Hello Silicone Soul, it’s an honour to have you join us for our final weekly Sub Rosa party! Are you happy to be with us as we end our memorable 5 year weekly stint in the Sub Club?
Indeed, yes – delighted to be back to play for Sub Rosa, very much looking forward to it despite the bitter sweet nature of the occasion. I’ve been blown away by the vibe you guys have served up on my previous visits .
You’ve made a lot of music since first emerging in the 90’s. Would you consider any of the music you worked on as being an ‘unsung hero’ of your catalog of releases?
Well now I’m not quite sure about ‘unsung’, I tend to lose interest once the tunes are complete. The process and the time in the studio are the things I really enjoy and it’s just very awesome to be able to spend days like that: how the results are received or perceived upon release is of little concern.
The Curtis Mayfield sample in ‘Right On, Right On’ is some hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck business. Can you pick us another Mayfield track you love?
Why yes , to be honest i’d have a hard time picking a Curtis Mayfield track I don’t love. The orchestrator he worked with was fantastic – freddy’s dead features another beautiful part for the strings – however i’m going to go for this one, obvious choice but an amazingly powerful song with some incredibly creative production work. and he’s right.
Sum Donald Trump up in 3 words…
While it would be easy to laugh this strange golf enthusiast off, or level crude insults at the wigged racist twat, he’s a dangerously powerful psychopath and we should all be very afraid.
We heard about you turning down an appearance on Top Of The Pops on the grounds of keeping your underground integrity, do you feel that integrity (to such a strong degree) has been lost by young musicians in their search for recognition these days?
Gosh , now i’m not so sure ‘ artistic integrity ‘ entered the equation, bearing in mind that we’d just sold our record to Virgin/EMI’s pop-dance branch with the express purpose of recording vocals on it and charting . . . . as I recall we were massively uncomfortable with the idea of dicking around miming with decks or a guitar or something on TV. Mixed feelings about that decision now, mum and dad were really disappointed.
What is your view on Silicone Breasts?
Each to their own.
Should House or Techno be the question? Or are you an advocate for their co-existence?
We’ve always enjoyed and tried to play both, when we started going out dancing you’d hear it all in one night and it’d be a trip from Dubby ambient stuff through great house ending in techno and that curve just seems ‘ right ‘ or ‘ natural ‘ to us to this day.
You guys have been releasing on Soma for a tremendous period of time and they are synonymous with the Silicone Soul name. Is having a ‘home-label’, for lack of a better term, a positive force for a producer?
Absolutely – Soma have been amazing for us , we first caught the bug for this music going to slam at The Arches and Atlantis at the Sub Club so to receive the seal of approval for our music from the guys meant and still means a lot to us. It’s been really important having a base and ‘ home label ‘ as it’s allowed us to really do what we want, when we want in terms of music over the years, never really forcing it. The amount of time Soma’s been running and the amount of music released over the years is pretty incredible at this point, it’s wonderful to be a part of that.
By running Darkroom Dubs you’ve had your ear to the ground for a seriously long period of time. Have you ever met difficulty in the face of change in taste and preference in the world electronic music?
We had a fair bit of bother when the internet and file sharing first appeared and did for vinyl sales. We had two distributors go bust on us in quick succession which wasn’t great and almost put an end to it quite early on. It really was pretty distressing to find ourselves going from quite significant vinyl runs in the thousands to struggling to shift a single press of maybe three hundred units, very disorientating at first.
Glasgow is arguably at the forefront of electronic music in Europe at the moment. Does the constant influx of talent owe their success to the artists that built the foundation, or is the city itself that is the catalyst for creativity?
Crikey yes, Glasgow’s always had a really strong creative music scene and glasgow crowds are rightly regarded as some of the most passionate, knowledgable and energetic one can play for, across all styles of music. I think we take our fun pretty seriously here. It’s awesome to see so much new music coming out the city too, really healthy. There’s so much good stuff and so much variety to it, quite a golden time I think. The weather here is a big factor cos we need to find stuff to do indoors, a lot of scotland’s greatest gifts to the world involve avoiding going outside – phone, tv etc etc.
Is the vinyl renaissance a necessary move to counter years of digital piracy, or a means for some DJs to feel superior on the ground of format?
Golly, now, I wouldn’t dismiss someone’s desire to support and play vinyl as a quest for authenticity or superiority, I know many people who just loooooove records and it’s a healthy scene right now with a lot of good stuff released exclusively on vinyl. I do think there’s a weird trend at the moment to portray or perceive vinyl based djing (and analogue based production for that matter) as in some way inherently superior to digital which, imho, is just nonsense. It’s entirely possible to make good and bad noises with each . . . quite perplexed by this new traditionalism that’s appeared in a piece of music that is based in and grew out of using new technology and sense of futurism or whatever . on the other hand i think what vinyl does from the start to the end of the process is force all the people involved to be far more selective and that’s good for quality control.
The recent Skinnerbox release is on Darkdoom Dubs marked the 64th digital release. They described their sound as ‘jazz of an extended notion’, are more diverse tracks like theirs the key to staying ahead of the pack as a label?
Well i’m not sure about ‘ ahead of the pack ‘ or ‘ the pack ‘ in general , again that’s not a massive concern for us – we’ve always just come at it from the point of view of fans, releasing music we love from artists we support. It’s awesome to have skinner box involved – they really are pretty unique in what they do.
After 5 years of midweek parties in the Sub Club we’ve had some weird and wonderful experiences. What is the weirdest clubbing experience you’ve ever had?
In the early days we were playing at the dour festival in Belgium, well the weather was extremely dour and the outside stages were rained off and lineups were rejigged etc we ended up playing in a huge tent to people who I guess were just sheltering from the rain and not massively interested in what we were up to . as ever we were doing our best to try and get our music across to folk and get a vibe going and as time went by we felt like we were starting to get somewhere, towards the end of the set the energy was starting to feel quite good in the tent and then, finally, a huge roar went up from the crowd – we thought ‘ great ! ‘
As we finished we felt like we’d done a really good job in difficult circumstances – only to turn to our right and see that Bjorn again, the Abba tribute band, had taken the stage and in fact the crowd were really happy to see them, they launched into Waterloo and the place just went apeshit…good times :)
Tickets for tonight’s last ever Sub Rosa are on sale HERE, then the door from 11pm.