You’ve got heavyweight artists like Basement Jaxx, Joey Negro, Harri, DJ Q and Phil Asher involved with nascent Glasgow record label Solemusic. But if truth be told, it's success is really down to one guy: head honcho Stevie Middleton. 'lt’s my label, just a pure expression of what I like,’ he says. And what Middleton likes is the finest black dance music. Principally house, but garage, soulful disco and hip hop too, all fuelled by a search for the perfect groove.
Middleton set the label up two and a half ‘years ago after leaving university with a marketing degree, and since then he's had just under forty releases on Solemusic and its sister labels Tronicsole and Discosole. Scan down any of the cooler DJ’s top tens and you’re bound to find at least one track to have come from this trio of labels. Middleton was also the one chosen by PAN to compile and mix the Sounds Like Glasgow CD last year, and one of his earliest successes ’I Feel Good Things For You' by Daddy's Favourite (aka Harri) was recently picked up by Go Beat. He produces as well, under the Phuture Retro moniker among others and is about to launch another new label (with Harri). It’s all going very right for the 26-year-old from Ayr.
He’d been DJing all the way through uni, and confesses he spent half his time in record shops, or off on buying trips to the States ’spunking a whole load of money on records,’ feeding his addiction. While it might have seemed obvious to others he was going to end up in the music business, he says it wasn’t until right up to the last year of studying that he knew what he wanted to do. It’s Middleton's combination of business savvy and dance enlightenment that now makes producers from Glasgow to Detroit entrust Solemusic with their creations. ’They're comfortable with us because the musical ethos behind the label is backed up by the business side,’ he says. ’lt’s
The man with a Solevision — Stevie Middleton
not a highly profitable area of the music business and to continue doing this you really do have to be quite good.’
Although he's been on the scene for going on a decade, he’s never promoted his own club night, an issue he's addressing with the launch of Buddasole which he sees as an extension of the label, heavily involving the people releasing material on the labels. It’s all part of the Middleton master plan, of carefully tweaking what he’s working at, and having faith in his musical integrity.
You may wonder why he hasn't defected down to London by now, but he perfectly happy to stay put. ’l’ve got people from Glasgow putting music out on my label, but there's also people from all over the world too,’ he explains. ’lt’s that typical cliche: it's not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at. From a business point of view, London is the centre of all things, but there's a load of bullshit down there which we don’t have to deal with. We just get on with it, you know.’ (Rory Weller) So/evis‘ions Volume One is out now on Sole Mus/c. Stevie Middleton 015 every Friday at Club Budda, and Sundays at The Temple
Scratch bards: The Dynamic Duo aka Bryan Jones and Neall Dailly
The Dynamic Duo
for cutting it up.
'Being young, we used to get the feeling that some people on the scene didn't want us there, like we were stepping on peoples‘ toes,’ says Dailly. ’But it really turned around for us when we met Richie Ruftone [the legendary Edinburgh hip hop DJ] He's done us a lot of favoms'
Dailly recently won the Scottish heat of this year’s prestigious DMC (Disco Mixing Club) championships. Both are still awed from their Visit to the UK final in London.
'You have to put down that he beat Tony Vegas of The SCratch Perverts in this record shop called Deal Real,’ says Jones, referring to Dailly’s impromtu
Edinburgh: The Jazz Join-t, Tue; Scratch at The Venue, fortnightly Sat; and Seen, The Honeycomb, Fri 180cc Clll'i’,!ivi.,g Hf Fouitir-n-j/r-ai-'ilrl “Ir-«ill
1995, Edinburgh Wile. beneath the tinsel-rim i2c-rl tiei- and discovers that left the expected football strip video game Instead, the fat jolly l,~!ol:r- has produced a set of decks from '.'ilill|.'l his bulging sack
78 THELIST i I/ llei t’i‘lt-t
Perhaps a strange present for a child of that age, but then respected Edinburgh turntablists Thc,r Dynamic Duo are used to being years ahead of their peers l~leal| Dailly and Bryan Jones, aka Plus One and Extra, have known each other since Bryan used to heat Neall up in First Year The hatchet was buried thanks to a mutual love of skateboarding, through which they discovered hip hop and a natural talent
battle Wllh the DJ who was eventually placed illlld. 'At least, according to Neall.’
'No" protests Dailly 'According to me and all the people that were there.’
With a healthy helping of the boundless enthusiasm and confidence of youth, The Dynamic Duo look set to improve upon their already awesome talents. Look out ‘ the next generation are already here. (Simone Baird)
EDINBURGH'S FESTIVE LATE LICENSES start on Fri 18 Dec and run through to Sun 3 Jan inclusive, allowing clubs to remain open until 5am. Don’t get too excited, however as utilising the extended time remains wholly in the hands of the venues and, depending on the night, they may choose to close at the regular time of 3am. Glasgow revellers get an extra hour in the pubs and clubs. All venues have the extension if they fancy using it, starting from Fri 11 Dec.
CAFE GRAFFITI has been granted another stay of execution . . . they will remain open until September of 99 when the popular club will be turned into offices.
A NEW INTERNET DJ booking agency has started up in Glasgow. Firehorse has gone on-line with ten 015 on its roster. The likes of Harri, Funk D'Void, Kevin McKay, Stevie Middleton and Silicone Soul are represented, as well as lesser known DJs trying to break into the game. Firehorse proprietor Louise Prendergast intends that the DJ agency will be used by everyone from local bar managers to clubs throughout Britain. Check it out at www.urbanvibes.co.uk/firehorse
TICKETS ARE NOW being sent out for the Hogmanay/New Years Day Ministry Of Sound gigs at The Potterrow. They cost £35 per night and are available by sending a SAE and cheque/money order payable to EUSA to: Hogmanay, The Potterrow, 5/2 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL. Phone 0131 650 4673.
THOSE PLANNING TO GO to what looks set to be the biggest Hogmanay party in Scotland — Crash - should get their tickets today. Available in advance from Ripping, Virgin, Uber Disko and Underground Sol'shn and by credit card on 0131 473 1999, tickets include a street pass and are priced at £25 plus £1 booking fee. There are precious few tickets left.
Louise Prendergast at Firehorse