club-poppin electro creations and 8-bit noise house from Jaymo & Andy George. Can’t find much/anything on Union so check it out in person!

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £12


Edinburgh

Club: Animal Hospital
Venue: Sneaky Pete’s
Date: Thursday 9th December


Start your weekend right with techno and minimal beats from the Animal Hospital crew.

11pm-3am, free

Club: Innuendub
Venue: Cabaret Voltaire
Date: Friday 10th December


For their end of year party, the dubstep heads are pulling in the grimy and blippy headliner Joker to get some dancefloor heat on the go in these sub-zero temperatures. God knows Edinburgh needs something hot and heated right now. A1 Bassline spins garage and junglist 2-step - new track ‘Breathless’ uses the pitched-up vocals so beloved by early Prodigy and it’s a nice trip down memory lane while kickin’ your heels to that steppin’ beat.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £10

Club: Bass Syndicate
Venue: Sneaky Pete’s
Date: Saturday 11th December


This group of people are all about the delicate butterfly-like melodies... or maybe not! Breaks, electro, dnb and lots of bass action from G-Mac Believe and Silver Storic.

11pm-3am, £3 / free to members

Glasgow

Club: Mixed Bizness
Venue: The Art School
Date: 9th December 2010


Local boy MGCK (pronounced Magick) makes a return to Mixed Bizness for his bi-monthly slot of bass-heavy beats; expect a range of dub, UK funky, electro and solid house. The ticket price also includes entry to the Vic Bar downstairs, which happens to be 90s Hip-Hop this week.

11pm-3am, £4 / £3 before midnight / £free for GSA students before midnight

Club: Lock Up Your Daughters
Venue: The Flying Duck
Date: Friday 10th December


It’s a fanzine, it’s a club, and most of all, a straight-friendly queer bash where heteros are the minority for once. Without a cheesy tune in sight, the LUYD crew are known for their italo-house, electro and femme punk fun and this month is a Movember special with all proceeds going to the Prostate Cancer foundation. Grow your own or buy you own at the club - options may be limited for the girlies! DJs Suezz, Skeleton Boy, Spill and Lock Up Your DJs.

11pm-3am, £5 / £4

Club: Naive
Venue: The Arches
Date: Friday 10th December


Les Français sont de retour avec un formidable line-up (sur un theme de français, bien sûr), avec A-Trak, Cassius et Busy P for a triple-header of electro-house and disco grooving.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £12 / £7

Club: Return to Mono
Venue: Sub Club
Date: Friday 10th December


Dave Clarke. Did you need an introduction? Kicking off the 4am licence that marks the festive clubbing period, the ‘Baron’ seals another weekend with techno, house and electro. Get the blood pumping! Slam will be on hand to offer heart massage with pounding beats earlier in the evening.

Sounds like:

11pm-4am, 14 / £12 advance

Extra: Dave appears the next evening (11th) at Aberdeen’s Snafu club for The Mothership (11pm-3am, £15 / £10)

Club: Dub Federation
Venue: The Art School
Date: Saturday 11th December


We all remember the shock when Grooverider was incarcerated for possession of cannabis in Dubai, but that’s all behind him now and the 1 Xtra DJ is back on top form and making a welcome return to Glasgow... where they’ll be positively glad if he happens to forget he’s carrying any substances - as long as he shares it out, mind! He’ll be driving the jungle breaks, heavy bass and dnb, with support from Dread Mc, Larizzle, MC Frilla and Rapid.

Sounds like:

10.30pm-3am, £12 / £10 advance

Club: Mount Heart Attack
Venue: La Cheetah
Date: Saturday 11th December


Taking the juke sound to a strange level, set your body and booty to vibrate and get down the dance moves for Addison Groove’s (aka Headhunter) electronic party, who is making his live debut in Glasgow. Grime support comes from Terror Danjah’s DJ set. 

Sounds like:

11pm-2am, tbc

Club: Subculture
Venue: Sub Club
Date: Saturday 11th December


Deep, melodic house with italo influences from Hamburg’s Tensnake this week - rising to celebration with his 2010 ‘Coma Cat’ release, I believe this is his debut performance for Glasgow, and perhaps Scotland!

Sounds like:

11pm-4am, £10

Dundee

Club: Spaceball
Venue: Reading Rooms
Date: Friday 10th December


Ah, good old fashioned rave action! Wonky music on a techno, acid and breaks tip, including reach for the sky lasers, freaky visuals and neon to make your eyes bleed.

Sounds like:

10.30pm-2am, tbc

Friday, 3 December 2010

ISVOLT - A Disaro Witch House Compilation

The Witch House deconstruction posts (Part 1 and Part 2) proved popular with readers, and resulted in contact from God Don’t Like It; a promoter, club night, label and general seeker of experimental and odd music. They heralded the unholy birth of ISVOLT, a nine act compilation from the mind of Robert Disaro (head of Disaro Records) featuring different takes on the witch house sub-genre from self-distributing artists.

I’m still in the undecided camp on witch house, despite listening to many of the genres which contribute to it’s core sound; stuck between the witch lovers and witch haters, I have approached with caution. To help me make up my mind and because the nature of this blog means new features can be added just whenever I feel like it, I’m introducing a new aspect for special review requests - guest DJ reviewers! For this one, and because he was generous enough to lend his time and ears, the Niallist stuck around in cyberspace to delve through the occult and weird with me. Personally, I come from a background of industrial, dark metal and techno, and the Niallist has shown love for experimental and weirdo electronica amongst his house, acid and disco yearnings, so we figured that together we could reach the apt witch house head-space.

ISVOLT - A Disaro Witch House Compilation (Disaro Records)
Release Date: 6th of December 2010
Formats: CD, 12” LP, Digital


1. †‡† (Ritualzz) - Misery Walk

Lo-Q: Ah, like hearing an 80s goth single go through a blender; all fuzz and lamenting guitar wails with an odd rhythm reminiscent of spicatto techniques. Eventually some lo-fi dubstep influences appear and it starts to sound like a damaged set breakdown that sprawls on, but that American accented voice sounds like a nippy complainer.

Niallist: So this is witch-house? Well, it's not very house-y is it? I thought it might be bitch house's evil older aunty but apparently not. I'm not feeling any housiness about this at all, but I am getting a witch vibe. Witch-hop might be a better term. Or Witch-no. Obviously these people are not as adept at making up spurious genre names as we are.

2. Party Trash - Sky Clad

Lo-Q: A bit like Gary Numan on a dark day (which is sayin’ something), Party Trash applies the degraded theme to its beats, rendering them broken for an anti-rhythm thunderkick of drums. That anti-rhythm feeling prevails through a lot of witch house I’ve heard so far. Drones, deep bass, a hint of prog-rock - it gets a bit confusing when the fast, arpeggiated electro dives in.

Niallist: I wouldn't be able to drop any of this in a club, that's for sure. I might be able to use it on a Norave mixtape though. To me this is like a less annoying Sleigh Bells. It seems the producers have thought about the textures of the noise elements more carefully than Sleigh Bells, and it reminds me of 90s groups like Medicine. Gaze-hop would be a more accurate genre title, but it would probably not go down too well in the world of rap.

3. Fostercare - Cold Light

Lo-Q: I’ve been having flashes of DJ Hell mixes throughout this compilation, and Fostercare holds the most similarity with its space age electronica. Not to mention the DJ Shadow and Fischerspooner (if they turned industrial) elements. This is actually scarily close to the doodles of noise I’ve been making on my Nintendo DS Korg, further helped by the bottom-of-the-well rhythms which sound like they’ve been recorded in an adjacent room - this is going in time with the beats filtering up from my downstairs neighbours. ‘Cold Light’ is stripped of the fuzz but not the decay.

Niallist: Fostercare is a great name for a band, and ‘Cold Light’ is a fitting name for this tune. I like the textures of the shoegazey elements so far, and the vocal, which I can't tell is either resampled and chopped, or deliberately badly recorded. Doing things badly on purpose, with a good reason, can be great. And this track has a more interesting beat pattern than the other two so far.

4. //TENSE// - Versus Man

Lo-Q: I’m not so sure this is witch house really - it can easily be captured as industrial Nitzer Ebb style, doing the Bladerunner theme. The chuggy techno hi-hat, the vocals, the industrial grunge, and even taints of Ministry towards the end. This would sit fairly comfortably on an industrial mix - the metal part of me can’t help having a soft spot for this track.

Niallist: Ooh, I like this already - I'm into industrial clanking noises. And finally! A 4/4 beat! Well almost. This is as close to how I imagined this music would sound, though to be honest it does bear more than just a passing resemblance to late 80s/early 90s industrial. Which is not a bad thing. It's a bit of a departure from the rest of the record though.

5. Modern Witch - Your Life a Movie

Lo-Q: Rob Zombie would be proud of the b-movie style drone start. Echoed voices, numb, lispy American male vocals, repeating ‘Julia Roberts smiling a lot’, which is an eerie concept on its own. I don’t know why, but I think a lot of witch house artists have all sat down and watched Heathers and 80s sci-fi, and then set about making electronica. I think there’s a definite opiate feel, but it doesn’t fit with the chopped and screwed sound.

Niallist: This is maybe the best so far. I like all the elements, the beat, the noise and the droney vocal. Droney vocals can be hit and miss (nobody does it better than Farah) but these vocals have just the right mix of detachment and cynicism to work. Pity about the lyrics though. This really does make me think of Italians Do It Better turning their hand to noisy downtempo rather than electro-disco. Great outro too.

6. Mater Suspiria Vision - Ritualz of the Crack Witches

Lo-Q: Mater tend to use more of the ‘classic’ sounds of dance music - claps, kicks, bass - but as if testing them out and pressing the button for the hell of it. The sound is definitely screwed, but it does tend to ‘drag’ on though (har har).

Niallist: Ok, from the name alone I get the feeling this act was assembled to make some filler for this compilation. And sadly the music bears that out - which is a shame cos the names ARE great. All the musical elements you'd now expect are here. This makes me think someone has a vested interest in selling this genre as a concept. And that conversely makes me wonder who will be the Beatles of witch house?

Lo-Q: These are actually one of the more successful witch house acts, but I agree - my preference is for Mater’s remix work.

Niallist: Oh wow, so I was totally wrong! Indeed, perhaps MSV are the witch house Beatles.

7. Horse MacGyver - Nod

Lo-Q: Definitely getting a 90s dark metal feel from this one, with badly wired keyboard drones. The freaked out samples, beat misdirections and clash of instrument wails all fit but there’s a hip-hop swagger to it. I think maybe you’re ‘witch house’ if you say you are; a kind of ‘I think, therefore I am’ deal.

Niallist: Ah, I'm feeling this one! It has elements of John Carpenter soundtracks and skronk going on too, which is broadening up the sound a bit. And the name Horse MacGyver makes me think of Horse Rotorvator by Coil. Which makes sense as a reference. I like the very long feedback delay on the end but they killed it by just chopping it off, they should have stuck with it until it totally faded out, even if that took another 17 hours. Witches need to stand by their convictions.

Lo-Q: Skronk? What genres are you chucking in here now?!

Niallist: Skronk is a sub-genre of post-punk. It makes free jazz sound like N Sync.

8. White Ring - IxC999

Lo-Q: This is thicker hip-hop drag, spiked with glock sound effects and almost childish sing-song vocals. I’d love to see the kind of dance moves people are pulling out to this. And I mean proper dancing; this ain’t an excuse to go back to goth shoe-gazing, which is only appropriate if you own particularly great shoes.

Niallist: I like this one too, it's actually pretty crunky, and the squeaky feedback on the vocal at the start is really pretty cool. Wow, is that a steeldrum I can hear in there somewhere? Colour me impressed! Or maybe I am over-reacting after the limited sound palate used up to this point? Whatever, I like this, I like the rhythm of the beats and the vocal, it creates a juxtaposition with the noise that is cool. So, how long before M.I.A. jumps on the witch house bandwagon?

9. Raw Moans - Nectarine

Lo-Q: Um, is this in the wrong section? I can only perceive this as dreamy electronica over a hip-hop beat. Not as dark as the others, it reminds me of a Smashing Pumpkins ditty.

Niallist: This is not my favourite track on the album, but this genre now begins to make more sense through this track - it's kids that have been listening to crunk and southern hip-hop for the last few years, and trying to take that basic premise somewhere dark and twisted. I don't know how much mileage this genre has, as I can see there being a backlash pretty soon, but there's a few good tracks on this album. But, really, guys, come on... "Witch House"? Even dream-hop would be a better name.

Lo-Q: A rose by any other name, and all that..


--
To launch ISVOLT on the UK shores, Mater Suspiria Vision and Fostercare play their debut UK show in London’s Soho at The Den on 6th December, organised by Bite London and God Don’t Like It.

ISVOLT - A Disaro Witchhouse Compilation can be acquired on CD or 12” through relatively normal methods - not a spell or rune in sight - by attending occult shops as Rough Trade, Pure Groove, Piccadilly Records, Norman Records, Amazon, and HMV.

http://www.robotelephant.co.uk/

Thursday, 2 December 2010

December (Week 1) Clubbing Listings: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee

This week we have a rare double-header of featured clubs of the week

Ambivalent
Featured Club of the Week: Bigfoot's Tea Party
Venue: Glasgow School of Art
Date: Friday 3rd December

Bigfoot celebrate their second birthday party with special guest Ambivalent (M_nus) in a traditional venue (a change from fish factories, laundrettes and recording studios!) for techno and electronica fun. Ambivalent will be rockin’ the throbbin’ techno, but has also been invited to cut the Bigfoot birthday cake! The club also have a brand new sound system from Tannoy and rig from CPE Lighting to boost the hardware spec for their special event. Support comes from Faux Pas, Marmalade Man and visuals from Redux.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £10 / £8 advance or for GSA students

More info: Join the pre-party fun which starts at Offshore’s basement (Gibson St) for audio-visual art installations and music [2pm-8pm], followed by an official party of beats, vodka jelly and BYOB from 8pm-11pm.

Featured Club of the Week: Subculture Live
Venue: Sub Club
Date: Friday 3rd December

Just before they go head to head with Melting Pot, house legends Subculture have a special live event featuring Mervin Granger / Esa, Octave One, and Milton Jackson. You’ll better know Esa as Subculture’s resident but tonight you can get to grips with his alter-ego Mervin, and his deep grooves and bombastic basslines, while Detroit techno brothers Octave One show why they’re still banging it after 20-odd years. Milton Jackson brings more local flavour with his house head-ticklers.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £10 / £8


Edinburgh

Club: Hot Mess
Venue: Wee Red Bar
Date: Friday 3rd December

DJ Simonotron strikes out from Clubs for Heroes and Devil Disco Club for his own venture into acid house, Hi-NRG, disco, italo and electro at this sizzling gay club.

11pm-3am, £3

Club: Tokyoblu - The CD Grab
Venue: Cabaret Voltaire
Date: Friday 3rd December

Tokyoblu are back with another CD Grab - every DJ playing at the night will have 50 copies of their own mix CD - and you just have to ask! Select a mix from one of the DJs, which includes John & Iain Tokyoblu in room 1, and David McGeorge, and Tokyoblu bros Niall and Denis McKervey with funky house all night.

11pm-3am, £7 / £5 guest lists - see here for guest list info.

Club: Ultragroove
Venue: Cabaret Voltaire
Date: Saturday 4th December
Right this is going to be interesting, logistically, given that resident Gareth Sommerville is also playing at a Melting Pot event in Glasgow on the same evening! He’s lined up for soulful house and disco in the backroom, while Craig Smith of 6th Borough takes the front room with Stephen Rodgers (Elements of Soul) for a selection of house, techno and disco. Martin Valentine, Lel Palfrey and Carina Ramos support.
Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £8 / £5 before midnight or with student ID

More info: Melting Pot vs Subculture at the Sub Club on 4th December for house and disco grooves featuring Andrew Pirie, Harri, Domenic and of course Gareth Sommerville on his cross-country venture.

11pm-3am, £10 / £8 before midnight

Club: Messenger Sound System
Venue: Bongo Club
Date: Saturday 4th December

Special guests The Educators join Messenger Sound System for reggae, dub and roots basslines to shake the snow from your hoods. Comprised of Burning Bush, Errol T and Mr Fabulous, The Educators will bring fresh dubs to accompany the lyricisations of MC Ras Echo.

11pm-3am, £7 / £6 before midnight

Club: Volume!
Venue: Sneaky Pete’s
Date: Saturday 4th December

Not only is this event free, it features special guest DFRNT, the Echodub label owner and bassline / dubstep producer. The Volume! crew bring up the rear with roots, electro, Baltimore, crunk and more.
Sounds like:

11pm-3am, free


Glasgow


Club: Mixed Bizness
Venue: Vic Bar, Glasgow School of Art
Date: Thursday 2nd December

Tonight is the launch party for the new Medusa EP from Glasgow’s S-Type, appearing on electronic label Phuturelabs. A mix of electronica, grime, p-funk, and hip-hop, Phuturelabs are delighted with the new release. Catch S-Type with fellow guest Ninja Tune’s Hint, host Profisee and resident Boom Monk Ben to kick off your weekend.

Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £4 /Free for GSA students before midnight

Club: Killer Kitsch, Muck and Dirty Noise
Venue: Stereo
Date: Friday 3rd December

Coalitions are a theme this year - even if the Con-Dem pact ain’t working at least our clubs can shown them how it’s done! Armed with an extra late night licence, Killer Kitsch, Muck and Dirty Noise join forces to secure an appearance from Reset! (Cheap Thrills) who are promoting their new fidget house / turbofunk EP. Fellow guest Ado (Blood Music) will blister the eardrums with his brand of electro.
Sounds like:

11pm-4am, £7

Club: Supernova
Venue: The Arches
Date: Friday 3rd December

Slovenia isn’t usually picked out for its music scene by the mainstream press, but the techno community knows that hard beats lie there! Valentino Kanzyani crosses Europe to take the Arches with the Hell DJs for bubbling electro-house, techno and tech-house to cover your bass bases!
Sounds like:

10pm-3am, £12

Club: Symbiosis
Venue: The Admiral
Date: Friday 3rd December

Symbiosis bring Lahndahn north when drum and bass producer Data (Metalheadz / Tempa) has all hands on deck for the Admiral. Resident DJs Calaco Jack and Alcane are first and second mates of the evening.
Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £7 / £5 students

Club: Slabs of the Tabernacle
Venue: La Cheetah
Date: Saturday 4th December

He’s an International Deejay Gigolo, but goes by the more sedate name Mick Wills - a master and lover behind the decks - he whips up a blend of house, techno, italo, Hi-NRG (the recurring buzz-word of 2010!) and electro; perfect for the Slabs crew.
Sounds like:

11pm-3am, £7

Club: Tiga
Venue: The Arches
Date: Sunday 5th December

Are you going to want him? Well Tiga is all yours on the finishing Sunday of the week when he has the Arches all to himself, for a night of himself. Support is to be announced, but if you want to wear your sunglasses at night to Turbo-charged electro, Tiga is in the house!
Sounds like:

9pm-3am, £12.50


Dundee


Club: Ctrl-Alt-Defeat
Venue: Reading Rooms
Date: Saturday 4th December

Electro guests Hey Today!, Clouds and Ado (who was performing in Glasgow on the previous night!) bring the big beats for Crtl-Alt-Defeat. Surrender now!

Sounds like:

10.30pm-2.30am, £tbc

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Part 2: The Niallist - He came, He played, He conquered more

In the second part of Lo-Quality’s interview with The Niallist, we look deeper into gay club stereotypes, future LPs, and how Nibiru could put a dent on proceedings.

Gay-friendly clubs have a bit of a reputation for rating highly on the cheese factor in terms of musical content, and it's only in recent times that reputable dance has started to become an equal part of the focus i.e. Menergy, Club for Heroes, Horse Meat Disco and so on. What moved you to become involved with Menergy and introduce electronic stylin' to the crowds?

“It was started by Kid Zipper and Lady Munter -I went to the first few, played a guest slot they really enjoyed, and when the original resident Gerard dropped out they offered me a residency. I jumped at it, because the music policy is so perfect for me (disco / Hi-NRG / Italo / acid house) and having a drag/performance element involved takes it beyond being just a normal club night. I also think it's something that Glasgow really needs right now.

"The last 20 years or so has seen gay life become hugely homogenised and corporatised."
“Kid Zipper said (and I agree completely) that he wanted Menergy to become Glasgow's equivalent to London's Horse Meat Disco, which is my favourite club in the world. They are hugely responsible for rehabilitating gay clubbing culture - Andy Blake of Dissident said it best when he said they play "roots music for the gay community". So we're taking our cue from them really. But also, because Glasgow was a big Hi-NRG town in the 80's - we have our own gay history to represent, which is different to theirs. On top of that there's a few other nights like Lock Up Your Daughters and Hot Mess (in Edinburgh) that all strive to make gay clubbing exciting again, so maybe we're about to see a renaissance.”

How do you feel about how the club has progressed?

“Really, really well! We had our first "vogue ball" (where drag queens compete on a catwalk to be crowned best looking / dressed) called the Fierce Ruling Divas Ball with Che Camille a few weeks ago, and it was immense. It went better than I could have hoped, and we managed to attract quite a lot of drag queens. It's funny, because one or two cross-dressers at a normal club can freak some guys out, but when they are there en masse it becomes less threatening somehow. It's just another sub-set of the club's audience. We're now planning a vogue ball in Manchester, called Vogue Brawl, and that is gonna be FIERCE because this town has got so much untapped drag potential. Also, from next February, Menergy will start our monthly residency at the Glasgow School of Art's Vic Bar, which is VERY exciting!”

Are you looking to break barriers down between the stereotypical ideas of a gay and 'heterosexual' club?

“I don't know, probably both a yes and no on that one. I think we are simultaneously tapping into an older current (the mid-80s Hi-NRG boom at clubs like Bennets in Glasgow and Fire Island in Edinburgh) and also bringing in something that has been building in London for the last few years.

“Gay clubbing hasn't always been bad, it just seems like the last 20 years or so has seen gay life become hugely homogenised and corporatised. So you get these random non-stars paying for appearances at gay venues, and suddenly their press agent claims that they are a ‘gay icon’, which is nonsense. But it's the same for almost all cultures though, we are living in the age of the lowest common denominator. The huge mega-corps that rule the world can only operate on those levels, which is understandable, and that leaves loads of room for ‘niche’ markets. What depresses me though is when the mega-corps try and convince you that their way is the only way, and worse, when niche marketers and audiences believe them and feel they need to ape them to survive.”
"Remixing is a great process for getting to grips with a new programme, but now that I have gotten the hang of it I can dedicate it to my own dark twisted fantasies. Like getting off with badly painted amputees on a sofa.”
On an end of year note, if you were to recommend three of your own releases from 2010, which would you pick, and why?

“Wow! Um... have there been more than three? I'm really happy with the Metatron stuff I have been doing for Black Lantern, so I would recommend some of that stuff; either of the tracks ‘So Subliminal’ or ‘Trains’. But for real Niallist shiz it would have to be ‘I Came’, possibly the Brassica remix as he did a really good job turning it into Italo / electro. Also, ‘A.C./I.D.’ by House Machine, as it shows yet another side of what I do, and I feel that my music will be going more in this direction in the future. That is, once I have shown all these electro-pop fakers how it should really be done.”

What has the year meant for you in terms of production / remix schedule, performances, and music scenes in general? What have been the high points, the low points, and the just plain weird ones?

“I just found out this morning that Peter Christopherson from Throbbing Gristle/Coil has died [interview conducted 25th November 2010], and maybe it's just me, but it feels like there's a huge wave of death sweeping through music and pop culture. So many great people have died this year, and so many institutions are either changing or closing, that 2010 feels to me like a serious period of transition for music. And culture in general - a changing of the guards in a way. It is very sad, especially when you lose friends, but culturally it is kind of exciting. What is the new re-birth that is lurking around the corner? And can I help that birth along in some way? So, low points would be the deaths of friends.

“High points would probably be the Fierce Ruling Divas Ball, closely followed by the All About Evil premiere here in Manchester in October that I was involved in. In terms of my own personal schedule, I have been doing more production and writing of my own material this year, and a lot less remixing. It's the result of having to spend 2009 learning how to use Ableton. Remixing is a great process for getting to grips with a new programme, but now that I have gotten the hang of it I can dedicate it to my own dark twisted fantasies. Like getting off with badly painted amputees on a sofa.”

Lastly, we're now nearing the ill-fated year of 2012 - when doomsayers predict the world's end - what are you going to do with your time and your talents in the period leading up to it?

“Good question! I hope to have by then brought out an album I have been writing for the past few years, about a love affair that is facilitated and expressed through dance music, from the first meeting to falling in love to the break up and back to recovery. I always aim high, and I really want this album to be a stone cold classic. It's most of the way there as I have been keeping very strong songs back for it, now I just need to get some producers involved and get the ball rolling in time.

“Apart from that I want to arrange a series of parties leading up to Christmas 2012, connected to the numerology of those dates. It's a significant period for me also, as my birthday is on the winter solstice, and in 2012 I will turn a significant age. 2012 is an interesting concept, there's a lot of distortion around it in the mainstream (and fringe) media - the Mayan calendar coming to an end in 2012 does not mean time itself comes to an end, rather that the last of their great ages comes to an end. So the world won't necessarily blow up or get hit with an asteroid or Nibiru or something. I like how Daniel Pinchbeck deals with it the best. He basically says, ‘OK, maybe the world is not going to blow up, but we are on the brink of serious disaster if we don't change as a species, so why not aim to make those changes in 2012?’”


Niallist Blog: http://www.niallism.com
Menergy Gay Dance Party: http://www.menergy.tv