What is it that creates a unique and captivating music scene?
Maybe it’s the music pushers, the DJs that are selecting the right songs, creating talk and hype amongst other like-minded music fans. Or the venue owners and promoters who consciously organize shows featuring pioneering acts that work together.
Maybe it’s simply the music makers, the producers themselves. Often incorporating DJing into their portfolio, producers have important choices to make. Do they seek to please the crowd with tried and tested formulas, branch out experimenting with new sounds and structures or attempt a hybrid of the two?
What about the industry, the labels that get behind producers, organize parties and create hype?
Glasgow’s electronic music scene was subject to a serious case of right-place-right-time. A breeding ground for like-minded individuals of all types.
Glasgow’s scene was a result of the right amount of venues, (Sub Club, The Arches, SWG3) the emergence of pioneering producers and DJs (Rustie, Koreless, Hudson Mohawke, Optimo) as well as brave new labels such as LuckyMe and Numbers, two labels that were not shy with releasing bold new sounds.
LuckyMe – founded by Mike Slott, Dominic Flannigan, Martyn Flyn and Hudson Mohawke – gives a nod of acknowledgement towards Glasgow’s music scene describing it as a ‘somewhat mystical musical environment’ and even giving a mention to Glasgow’s art school, which inevitably plays a part in its creative growth.
Lucky Me (UK) from Beck's Green Box Project on Vimeo.
Numbers – an amalgamation of existing labels Dress 2 Sweat, Stuffrecords and Wireblock has been particularly instrumental in the development of the scene with a music policy which – quote – swaggers from techno to hip-hop, via 80s R&B screamers, house, electro, UK funky, dubstep.
It’s not surprising then, that Glasgow’s electronic music realm has become what it is today.
Glasgow’s influence has since spread further and further with Rustie and Hudson Mohawke being signed to the ever-dynamic Warp records famed for signing groundbreaking artists, firmly acknowledging the talents of these young producers.
What could be seen as most instrumental in Glasgow’s scene is a physical hub, something that exists in reality and not just in digital form. A place where people talk face-to-face about their love of music and not just skipping from one web page to another in the ‘people who purchased this also purchased’ section of a digital distributor.
Rubadub is a record shop which opened in 1992, selling underground dance music to the people of Glasgow. Since then the shop has gradually grown, selling DJ equipment and music technology. Rubadub has had a gravitational effect on the electronic music lovers of Glasgow and beyond, drawing in vinyl lovers, digital DJs, bedroom producers, singers and songwriters. It’s not hard to believe that such a concentration of like-minded people would result in growth, reproduction and certain mutations of creativity.
Or maybe there’s just something in the water.
Catch Rustie and Koreless with their live shows at dollop tonight, alongside South London Ordnance, Charles Drakeford and Leisure DJs at Netil House, London, E8 3RL
Post by Andrew Watson