INTERVIEW WITH THE MASTERMIND BEHIND RIPPED IN GLASGOW
Back in 2009 R$N's ears were alerted in the 'blogosphere' (technical term) to what was to go on to become, in our eyes one of the legendary blogs. The incredible Ripped In Glasgow started life as a humble reappraisal of 'Moggie's record collection. He'd "bought hundreds of vinyl over last 30 years or so. Had a phase when the decks were put away and it was strictly mp3s round these parts. Not Any More. 2009 = frequent vinyl rips from the vaults." Posting forgotten Weatherall remixes, Bill Drummond discussions, random obscure techno "Pure/Optimo-friendly, and the downright embarrassing." With no idea who was behind this little beauty of an aural re-education R$N began religiously following their every post and scouring Discogs for pretty much every piece of black plastic he posted. In short, he upped every record from our childhood we never knew the names of and others we couldn't believe we'd never heard.
Moggie's rather fine record collection furnished our ears with 2 full years of aural beauties before leaving us in January 2011 in a sacrificial virtual burning (he ripped down every post from the blog)… It lives on in a facebook group which is highly recommend you join but recently moggie posted a pdf of every post he'd ever posted along with live links for every track right here.
Having hounded Moggie from time to time about tracks, posts and the like and re-established contact recently we thought it only right to ask the man of fine taste a few things about his lovely ex-blog:
"If it wasn’t for Optimo and Pure, there would be no Ripped In Glasgow. "
Tell us a bit about the effect these two clubs had on you. Let us know a bit about your other influences and musical upbringing.
The first time I went to Pure in early 1993 I was truly blown away. Unlike any other club I'd been to, the focus was on the music (and getting off your head but that's another story). No-one gave a fuck what you looked like or wore, unlike certain other places I'd been to. I wouldn't even have attempted to get into the Sub Club back then as it had a reputation for turning people away for not being 'cool enough'. Fuck that. Anyway, I still remember hearing the track Koenig Cylinders 'Carousel' shortly after arriving on my first night there and that was it – spent the whole night dancing and immediately knew that I'd found my new home. I'd only ever been to see bands at the Edinburgh Venue before, and this was a revelation. It was your classic scummy sticky-floored venue, the likes of which are mostly gone now. There was no way of getting back to Glasgow after the club until the buses started in the morning so there was a group of us all went to a pub called the Penny Black which handily opened at 4am, when Pure shut. This after-hours pub scene had all sorts of interesting characters/nutters, one of whom was Keith aka Twitch as he had the same journey home issues as the rest of us. Anyway – (almost) weekly visits to Pure became a way of life for the next three years or so. I ended up having to move away for a few years so started going less and less, then one night after a gig at the Barras one Sunday (probably Primal Scream or Spiritualized) decided to go and check out Keith's new night at the Sub Club. We went in and he was playing the Stooges – not what I was expecting. There were only a handful of people there, this was the early days of AquaPlanet, which became Optimo. All the while I'd been spending every bit of available cash on records, mainly from Rub-A-Dub and Fopp.
Musical Upbringing? My introduction to music was via Adam & The Ants – never looked back (saw him 7 times last year as well), then through various 80s types – BAD, FGTH, Propaganda, David Sylvian, a VERY brief ill-advised Marillion phase in the mid 80s. Bye bye credibility. I soon got this out my system and it was all systems goth for the next wee while. The goth stuff got me backtracking to the Stooges, Velvet Underground, Suicide and 70s Bowie. This all changed again with a Sonic Youth/Mudhoney gig on the Daydream Nation tour. In 1992 'something happened' and I 'got' dance music – nuff said. When I did the blog I decided to post some non-dancey stuff at the weekends to show the other influences. The goth stuff started creeping in after a while… I actually started a Facebook campaign a couple of weeks ago to get the BBC to make a Goth Britannia programme and the people who make those sort of decisions are actually taking notice! Mental…
Who are you?
When I recently filled out an application for the quiz show Pointless that I forgot to send in, my Pointless friend described me as "a psychedelic Ted Bovis".
You've got an unhealthy obsession with Weatherall & Optimo as have I. To what do you attribute their greatness and why do you keep coming back to them?
So many reasons:
– genius inspirational DJs and producers, who lead rather than follow.
– musical pedigrees second to none that have turned me onto more good music than I can physically listen to. Andrew Weatherall's recent XOYORadio shows being a case in point.
– great chat, always a joy to listen to/read
– in the case of Optimo they're always up for putting on mad one-off nights that are unlikely to make money, just for the hell of it. Check out the website for pics of Apocalypse Optimo, Space Odyssey etc as well as putting on gigs for the likes of Chris & Cosey and Nurse With Wound.
– On the good guy/wank spectrum they're definitely in the good guy zone, with bonus beats. No bullshit. This is very important.
– this is just touching the tip of the iceberg, I could go on about them all day, and frequently do to the annoyance of my long suffering wife and friends.
"This stems from back in 1995 or so, when it was perfectly reasonable to pay £14.99 on a regular basis for a double-pack 12" single. I used to enjoy seeing how carefully I could slit down the shrink wrap so that it kept its shape and didn’t shrivel up. What a sad cunt…"
Still buy shrink-wrapped vinyl these days?
Yes! Still buy vinyl from Monorail and Rub-A-Dub, and spent two hours queueing up outside Monorail last Saturday morning after an all-nighter to get my paws on some of the Record Store Day stuff. Unfortunately not the Starman 7" pic disc though. Managed to get a bastard of a cut down my fingernail opening shrink wraps in the pub afterwards. Perks of the job I guess…
"I’ve managed to survive 36 years on this planet without ever feeling the need to buy a Bruce Springsteen record. This changed recently when I found out about the  Alan Vega 70th(!) birthday series on Blast First Petite."
Bought anymore since then?!
Nah, but I'm more open to him now, especially after hearing the track that Bobby Gillespie played on a radio show recently that sounded really like Suicide, and there's a great cover of I'm On Fire by Chromatics. Couldn't handle one of his marathon sets but certainly have a new-found respect for him. Almost.
Get in any trouble from anyone from any tracks you posted?
I always set out to put up stuff that was either out of print or limited-as-fuck and not commercially available. The first one to go was Primal Scream Uptown remixes which I kinda thought might get pulled. Apart from that I stupidly posted 'Trance' by Chris & Cosey not realising that it was still available. I asked Chris Carter on Twitter and he asked me to pull it so I did, it only had a handful of downloads though. No major trouble though. I'm not a fan of sites like nodata that post new stuff by acts who really need the money from sales.
The Glasgow, London axis… dissect. I know the scots dislike us english a lot but there's strong musical strands connecting the two cities.
Dislike? That's a bit strong! Mind you, ask any band or DJ where their favourite place to play is and I bet LOADS of them say Glasgow. Have made a good few trips down to London for clubs and gigs and it's never quite the same punter-wise. Saying that, I had a rare old time down at the Corsica Studios the other week for ALFOS/Optimo.
What does a 'blog' mean to you in 2012?
I dunno – I still check in on the remaining ones that inspired me, Castles In Space and Acid Ted, but as I'm sure both bloggers would agree, things aren't the same as wot they used to be. I've got a few on a browser folder that I dip into from time to time but have taken a bit of a back seat blog-wise.
How has facebook changed the way people blog? RIG fbk group seems to be thriving.
Now THIS is mental – I can't believe how it has taken off. Loads of mixes and rips flying up there and a healthy number of people contributing.
What effect did Optimo closing have on you?
TO be honest my Optimo days were mostly over by the time they announced the close – the Sunday night thing was difficult for me, and bank holiday Optimos were always hard work compared to the normal ones. Saying that, I managed to get along to the third last one (Easter holidays from work) and it was one of the best nights of my life. Astonishing from start to finish. Don't think I could have coped with Optimogeddon so sat in and listened to it on the radio…
Top 5 posts you made.
Ha! A list? In no particular order:
– Ivan Smagghe's "Lost Classics for Ripped In Glasgow" was a bit special, couldn't fuckin believe it when that email dropped in.
– Also, any which actually came from a band. PWOG and Corridor/Conemelt exclusives were a highlight, as they'd obviously not spoken to each other for a while and had got back in touch via the posts. A definite highlight.
– The Russ Abbot April Fool – I got it in my head that I'd make a kid-on Weatherall Russ Abbot remix of Atmosphere and all the blurb on the post was kinda true. Someone actually edited his Wikipedia discography to include it. Not me! One of my biggest hits actually…
– Optimogeddon, blimey, I was on Pitchfork. 10000 hits in a day. What the fuck was that all about? Wish I'd taken more time over the blurb in the post rather than rattling it out, never thought I'd get that many. Mental.
– other Optimo exclusives. Keith was good at slipping a few things my way so hats off to him.
Best comments on a post?
My favourite commenter was someone called Tommy from Australia, Ex-Scotland, his intermittant chat was brilliant. Here's an example, in relation to that Peace Together charity pish 12" with a Sabres mix:
"Met that Feargal Sharkey in the Arches on a Friday in 1993, Slam supplying the great beats and Snowballs supplying the gurning. I saw the Shark and slipped over for a wee gab, having noticed that he seemed to be on his own or waiting for someone and that he was wearing cowboy boots or Cuban heels. 5 minutes into a good chat about the continuum from 70s punk to 80s / 90 house music the snowball walloped ma poor heid and glancing down the Shark’s boots had become very long grinning crocodiles. I jumped back in fright, gave the Shark a wide-eyed look of terror and sloped off without saying a word. Ah, great days."
Also, someone called The Saucer People compared a Neu! 86 track to the theme from Going For Gold, which I wasn't familiar with. Cue an extended load of nonsense…
Anything else we should be discussing?
Why won't you write the odd article for R$N?! 🙂