Slam, techno pioneers and owners of the legendary Soma Records are heading down from Scotland to play at The Old Barn in Portsmouth this Saturday, 6th February. We caught up with them ahead of the gig to ask them them a few questions, many from those of you going to the event, thanks!
GOGO: How was 2015 for you? What were the highlights of last year? What are you most looking forward to this year? (Other than coming to Portsmouth!)
Slam: 2015 was quite good! There were a few downers like the Arches closure but lots of highlights. The Slam Tent at T in the Park was amazing again this year & playing at Cocoon in Ibiza for the first time was definitely a highlight. We also found a new home for our club night Pressure at SWG3 Warehouse, which has completely surpassed all our expectations! Each event has been completely sold in advance since we opened. We also had a good year at Soma releasing lots of cool music that we love.
Justin Kemp asked: When you finished the track Positive Education, at the time did you feel that it was a stand out track and could have the potential to turn into a classic and still sound just as good over 20 years later?
It’s funny because all of our biggest tracks usually come together quite quickly. When we made Positive the initial idea came together in about 40 mins. We took a further two weeks to polish it though haha.
Yeah I suppose we knew this was a special track at the time, but never thought it would be hailed as a classic. There was a hook in the original draft, which was still in the track right up until the last minute which we eventually replaced with a string line. Maybe if we had kept that other hook in it might not have been such a well-received record!
James Barnes asked: You’ve done some amazing remixes as well as collaborations. Working with artists such as Pan-Pot, Maxine Dangles and Gary Beck. What would be your dream track to remix or your dream artist to do collaboration with?
There’s an old Tangerine Dream track called Movements Of A Visionary which has amazing sequences that still sound fresh now. Or maybe Kraftwerk but Kraftwerk are so sonically perfect we would be too scared to touch any of their music for fear of spoiling it!
Elliott Cronin asked: What’s your process in starting a new track? What equipment do you use in making tracks & live sets?
Connor Anderson added: Do you prefer using the “old school” hardware or the newer reincarnations (think Roland TR-8 and the new Roland JX series)?
On production it’s different every time depending on the style of track. Sometimes we start getting a sequence on the modular then we will record a pass of that, then take it into Ableton and perfect the groove from there. We find better fatter sounding drum sounds in the world of software.
We definitely enjoy the tactile process of working with hardware though! With hardware you can tweak things more like a live jam! That’s kind of what we are doing in our live sets. We use Ableton, the modular synth, and theTR8, that gives us plenty to play with, and that way it never sounds the same twice.
Brad Hill asked: If music was on the verge of extinction and you could pick one track to be saved, what would it be?
Manuel Göttsching E2 E4. It’s an hour-long piece of early 80s electronic genius. Maybe it would be unfair to save only one piece of music.
Ham Rice asked: For your last gig, where would it be and who you would want on the set list with yourselves?
Prefer not to think about doing a last gig haha 😉 As we love Djing more now than we ever have. We have been lucky enough to have played at some of the what I suppose people would consider to be the best clubs. Places like Fabric and Berghain but nothing beats the energy of the Glasgow crowd. So it would be in our hometown for sure, and we probably wouldn’t want to share it. But let’s not think about that haha.
Other than yourselves, who would you recommend people go and check out?
There are hundreds of great DJ producers out there. Efdemin and SHDW are particular favourites at the moment. Probably the reason we started our Slam Radio podcast was to try and showcase the wealth of amazing talent that’s out there at the moment!
What’s the best event you have been to as a punter?
Maybe Timewarp in Mannheim although we were playing there as well! (Does that count?) The production and the organisation were second to none. If Carlsberg did raves?
Finally, Aaron Udy asked: What’s your favourite Iceland canapé?
Haha honestly can’t say I have tried any! Does that make us snobs? Probably does!
Thanks for talking to us. Tickets are selling fast for what’s set to be an amazing night, and a bargain at only £14.30 including fees! You can get tickets here and find out more about Slam and their other tour dates on their website, Facebook and Twitter.