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One of house music’s odder characters

because in Baltimore you got two styles: house and


Glasgow has long been something of a hotbed of independent labels. The latest to join the fray is Deep Freeze, an imprint with a decidedly international outlook set on bringing the latest brand of house to gain a following in the city to wider attention.

‘We’re aiming to put out light, really funky house, really positive house sounds,’ explains Emily Dewhurst who, along with Matthew Drummond and Barry Reeves, makes up the Deep Freeze Team. ‘That was one of the great things about the boat party we held to launch the label; it wasn’t all thumping beats, there were jazz influences in there, and funk. We’re three old ravers really, so we like that kind of cheesy feel-good side of things, and are a bit sick of techno and the really banging stuff. There’s a pretty vibrant scene at the lighter end of house in Glasgow at the moment - there just seems to be a lot of people interested in this kind of music, which is great for us.’

For cognoscenti of the smooth, melodic house that inspires the Deep Freeze crew, Drummond will be a familiar name, thanks to his steady slew of releases for established outfits Paper and Undaground Therapy. The new label will provide a home for his productions, but is also set to bring together an international

Heatherfest at The ArCheS, roster of like-minded artistS. ‘One of the label’s main

focuses is to be an outlet for

techno, and nothing in between. I figured there’s got to be more music than just those two, and when I got

Nightclubs never tire of dreaming up schemes and to New York I just opened my mind and saw that l

themes to draw in the punters, and the latest one-off event at The Arches shows more imagination than most. Heatherfest, as the name suggests, is a celebration of the heather harvest, a 21 st century reworking of the traditional Bacchanals that greeted the first flowering of the plant, featuring a Celtic rock fusion group, a trad ceilidh band and, naturally a procession of heather gatherers down Buchannan Street led by a troupe of Brazilian-influenced drum & bass percussionists.

It’s an odd event, to be sure, and the Heatherfest organisers have, in the spirit of the occasion, roped in one of house music’s odder characters, Maurice Fulton. The one-time member of the Basement Boys is known for dipping a toe into disparate musical waters, often in collaboration with Finnish avant-jazzer Jimi Tenor, with a magpie approach to production that has seen his efforts dubbed ‘weird house’ by the dance music press.

‘They’re right to call it that, I guess,’ Fulton says, obviously pleased with the tag. ‘That all came about when I left Baltimore and the Basement Boys,

‘When I got to New York I just opened my mind and saw that I could listen to all kinds of MUSiC’ Maurice Fulton

could listen to all kinds of music and just do them all! Then when I met up with Jimi Tenor, it really sank in. l was writing music in the traditional way I’d have a verse, a chorus, a bridge, back to the chorus and so on, and Jimi just said, “No man, you want the chorus first you put it there, you want the verse last, that’s fine.” And that just seemed right to me, if you love music you should experiment with it.’

Fulton’s freewheeling approach to production is matched by his inclusive tendencies behind the decks, inspired by the grandfather of nightclubbing, David Mancuso. ‘I’ll be playing at Heatherfest what I’ve been playing for fifteen years,‘ he explains, ‘what you might call Loft classics. I like what David Mancuso did at his Loft parties, where he used to play all these different kinds of records, some would be early house, some would be Latin, anything that makes you dance. Back then the music wasn’t given all the categories you have now, and that’s the way I like to play. I call it dance music, it could be Latin music, Brazilian music, house music. To me, it’s all dance music.’ (Jack Mottram)

Matthew’s music,’ Dewhurst confirms, ‘and he’s collaborating with quite a few DJs in and around Glasgow who are just getting into making music. We’re going to be a global label, though we’ve brought in people from the States, and there’s a lot of this music coming from Switzerland. We want to bring these people over to Deep Freeze club nights, too, because very few of them play in Britain at the moment. What we want to do is connect it all up.’

With a regular club residency in Warsaw, and close connections with European and Stateside labels, Deep Freeze are well on their way to achieving their aims. (Jack Mottram)

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