Slam Interview

Headline Interviews

SoundReflect Interview
Slam aka Stuart McMillan & Orde Meikle (Glasgow, born 1964/1966)


SoundReflect: in the early 90s you co-found the internationally acclaimed label soma records. what’s the secret? with which philosophy do you run the label?
Slam: well, soma is now 17 years old and we have released more new artists this year than in any other- maybe that’s part of it – moving forward and working with fresh talent – although the other important factor is that we have artists who stay with us like funk d void and silicone soul- experienced producers and djs with their own followings – its hard in music right now but we still have enthusiasm – as djs and producers and as a&r for soma.

SoundReflect: soon it’ll be twenty years in which you have been making music together in its broadest sense via djing, producing, promoting partys and choosing music for soma. what is so special about your cooperation that it is so long-lasting and productive?
Slam: both of us like similar music – and even though we buy records separately and listen to promos on our own – we still find that we both play some of the same records – its crazy with so much being released.

SoundReflect: shortly you have found a new 12 inch label called paragraph, while many other labels are reducing the number of vinyls they press. do you think that vinyl will survive the digital revolution? what do you prefer as djs?
Slam: as djs we are using traktor scratch and digital files of music- we both have massive vinyl collections but we are not buying vinyl now. as a label its still important but sales are dramatically lower than even 2 years ago – its for collectors now as much as for djs – very few people we meet on tour or djs coming to play at our pressure club night are bringing vinyl these days with paragraph we are using local distributor rub a dub and also releasing exclusive on beatport – its a bit of an experiment to simplify things – also we are releasing our own material with the odd remix – but its strictly a vehicle for the music we want to play out as djs – and things we make for our live sets. it can easily run in parallel to soma.

SoundReflect: you have a regular clubnight at pressure in glasgow. moreover you host a tent at the big scottish festival t in the park. why is it important to you to have your own clubnight?
Slam: we have had our own nights for 20 years now (the first slam night was in july 1988) – its the testing ground for a lot of the music we make and play.
although our residencies in glasgow are now monthly or annually in regards to the slam tent at t in the park – we really have the best of all worlds the slam tent holds 15 thousand people- that’s always the 2nd weekend of july and we have done it for 13 years the main room at pressure holds 1200 – this is monthly, at the arches in glasgow and its ten years old in november – always the last friday of the month then return to mono at the sub- this is our spiritual home – we played there from 89 til 94 then left and returned monthly in 2004 – and the sub club holds 500 – intimate and great sound.

SoundReflect: you are always very busy with producing new tracks and remixes, promoting partys and managing the label. to manage all this you have a good team on board with soma and your partner and manager dave clarke. which traits of character do you appreciate about people you work with?
Slam: the people we work with are loyal and passionate about the music and the scene in the same way that we are – they are also hard working and talented and most importantly nice people.

SoundReflect: during your career you have helped making glasgow a vital party city. why did you never leave glasgow and move to any metropole like many artists do when they have become famous? what is special about the scottish electronic music and party scene?
Slam: it’s true that we have roots here. its a great city and the crowd is amazing – ask any dj who plays here – we are proud of it – we are part of it.

SoundReflect: what can we expect from you in the near future and – after nearly two decades in the electronic music business – what are your long-term aims?
Slam: it’s hard right now – like we said before – we want to help soma to adapt to the new challenges – surviving as vinyl sales become low – with licencing and digital sales and digital marketing the key. we also want to work on music for film one day – we have always liked to compose atmospheric tracks – we want to keep making challenging electronic music -some to feel emotional to- and some to dance to!

(interview conducted by Digital EGO Media Services)


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