As SMIRNOFF EXPERIENCE CENTRAL prepares to take in the whole of dance music culture in one day, Stef MacBeth looks at what it means to clubbers — and talks to a legend while he’s at it.
n recent years it has become
almost a truism that dance
music and club culture are the domain of the unimaginatiye. uninspired and oyerpaid. The kind of money—grabbing. l).l-idolising culture depicted in films like Keri/I and Perry (in large has Virtually defined all mainstream media representation of what dance tnttsic and club culture is. So when major corporate brands like Smirnoff pour money into a festiyal that celebrates a club culture that is the antithesis of all that. you know the tide is turning.
(‘rossing genres. borders and musical boundaries. this new one day festival is about where dance music is at and where it has come from. Taking in three generations of pioneers from the world of electronica. Smirnoff lixperience (‘entral is a celebration not only of cutting edge electronic music but the global and local culture that has grown up around it.
The organisers haye managed to secure a range of innoyators from across eyery major genre of modern electronica to play liye sets alongside the local l).ls who‘ye been championing this new breed of dance music in (ilasgow. So those deyiant disco punks Blackstt‘obe share a bill with (ilasgow’s own deyiant punks Twitch and Wilkes. Likewise. l‘rench techno innoyators the Youngsters play a liye set on the same bill as (ilasgow techno pioneers Slam. .lax/y drum & bass outfit London Iilektricity are joined by fellow Hospital records compatriot (‘yantific and local lads A] and the Beekeeper while Ty is joined by Border (‘rossing and Paul (‘awley as Smirnoff takes over most of the city’s major \‘L‘ltllCS.
Yet it is the grand finale at the Arches that makes this festiyal stand out from just another great Saturday night out. lleadlining the finale. .la/./y .leff brings his new live show with his acclaimed band of rappers. singers and musicians. the l’hilharmonics. to (ilasgow for the first time.
Then there's the secret special guest. The list tracked her down. alter repeated phone calls and messages. She'd had to get her hair done. So how was the hairdressers'.’ 'Baby. baby. baby. lie was so glad to see me he didn't know what to do.‘ explains
.locelyn Brown. the ultimate disco diya. lirom her early work with disco supcrgroups Nltisitjuc and Itmer
Life through to collaborations with house legends like Masters at Work and Todd 'l‘erry. her yoice has been instrumental in the birth and deyelopment of dance music.
JAZZY JEFF'S NEW LIVE SHOW COMES TO GLASGOW FOR THE FIRST TIME
Inner city life
‘l’ve got to express how my soul feels’ Jocelyn Brown
‘In performance I atn one l()()‘i or maybe one lﬁll‘é eyery time. because I know that the spirit that dwells within me. it won’t let me be less than that. he got to express how my soul feels and eyerything that I think'.
Sounding more like a preacher with eyery word. she adds: ‘\\'e know not what eyery man goes through when he comes to our clttb door. or what he is facing in his life. but as he gets onto the dancefloor and hears a song like ‘Something’s lieeling (iood In My Soul’ or ':\in’t No Mountain Iligh linough'. they see a way out. They see something that they can grab hold of. l belieye that (iod has a purpose for this music'.
The organisers seem to agree. with eyents extending beyond performers. with frec-for-all seminars. documentaries. and workshops aimed at trying to understand where dance music has been and where it's going.
The eycnt is billed as ‘dance music‘s return to form” which. in media speak. seems to mean that dance intisic is cool again. But if it is. then what’s to stop today’s new breed becoming tomorrow’s predictable superstar l).ls'.’ l’et'haps Brown has the right attitude when she says: ‘You can’t go back and clean up what you did yesterday. you can only do it from today.‘
Smirnoff Central takes over Glasgow, Sat 15 May, check listings for details.
The Wigan Casino
THIS FORTNIGHT SEEMS TO BE the epicentre of booze- sponsored club treats, what with Smirnoff and Southern Comfort and their various events. Now there’s After Dark ‘Future Cinema From Stella Artois’ crossing the clubs/film divide with DJ sets and live scores overlaying films from the likes of DJ Yoda and Eclectic Method. The event hits the CCA, Glasgow on 4 June. Also it’s one of the first chances DJs and artists have to get their hands on the new turntable from Pioneer, the super slick DVJ-X1. This new system allows users to spin and scratch film as well as sound in one fell swoop to create a fully integrated audio-visual experience. More info and exclusive tickets are available from www.afterdark04.com at £10 (£8).
JUST A QUICK REMINDER OF THE Swmg Social with swing classes from 7pm followed by music from Vegas“ Lenny Love, weekly Tuesdays at the Bongo Club. Edinburgh. COMPETITION TIME AS Caledoniasoul brings Mike Ritson and Stuart Russell to Scotland for the ﬁrst time at the Woodside Social, Glasgow, 22 May. Not only are they mighty fine DJs but they have penned the deﬁnitive history of Northern Soul in the UK, The In Crowd (beecool publishing). ‘Younger people, who weren’t around when the scene began, can get a real feeling for what it was like by reading The In Crowd,’ explains Caledoniasoul resident Scotch Martin. ‘Mike and Stuart were there at the start of Northern Soul, the true beginning of contemporary British dance culture, based around imported music, all-night raves and sexual equality on the danceﬂoor.’ We have one copy of this gorgeous tome to give away. Send an email marked ‘CALEDONIASOUL’ with your name and address to email@example.com no later than 25 May and the first one out of the hat is a winner.
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