JOEY BELTRAM Occupation: One of the pioneers of techno and inventor of the ‘hoover sound’. Hoover sound?! That’s right, the hoover sound, a staple of techno since 1991 and Beltram’s seminal ‘Mentasm’ on R&S Records. Created using waveform oscillations, pulse width modulation and a thick chorus effect. And yes, it does sound a bit like a sci-fi vacuum cleaner. Ok. Now we’ve got that cleared up, lets go back to the start, who’s this Beltram chap then? While techno was born in Detroit there were a handful of New York DJs who also helped shape the genre. Growing up DJing hip hop in Queens he started drifting towards electro and early house, but was perhaps more in tune with the emerging Belgium techno scene. Harder and faster than its Detroit counterparts, Beltram headed to Europe with ‘Energy Flash’ in 1990. Now that’s a tune and a half Too right my friend, an absolute classic. Muzik magazine even went on to name it as their ‘Track of the Decade’ and not surprising when you consider its swampy electronic brilliance. A track that still sounds as fresh today despite being 20 years old. What’s he been up to since? He’s released a slew of killer tunes including the aforementioned ‘Mentasm’, the insistent ‘Forklift’ (check the Luke Slater remix for teeth grinding techno perfection), the ferocious stomp of ‘Ball Park’ and the dark beats of ‘Scorpion’ on pretty much every major techno label in the world such as Tresor, Transmat, Harthouse, Drumcode, Warp, Novamute, Trax and his own STX Records. Ok, I’m officially excited: when, where and what? He guests at Edinburgh’s Compakt for a rare Scottish DJ date and is sure to prove that he’s still at the cutting edge of hard, uncompromising electronica. (Henry Northmore) ■ Joey Beltram guests at Compakt, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Fri 21 May 36 THE LIST 13–27 May 2010
DRUM & BASS NOISIA Xplicit at Potterrow, Edinburgh, Fri 21 May
Proving your old friends are your best friends, Xplicit welcome club favourites NOISIA back to the capital for yet another triple bill event at Edinburgh Uni’s Potterrow. ‘The first time they played for us was back in 2006,’ says promoter Simon McGrath. ‘That was one of those events that stands out from the others and personally they’re one of my favourite acts.’ Comprising three friends from Groningen in the north of the Netherlands, NOISIA (read as ‘VISION’ when you flip the word upside down) are the brewers behind a fierce concoction of electronic music that they scatter at will over a range of genres. Whether it’s house, breaks, drum & bass or dubstep, their tracks are as
fierce as they are forceful, quickly grabbing you by the sonic jugular. If hell had a soundtrack, NOISIA could well be it. ‘I’ve always been a massive fan of their production,’ says McGrath. ‘They’re able to churn out so many high-quality tunes so regularly with such versatility.’ New album Split the Atom has been slamming all the right senses for a global fanbase turned onto the NOISIA sound thanks to Radio 1 airplay for a number of their releases, most notably the awesome house/breaks combo ‘Gutterpump’.
However, as usual with Xplicit, one headline act simply isn’t enough. ‘For this event we really wanted to offer something that covered all angles,’ says McGrath. ‘So we’ve also got London Elektricity, who are always brilliant, and Nero, who we have been wanting to book for a while.’ (Richie Meldrum)
DISCO & FUNK SLO-MO & LA DI DA Flying Duck, Glasgow, Thu 20 May; Bacchus, Glasgow, Fri 14 May
‘After being stuck in Edinburgh for 12 years,’ says club promoter and blogger Chef De Party (not his real name, you might have guessed), ‘moving through to Glasgow is like finding the promised land.’ Which is a bit harsh on the capital, but then Chef is nothing if not thorough with the club life. Having worked for or DJed at numerous Edinburgh clubs including Telefunken, Pins & Needles, Jam the Box and Red Star Institute pretty much since he moved there from Fife, he and the DJ and promotion team he works with (Charles Gardiner, Stuart Holbeck and Rob Firth) are now starting three nights in their new home city within the space of a month. The first of these, though, is based on a tradition he believes is more typical of the east than the west. ‘There’s so much on at the weekend here,’ he says, ‘but there aren’t that many really good underground nights from Sunday to Thursday, whereas in Edinburgh, midweek clubs like Motherfunk get as busy as the weekend.’ So the Flying Duck’s fortnightly Slo-Mo is pitched at those who don’t have work on a Friday morning with a slightly more laid-back diet of new disco, midtempo house and classic funk, influenced by Chef and co’s favourite Glasgow nights like Melting Pot and Supermax.
In comparison, the monthly La Di Da is just a proper mess about, offering ‘countryside fashion meets the sounds of the city’ with a ‘country gents and ladies who lunch’ dress code, and Pimms and scones at the bar, while next fortnight’s first Forever Cookin’ Presents brings Nottingham’s Rob Da Bank and Gilles Peterson favourite Red Rack’em to the city’s Ivory Blacks for a set on Fri 28 May. (David Pollock)