Photo by Joe Hart
Now in its third year, the Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival has evolved into one of the world’s best house and techno events, boasting headline-grabbing international acts, buzz-generating local talent and a unique location just 15mins from Glasgow city centre.
This weekend the festival returns, with the likes of Sven Vath, Fatboy Slim and Kerri Chandler performing in the shadow of the iconic Riverside Museum, while Glasgow’s world-renowned Soma Records will host their own stage celebrating 25 years of quality techno...
With a line-up that represents legends and rising stars alike, you can expect standout sets from both Laurent Garnier and Rødhåd, but with a loyal home crowd, local love will undoubtedly be reserved for Soma stalwarts, Slam, and Glaswegian hard-hitter Gary Beck.
2016 has already proved to be a seminal year for Slam, having launched their streamlined Soma Track series earlier this year, while also inducting a new era of Pressure at SWG3. Gary Beck, meanwhile, has been around the globe, playing everywhere from Japan to Switzerland, as well as recently becoming a new father.
There’s a lot to talk about, so ahead of this weekend’s Riverside Festival, the guys had a quick catch-up, covering everything from favourite clubs to favourite countries:
GARY BECK ASKS SLAM:
Photo by Joe Hart
What annoys you the most about flying?
Slam: Actually, now we really enjoy flying. It’s the only time in the week when no one is asking us to do anything. Budget airlines are a pain though: the way they make you switch your phone off even if it’s in flight mode, the fact that most airlines don't let you check in 24 hrs before and also security is a nightmare too - I don't wear boots anymore because of it!
What is your favourite club to play in the world and why?
Slam: Apart from Pressure it would have to be Fabric in London; we've had a residency there for a long time now and we know everybody - it’s a place where we feel really at home. Musically the crowd are open-minded and we feel we really know the vibe of the room now.
If you could be any type of animal, what would you both be and why?
Slam: Fuck knows - quite glad of being human and at the top of the food chain to be honest! According to the online animal checker which measures your varying attributes, I’m a rooster, but then again I probably lied about those attributes. Orde would be a giraffe as he's the height of a small building!
Do you have a particular Pressure night that stands out from the rest and sticks in your memory?
Slam: Man, there’s been so many great nights at Pressure; we could write pages on The Arches but it’s weird because I’m not one for nostalgia really! They're all great memories for sure, but these are the times too! This year at SWG3 was special because it gave us a fresh start.
The opening night was great because that’s when we opened the new room and knew it was going to work out alright. There was still building in process at the venue when we opened, and the workmen left their boiler suits and dust masks behind back stage; so because it was Halloween, me and Peter van Hossen decided to wear them and become Altern8 for a while...as you do.
Out of all the Slam tracks apart from ‘Positive Education’, which one is your favourite?
Slam: It’s usually the one we've just finished as that usually captures the zeitgeist of where we're at in terms of our DJ’ing. Recently I really liked the way the track ‘Fractious’ turned out. Although we're both moderately proud of our last long player ‘Reverse Proceed’, we were about 65% satisfied, which is actually quite a high percentage for us in term of whether we like the finished product or not.
SLAM ASK GARY BECK:
You've recently become a father; how’s that been for you? Has it changed your outlook in they way you approach music?
Gary: It was a tiring first few weeks but things have started to settle now. I wouldn't say being a father has changed the way I approach my music, but he's definitely given me something else to smile about when I'm working in the studio.
Does travelling broaden the mind? What country do you have the most affinity with?
Gary: Travelling definitely broadens the mind. It's great to experience new countries and learn about their cultures. Apart from having a close affinity to Scotland, I would say Italy is closest to my heart. I see so many similarities with the Italians and Scots. They are always so passionate when it comes to their country and especially the club scene.
What do you get up to when you’re not DJ’ing and travelling etc?
Gary: I enjoy Football; whether I'm playing or watching, it’s a sport that’s very addictive for me. I also enjoy spending time with my family and the pets.
You've made so many great huge club tracks; are you ever tempted to perform them in a live show?
Gary: It's definitely crossed my mind, but to be honest, I enjoy DJ'ing too much. I play most of my own unreleased music during the sets anyway, so the way I see it, it’s semi-live anyway! I've always said that I will perform with a band at some point though - which is a 'live' concept that appeals to me.
Which artist do you admire from a non-dancefloor perspective?
Gary: I'm a huge fan of a Scottish band called North Atlantic Oscillation; they are massively underrated and so good to see live. I'm also a fan of traditional Scottish music - bands such as Skerryvore & Capercaillie are terrific.
Slam and Gary Beck play the Soma25 stage this Saturday (28th May) at the Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival. View the full line-up here. Advance weekend and day tickets are available from the Riverside Festival website. Afterparties will be held at SWG3 with Slam playing B2B with Gary Beck.