Pure: dead brilliant

On its fifth birthday, Bethan Cole looks at some of the live acts coming to appear at Pure.

Five years is a long time in clubland. Long enough for house to move from a relatively obscure 12in

import-based culture to the soundtrack for shopping in Miss Selfridge. Long enough for dance culture to

mutate into a myriad of style sub sects and minutiae:

from baggy to Balearic. jacking tojungle. acid to ambient. And perhaps most importantly time enough for countless different clubs to come and go. rise and fall by the fickle dictates of fashion.

Pure has iorged its own path through the electronic continuum and developed an identity beyond trends to become a constant iorce in Scottish clubbing.

Not so Pure. Every single Friday since 9 August 1990. this unique Edinburgh club/institution has forged its own path through the electronic continuum and developed an identity beyond trends to become a constant force in Scottish clubbing. They were the first to bring Detroit innovators like Blake Baxter. Carl Craig. Richie Hawtin and Jeff Mills. British acts like Orbital and European techno talent like Westbam. Dimitri and CJ Bolland north of the border. And resident Dis Twitch and Brainstorm have developed their own inimitable hard house/techno/ avant-garde electronica musical matrix, which through the years has been toasted over by The Ragga Twins and interspersed with Jimi Tenor’s lounge lizard crooning as easily as meshed into Andy Weatherall‘s techno sets.

f ‘l wouldn‘t say we play techno as such. it's more

broad based than that disco stuff. The Clash. anything. really.‘ elaborates Andy Watson (aka ‘Brainstorm‘, his DJing name culled from a Hawkwind track). Even jungle can feature in a Pure set these days Twitch dropped PFM‘s scenic ‘The Western' at the last Barrowland do.

However. the fifth birthday Barrowland gig has a strong sense of history about it. Derrick May and Armando head the bill. one an originator of techno the other. of house.

‘Derrick May changed our direction for the better.‘ says Andy of the Detroit legend's first guest spot at Pure in l991. ‘lt became more musical rather than just drums.‘ Dutch techno whizz kid Speedy J also returns to play live after a tremendous performance

iie’s no slouch: Speedy J

Sat [9.

alongside Richie Hawtin in February I994.

‘The first time i was ever in Britain it was to play Pure at The Venue.‘ recoilects Jochem (Speedy‘s real name) from his home in Amsterdam. ‘lt was one of my favourite ever gigs.‘ With two albums behind him. Ginger and (I San Jochem is one of the few electronic artists firmly established as a quality live act. ‘l pre-program all my drum patterns beforehand. then as soon as l'm on stage I start to use a lot of FX. bring in melodies, break it down. if you really try.

‘I pro-programme all my drum patterns beforehand, then as soon as i am on stage I start to use a lot oi Fx, bring in melodies, break it down. it you really try, you can make a live set like a DJ set and get the people just where you want

them.’ Speedy J

you can make a live set like a DJ set and get the people just where you want them.‘

in direct contrast to the polished techno of a Speedy J set. you'll also be able to catch the post-ironic kitsch of Jake Slazenger’s (actually Mu-Ziq‘s Mike Paradinas) live electro. His last Makesamcke! LP fused easy listening. early-80s funk and some supremely scuffed. distorted beats into a riotous cocktail of sound and texture. ‘Pure was the best gig I‘ve ever done.‘ says Paradinas of his last appearance in Mu-Ziq guise. Chances are this week‘s birthday party won‘t change his mind. Pure 5 lakes place a! The Burrmvlund. Glasgow on

Im— String driven

The iocus may be ilxed ilrmiy on Edinburgh this month, but lazz ians should train their sights on Paisley Arts Centre lor the ilrst ever Scottish concert trom the Canadian-born, liew York-based guitarist Peter Leitch. ills two Scottish dates (he plays The lesson the in Aberdeen on Sun 20) complete a ilk tour which began with him teaching at a guitar summer school In ilull, an activity which takes up a slgelilcant amount oi his time these days.

Peter Leitch: sophisticated bop

For the rest oi that time he is one oi the most respected guitar players on the ultra-competitive liew York scene. ills regular band members include saxman Cary Bartz, pianist John lllcks and drummer Marvin ‘Smltty’ Smith (at least until Smitty moved to LA this year), which gives some indication oi the respect in which he is held. lie grew interested in [an through live exposure to a lot oi the great names oi the 60s.

‘I was raised in Montreal, and it was very much on the touring circuit then, so i heard people like John Coltrane and Wes Montgomery, and i guess that was what inspired me to turn to tan. i got a lot oi help irom a Canadian guitarist named lvan Symons at the beginning, and liene Thomas, who was

from Belgium but lived in Montreal tor a while, was also an important lniluence. lie played like Jimmy lianey, but harder.’

leltch has been involved in various projects in liew York over the years, and was the musical director oi Guitarists Play Mingus, the live-guitar olishoot from the Mingus Big Band project, until a iaillng out with Sue Mingus over the band’s musical direction. lie plays a biting, harmonicaily sophisticated brand oi classic bop-rooted jazz guitar, and has recorded a number oi albums, irom duo through to sextet, tor the Concord, iieservolr and Criss Cross labels. (Kenny Mathleson) Peter Leliclr plays Paisley Arts Centre on Sat 19.

9‘ The List 18-24 Aug 1995