When Ross Anderson and Matthew Craig launched i AM five years ago, it’s unlikely they could have predicted its runaway success. Week in week out, they’ve entertained hundreds of clued-up students down at the Sub Club, becoming two of Glasgow’s favourite residents in the process. Musically on-point, i AM also continues to attract some of dance music’s most exciting talent, giving the city’s wide-eyed youth a musical education worth far more than the entry price.
Celebrating i AM's 5th birthday this month, they've organised a series of special parties with some of their favourite guests returning to the Sub Club to do what they do best. With dancefloor favourites Daniel Avery and Midland penciled in, it’s also shaping up to be a celebration of quality electronic music – something we’ve come to expect from i AM’s weekly get-together. Ahead of tonight’s party with Blackbutter all-stars, My Nu Leng and Woz, we asked i AM founders, promoters and residents, Beta & Kappa to select some of the defining tracks from the last five years, preceded by some introductory words from Kappa:
“Ross and I have very kindly been asked to provide a favourite track from each year i AM has survived. As with most things, I've left this 'til the last minute and done it in a rush, scrolling through playlists scanning hundreds of tracks, eyes racing over old radio shows to see if there's anything obvious I've missed between formats. But to be honest, this list wrote itself. I just closed my eyes and they were there waiting to be plucked out; like cherished photos under the bed, the memories of some great nights for me are contained here.” - Matthew Craig aka Kappa (Co-founder & resident)
GIL SCOTT-HERON & JAMIE XX - NY IS KILLING ME
“Ross made this video with our PR team helpers in the lead up to our ‘All Hallows’ night. PR stands for ‘public relations’ btw, so we decided to don art masks and terrify the neighbours. We were young, OK?”
OMAR – FEELING YOU (HENRIK SCHWARZ REMIX)
“A modern house classic. Certain tunes just sound timeless and this is one of those.”
CASSIE - ME & U (BRACKLES REMIX)
“One of the best DJs we've ever met and our most booked guest at i AM. I've picked this tune ahead of many better ones by Rob because it really sums up the sound of 2010 for me.”
FLOORPLAN – WE MAGNIFY HIS NAME
“Big Bob Hood on the Gospel House tip. What's not to love?”
THE RAPTURE – HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE?
“Real drumz! Real stuff is great because music should never be too perfect. This is one of those tracks.”
BLAWAN – GETTING ME DOWN
“He might make great techno, but nothing was more exciting in 2011 than this wee hyper-processed ‘drum 'n' Brandy’ belter.”
OBJEKT - THE GOOSE THAT GOT AWAY
"The anthem for a new world."
SUBMERSE – HOLD IT DOWN
“Video from our first boat party in 2012 captured and edited by Bartosz Madejski and Jacqueline Simpson. Ross and I warmed up on the boat and CRST jumped on for the last hour. Submerse & CRST tore the club to bits and I was just glad we didn't lose anyone over the side!”
MICHNA – REAL HERO
“A remake of College's ‘A Real Hero’ on the film ‘Drive’. Short but sweet, I get a tingle every time I hear that crescendo.”
MIDLAND – CHECKBOB
Track A1 on ‘Autonomous Africa II’, alongside great tracks from Twitch and Auntie Flo. We heard this by reading Twitch's blurb about what the record supported and immediately wanted to support too, which led to doing a couple parties where we looked beyond filling our wee coffers and gave something back. I'll save you the hard sell, but here's the nice write up Twitch gave it. Oh and Midland is thee best person we've ever met, ever.
OMAR SOULEYMAN - SHIFT AI MANI (CRACKBOY REMIX)
“Just a mover and a Sheikher! Y'ALLAH!”
DANIEL AVERY – KNOWING WE’LL BE HERE
‘Drone Logic’ is close, but this has always been my favourite Avery track since I first heard it. We're very lucky to get to work with Dan increasingly - he's one of the best producers and DJs of recent years, not to mention a down to earth guy!
CARIBOU – YOUR LOVE WILL SET YOU FREE (C2's SET U FREE REMIX)
“This track is as beautiful as it is painful for me to hear. It's pure emotion and ecstasy all tangled up.”
DENIS SULTA - L.A RUFFGARDEN (TERRACE MIX)
“Our good friend Hector aka Denis Sulta has been on a monumental upwards slope the last year, but it doesn't surprise me given the quality of stuff he made and played when we did the ‘Wake’ parties alongside Kenny and Ralph a few years ago. Could have picked a number of tracks here, but this sets such a high benchmark. Playing with him just a month ago after the DABJ Boiler Room was a special moment - it felt like the first time again, but now we've both grown up, just a little.”
i AM celebrates its fifth birthday every Tuesday throughout September at the Sub Club. Tonight (1st) they welcome My Nu Leng & Woz for a Black Butter Showcase – advance tickets are available via Resident Advisor. Daniel Avery will appear on the 8th and Midland will follow on the 15th.