The legendary techno duo Slam start big this year with great upcoming news and events planned. Death Techno caught up with one half of Slam, Orde Meikle, who also continues to co-run the omnipresent Soma Records, one of the most credible institutions and important labels in the history of dance culture. Highly and consistent forever impressive with their releases, Soma has laid foundations and featured artists such as Daft Punk, Rebekah, Reeko, Edit Select, Gary Beck, Cleric, Dax J, Secluded, Woo York and many more.
> You open the year with “Static Form” EP containing four huge tracks. Together you have been making music as Slam for more than two decades, how is your creative process in the studio?
We both have our own studios - but more than not, these days, we’re producing “inside the box” (totally within our laptops). This allows us total freedom of where and when to work - at home, on a train or in hotels and airports. Ideas surface all the time so we’re continually sending each other samples and arrangement files - so we just bounce stuff back and forth on all sorts of projects. Occasionally we’ll come together in one of the studios to master or fire up a bit of old hardware - so the work flow is very liquid and we like that way.
> Can you talk us through your studio set-up?
Our programme of choice these days is Ableton with various soft synths and effects plug ins, but over the years we’ve used many different DAWs and hardware - we’ve never sold a hardware sound source, always just bought. So you can imagine our kit lists are rather extensive - we went through years of hunting down secondhand hardware, especially during the 90’s when everyone was selling off their Moogs, Oberheims, Rolands etc. And multiple drum machines in favour of the new software emulations coming out. We’ll always take time to dust off some old bit of kit and remind ourselves of its peculiarities. So our studio set-ups are never set in stone and we are always changing.
> With such a busy schedule how do you find balance between Soma, family, studio and performance?
The balance is always hard to achieve - but with good and understanding partners (both at work and family) it becomes much easier. All the guys at the Soma office do such a great job, as does our Manager, Agent and Press Agent, that it never feels too overwhelming. We’ve been doing this all for a while now - so I suppose time is a good teacher.
> What can you tell us about the next Maximum Pressure event that’s coming up and the concept behind it?
Maximum Pressure came about as a result of a new part of one of the venues SWG3 that we use becoming available. We’d had the idea for a while of doing larger more eclectic line-ups less often throughout the year - similar to what we used to put on at The Arches in Glasgow (RIP). As we travelled we were performing in venues such as Berghain, Khidi, Kompass and Spazio - all tall, dark, narrow, cavernous industrial spaces.
‘The Galvinisers’ is the one of most amazing venues we’d ever seen and along with our lighting engineer Scott McDonald, it’s everything we ever hoped for from a performance space.
Our next Maximum Pressure is at Easter with Nina Kraviz, Slam, British Murder Boys, Eats Everything, Optimo, DJ Stingray, I Hate Models, Jay Clarke, Quail and IDA - so you’ve been warned! - so you’ve been warned!
> You co-curated the Riverside Festival in Glasgow with a Massive line-up what we can expect from that?
The Riverside Festival is in the grounds of the fantastic Transport Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid on the banks of The Clyde, it has grown year on year since we started. This year we have another great line up:- Leftfield, Sven Väth, Adam Beyer, Richie Hawtin, Rødhåd, Four Tet, Fatima Yamaha, Paula Temple, Robert Hood, Nastia, Skream, Joy Orbison, Jackmaster, Dax J, Green Velvet, IDA, Dixon and Saoirse - all over two days.
It’s become a real highlight of our year - great location, great production, great vibes and great crowds.
> You recently also announced Soma Skool, can you tell us more about this?
Soma Skool was an idea we had many years ago to bring to the city a conference that would introduce people to all the possible avenues to pursue within the music industry and not just the obvious ones of Music, Bands and DJing, though they are covered. When we started the label there was no infrastructure for helping us find out about the mechanics of the record industry - we had to learn it all ourselves from scratch. So it was a way of us giving something back to anyone interested in a career in music. It took a break for a couple of years but it’s back bigger and better than ever. It’s also a course we run of Ableton tuition by the maestro Simon Stokes all year round in Glasgow for people to take their first steps (and beyond) into music production.
> Congrats on the new Rinse FM show, what can listeners who tune in expect?
Thank you - yes it’s great to be offered the chance to air our music on Rinse FM - we’re only going to do three 2 hour specials for now. It’s just a chance for us to air some of the music we play on our travels alongside some very upfront and experimental tunes - but still delivered in a Slam style - so hope you can get a chance to check them out.
I N F O / T I C K E T S
D E T A I L S
SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018
@ SWG3, 100 East Vale Place, Glasgow, G3 8QG
5pm - 3am
£25 / £28 / £30 / £35 / £40
I N F O / T I C K E T S
D E T A I L S
SATURDAY 26 - SUNDAY 27 MAY 2018
@ Riverside Museum, 100 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS
1pm - 11pm
£16.80 - £112