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In August 2016, I had the opportunity to speak briefly with the gentlemen of Scottish Slam about their debut performance. Orde Meikle and Stuart McMillan still remember that evening well. "We were considered crazy."
“The first time we performed together was during our own club night in Glasgow. The venue was called Fury Murry’s. We were eighteen and nineteen years old at the time. It was a Wednesday night, so we were considered crazy for agreeing to it.” (laughs) “However, the place was completely packed. Apparently, we knew a lot of people.”
“Were we nervous? Of course. And sometimes we still are. This year, we’ve played in the world’s best clubs, such as Berghain in Berlin, Concrete in Paris, and the Cocoon night at Amnesia (Ibiza). Yet, we still get a bit nervous from time to time.” (laughs) “But these are healthy nerves that show how much we care about our work. We take DJing very seriously!”
“The audience on that first night consisted mostly of friends from the west of Glasgow, where we also lived. They were mostly genuine music lovers. Music was always a priority for us, along with good sound. Everything else was secondary. Family members weren’t present. They never really understood our DJing careers. That’s probably a generational thing.”
“Did we prepare the set in detail at home? Hell no! We never prepare our sets. Every situation is different, and you have to be able to adapt to it to some extent. We play back-to-back, and although we’re connected to a certain degree, we never really know what the other is thinking or going to play.”
“We didn’t have a mentor. We do admire various people, such as Derrick May and the rest of the Detroit guys. Besides that, we supported each other.”
“When you’re DJing, it’s not about impressing someone. That was certainly not the case the first time. It’s about presenting the music you believe in and trying to convey that love to others.”
“Ultimately, our first time went surprisingly well. We had been practicing in our bedrooms for a long time, but playing in a club is a completely different experience. We certainly made some mistakes, but that’s normal for a first gig.”
This interview with Slam was originally published in August 2016 on DJMag.nl.
Who is Slam?
McMillan and Meikle’s first club event was a weekly Thursday night called Black Market, in the Glasgow club, Fury Murrys. They played a mix of house, funk and rap. Slam then launched a Friday night at the Sub Club called Joy.
Slam have released singles since the mid-1990s, including “Positive Education“, “Eterna” and “Lifetimes“. They co-founded Soma Quality Recordings in 1991, along with label boss Dave Clarke. After that, Slam Events was launched. This is a subdivision of Soma that deals mainly with the promotion of Slam and Slam nights.
Slam is a force to reckon with on the global techno circuit. Their unique, 6 deck, back-to-back DJ performances have seen the duo play leading clubs & festivals across the world. They are renowned for both their experience and their powerful, contemporary sound.
They are co-owners of Glasgow’s Riverside Festival, and also host the legendary Maximum Pressure warehouse parties, which showcase the best emerging local talent alongside some of the most established names in international techno.
Their iconic Soma Records label boasts in excess of 600 releases, hosting Mcmillan and Meikle’s own productions and many of today’s most cutting-edge techno artists.
The last few years have seen some of the duo’s most prolific studio output as they continue to innovate and keep things moving forward. In addition, Slam have also remixed tracks from the likes of Planetary Assault Systems, Clouds, Dax J, Damon Wild, Richie Hawtin, and Truncate, to name just a few. Slam also hosts one of techno’s most respected weekly podcasts, Slam Radio.