Quickie: Catching Up With Symbiosis
QUICKIE: Catching Up With Symbiosis
Considering Glasgow’s thirst for partying, it’s a wonder that Drum&Bass has never fully taken off. Often overshadowed by the city’s House & Techno heritage, the genre has been confined to a number of low-key parties with a loyal but relatively small following. This however could be seen as a blessing. As other musical whims have come and gone, or taken new and undesirable directions, Glasgow’s Drum & Bass scene has been an impressive constant. And with that in mind, it was long overdue that we caught up with one of the city’s longest running nights, Symbiosis.
Having launched seven years ago this November, Symbiosis has always promoted local talent over big names and commercial appeal. Based in the intimate and appropriately sweaty Audio, residents Yellow Benzene, Calaco Jack, Alcane & DJ Hex have worked hard on building a reputation for quality music and a friendly, open-arms atmosphere. This Saturday they welcome Jungle enthusiast, J Bostron for a set which is likely to cause collateral damage come 2am. With recent gigs across Europe as well as remixes for the likes of Mungo’s Hifi and Dreadsquad, the Electrikal resident is the perfect candidate to represent this weekend. With a guarantee of Drum & Bass all night long and free entry as standard, there really is nowhere else to be if you like things double-time and dangerous…
Check out a specially recorded mix by DJ Hex below, as well as an interview with the Symbiosis residents:
Synth: So let’s start by getting a bit of background on Symbiosis. You’ve been running for seven years and have always strived to support local Drum & Bass talent, how did the club start and what do you think has sustained your longevity?
Symbiosis: The club was started by Neil (Yellowbenzene) and Jules (Calaco Jack) because they love drum & bass and saw an opportunity to run a good home grown night. Symbiosis has never been ambitious - we don't often bring in big name headliners or throw tons of money at events, nor do we pander to mainstream chart tunes, we just offer good local d&b DJs and a good vibe. The longevity of the night has probably been chiefly sustained by the small/friendly nature of the d&b scene in Glasgow, and our passion for the music.
Synth: Drum & Bass is often regarded as a notoriously difficult sound to promote in Glasgow, what would you attribute that to and do you feel it has grown in popularity since your early parties?
Symbiosis: I think Glasgow has always been a techno city, probably since before Drum & Bass got big. Maybe it's an English vs. Scottish thing since d&b has it's roots firmly in London. Paul Reset has told me about the lengths they went to in terms of PR for the old LiveVEvil nights and how tiring it was, but since our costs have always been low we've managed to keep small shows going over the years without bankrupting ourselves. Interestingly I think drum & bass is seeing a bit of a resurgence in the wake of what many people see as the much debated "death of dubstep" - people looking for something a little more underground are turning back to d&b (or discovering it for the first time) because it's not in vogue at the moment and a lot of artists are pushing interesting styles.
Synth: This Saturday you have One Foot Skankin’s J Bostron playing a special set, what should we be expecting from him musically and for those that have never been to a Symbiosis party, can you talk us through what makes the night unique?
Symbiosis: We always look forward to having Bostron down to Symbiosis! His sets are a mixture of up front dancefloor stompers, ragga jungle and reggae influenced d&b, and generally feature plenty of his own productions and remixes. Fans of the likes of Serial Killaz and Congo Natty should definitely come down and check it out! For anyone who's never been to a Symbiosis party, it's a friendly, intimate vibe, and the only night in Glasgow where you'll hear nothing but jungle and d&b all evening.
Synth: You celebrate your seventh birthday in November which is of course a huge achievement for any club, what would you describe as your highlights from the past seven years and have you got ambitions for another seven?
Symbiosis: We've had so many great guests over the years it's tough to choose! I think my personal highlights have been when we brought Raiden in to play last year, and our 6th birthday event when we had about 20 previous guests doing 15 minute sets back to back. Every event has been great though - we always leave the events with a smile on our faces. In terms of ambitions for another seven, I think really it's just to keep playing what we love, and to try and educate a new generation of clubbers about a style of music that isn't prevalent in Glasgow. If one person leaves the club and goes home with a newfound love for the genre then we're happy!
Symbiosis returns to Audio this Saturday with special guest J Bostron.
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