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I0 n I1le I 1 ' As The Tunnel in Glasgow releases its first CD. Rory Weller asks if the club soundtrack is an integral part of the dance scene or a money- rnaking device to get more than just
your entry fee.
Maybe it's because mix rhymes with ()6. but dance ruusic compilations are dominating the charts. ‘In The Mix “)(r' and 'C‘lub Mix ‘06‘ are both in the top It). and another three albums are bangin' and pumpin‘ against each other in the competition for
liver since DJs and recording equipment existed. there have been club mix tapes. designed to get you in the mood for a club. or. when the night is over. allow you to have the world's best DJs play for you in your living room. Many clubs. legally or not, have their own tape. attempting to capture the bun. the llash mixing. the big choons. Cream. Renaissance. Trade. Vague. L'p Yer Ronson. Hacienda. Hard Times. Full Circle. AWOL: the list is endless
Now ("tlasgow venue The Tunnel is joining that list. with the release of a three-Cl) boxed set The Tunnel litres. It is continuing a trend that began in l9‘)3 when London's Ministry Of Sound released its first sessions tape. Club marketing activities were taken to a new dimension you could put the Ministry sessions in your Walkman. pull on your Ministry bomber jacket and throw the Ministry rucksack over
It all began when Ron McCulloch. boss of the Big Beat group r The Tunnel. Maxaluna. ()ctober Cafe gave international record producer and trance DJ Paul ()akenfold. a lift to Ireland in his private jet last summer. High above the Irish Sea. the pair planned to create an album representing three
and Volcano >-
Michael Kilkie: boxed by The Tunnel for your pleasure
facets of The Tunnel: the venue‘s Friday night slot The .-\rk. its Saturday night. Triumph. and its reputation for putting on top guest Dis. The resulting boxed set features mixes by Paul ()akenfold. Michael Kilkie (The Ark l. (‘olin Tevendale and Steven
‘lt’s a wee bit surreal how these guys are trying to get across what happens on a packed dancefloor when they’re in the
studio, but they really go for it. You’d think they were in front of 1000 people.’
Essentially the album is a mega-marketing ploy, to raise national awareness of what The Tunnel is doing in Scotland. Not only w ill the venue‘s regulars buy the (‘l) set. but punters who have never heard of the cltrb could buy it. inspired by the input of award-
says. ‘ people. '
winning DJ and chief of Perfecto Records.
‘lt‘s not just a back to back list of happening club tracks.‘ says McC‘ulloch of The Turmel's surprisingly diverse Cl) set. ‘What we're trying to do is recreate the vibe of the three different elements l’eople w ill hear things that wouldn't jump onto commercial dance (7l)s.‘
Mc('ul|och believes the l).ls mvolv ed haye captured the evcitement of a club night. despite having worked in the sanitised environment of a recording studie ‘lt‘s a wee bit surreal how these guys are trying to get across what happens on a packed dancclloor when they're in the studio. but they really go for it.‘ he ’ou'd think the) were in front of HM)
Meanwhile. the trend for club and venue mixes continues. In the next few months. Glasgow venue The Sub ('lub will release an album and there are discussions underway with (ilasgow club I ove Boutique and DJ Jon Pleased Wimmln to make a CD. '. Edinburgh club Pure has already released a double
With so ruuch home entertainment available. why bother trecking out late at night to a hot. busy. loud elub'.’ Pay your money and make your choice.
The Tunnel .llircs l.\' released on [Jill/)1) Rn only on 6 May. The [(lllllt‘ll ivm'kt’m/ begins m2 Friday /‘)in The Tunnel. Sec (/11!) listings/(tr (lentils.
‘The possibilities will always be infinite’ states the flyer, and for once, the reality lives up to the hype. A meeting with Rodney Relax — founder of poetry/club crossover Yellow Cafe and the Ieaflet’s originator - is a meeting with a tireless thirtysomething poet who has an energy and lust for life that’s nothing if not enviable.
Borne out of a NY punk ethic and the desire to emancipate poetry from the confines of its traditional stuffy academic image, Relax and Yellow Cafe co-lounder Jon Rarker have
harnessed the creative power of words, visuals and music in a contemporary and dynamic way. Since their launch event in a tiny, shellshocked bar on Edinburgh’s High Street _two years ago, and a series of successful performances in the city’s
Negociants bar, Rodney Relax and his fellow word warriors have gone on to explore and experiment with bigger and better events.
‘We want people to get into the idea that poetry is cool,’ enthuses Relax, a regular at Pure, Sativa and Manga who cites Kevin Williamson’s seminal Rebel Inc literary magazine as the ‘total inspiration’ behind The Yellow Cafe. ‘We’re attempting to communicate with people, entertain them and maybe even educate them a wee bit as well,’ he says in a club-era echo of Reith’s famous BBC founding slogan.
Those who fear the audience
participation element these jam-type events suggest can rest easy. No one’s 3 expected to take part. The Yellow Cafe 5
crew welcome those who just wish to i
go with the flow, take in the mad, surreal visuals and listen to the chilled hip hop beats thrown down by DJ Frosty J or Midnight 33’s techno vibes, while Relax and his collaborators lay down the verbal adventures.
This is more than a potentially pretentious poetry club. It’s spontaneous, multi-dimensional moving theatre. It’s poetry in motion. It’s freedom to express and create. lt’s whatever you want it to be. Who knows, you might even like it. Now, repeat after me: ‘Poetry is cool . . .’ (Jim Byers)
Rodney Relax, Tam Dean Rum, Kenny Sfoichkav and Alison Kermaclr will be performing alongside DJs Ra vac Hussy and Midnight 33 on Sun 21 Apr at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh.
The List l9 Apr-2 May l996 75