“Slam”Bient: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix
It's almost ludacris to think that Slam, the Glaswegian techno duo from the North have been producing and releasing records for almost thirty years now. Throughout that time they have been involved in the formation of the Soma label, the imprint which released the earliest Daft Punk records, music from Surgeon, Funk D'Void and many many more. Slam's influence as a duo has been prolific and they are appreciated and respected across the world as much as they are in their hometown. Stepping up to the table with something a little outside the norm, we put the pair through their paces as they contribute an all ambient mix to our Monday series which sees them delve deep through the relams of Global Communication and beyond. This one is pretty special. Listen and read the interview below:
Please introduce yourself…
Orde Meikle and Stuart McMillan.
Who are you, where are you and what are you?
We are “Slam", in Glasgow at the moment and we’re curators and producers of Techno music.
What does your music sound like?
Deep and Dark.
Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us, an image from the old internet is acceptable?
The stereotypical sound of Slam doesn’t necessarily correlate with ambient music, where did the interest for the genre evolve from?
We’ve always had love for ambient music – and have been greatly influenced by the works of the likes of Steve Reich, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. It's a genre we like to keep up with for our own pleasure. You'll also find it in our DJ sets if we're opening Room 2 at Fabric for example. Right now people like Mosam Howieson, Oubys are doing some nice work. There's also ambient tracks on most of our albums and we worked with the Orb on UFO Orb album on a track called Close Encounters.
How is Glasgow today? Assuming you aren’t away?
Glasgow is a fantastically vibrant city (and sunny today). As with many post industrial British cities it’s taken time for the city to find a new identity – but the arts scene has always been a big part of the cities heritage and continues to grow and evolve.
Where was the mix recorded?
In one of our studios – very late at night.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Anywhere the listener feels truly relaxed and is devoid of any other stimulation other than the audio.
What should we be wearing?
Casual and non restrictive attire would be preferable.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location, system, format?
At the top of the Angel Falls, on a Void sound system through a Neve desk.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
They’re all favourites – that’s why we choose them – but the one that probably edges it, in it’s entirety on there, would be : Mystic Institute – Ob Selon Mi Nos – Global Communications Mix – Evolution
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
It would be a very old C90 tape from a club in London called Babylon – where they used to play all the 45 rpm records at 33rpm – giving a reggae tempo to all the early house and techno records – a truly revolutionary concept.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Probably Ron Hardy at the Music Box in Chicago – it was such a inspiring time for dance music – merging the early house and techno sounds with european electronica and sequence driven disco.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
Our first DJ set up was a pair of LAD (London Acoustic Development) pitch variable record decks ( pre Technics 1200 ) – a Phonic Mixer and a set of paper slipmats. Now we go between Pioneer CDJs 2000 and Native Instruments Traktor – plus Allen and Heath mixers – but we both still miss spinning vinyl.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
We think the record you start with is possibly the most important tune – sets the tone and fires up the interest to listen on – but the last is also very important too – one’s lasting memory.
What were the first and last records you bought?
We’ll stick with 12 inch vinyl for this question – the first was Trans Europe Express by Kraftwerk on luminous vinyl and the last was one was Levon Vincent – Man Or Misteress – Novel Sound
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Like one of the Willy Wonka sweets that keeps changing flavours – the name of which escapes us.
If it were an animal what would it be?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Mauel Gottenschng – E2 E4
Upcoming in the world of…
We have a brand new Slam artist Vinyl album due for release “Machine Cut Noise" coming soon. We also have the 25th anniversary of our record label Soma due to start this year with some label nights across the globe and a limited triple box set – one is fresh new tracks by pioneering artists, one is back catalogue tracks remixed by emerging artists and finally a set of very influential landmark tunes, for us, remixed and brought up to date by ourselves.
We have also recorded a number of new 12’s for our “Soma and our Track Series” offshoot. We are gearing up for some important live shows this summer which we debuted at Mayday in Germany last April .
We also have our monthly residencies Pressure and Return To Mono and our yearly Riverside Festival and T in the Park "Slam Tent" finalised – so gearing up for them.
Anything else we need to discuss?
No – thats it for now.
Follow Slam on Facebook HERE.