TURN THE TABLES: HELPING THE HOMELESS

By Bill Rah

Turn the tables. The initiative getting people off the streets and behind the decks by teaching homeless people how to DJ.  

Robbie Tolson, the 27-year-old founder of Turn the Tables is using his platform to help the homeless. The Edinburgh based initiative is expanding to Glasgow. It might be doing more work than our government. “I want to be helping thousands of people.” Before he invested his time in philanthropy, he was chasing the DJ dream.

Born in Glasgow, raised in Stirling and educated in Edinburgh, Robbie is a classically trained violinist. He listened to indie and electro before moving to Edinburgh for university. Robbie was a FLY Club Resident in Room 2 at Cabaret Voltaire for 5 years.  

He had a release lined up with a record label before they failed to honor the agreement. After the label dropped the EP, he was left in a precarious position. This left him devastated. “My own mental health deteriorated because of that. I wanted to do something more positive. Started volunteering for social bite.”  

He anticipated he would only be there to clean up. Little did he realize his trajectory would be forever altered. After revealing to other volunteers, he was a DJ, they requested he do a workshop for society’s less fortunate. That spiraled into Turn the Tables.  

It is critical that the men he trained performed in a safe environment. He had liaison with bar staff to ensure they were not given alcohol or drugs. There was one individual who stood out. Ryan, a homeless man whom Robbie took under his wing has evolved as a DJ. He learned to mix Vinyl, a notoriously difficult endeavor before going on to support Shapeshifters at La Belle Angelle.  

“Everyone I’ve met doing this had family issues, or issues with alcoholism and addiction.” There is clear demand for Mental Health support for individuals with substance abuse issues. It is one of the harsh realities of life. When you do something in excess, it can have a catastrophic effect on your state of mind. 

Turn The Tables is supported by Red Bull. “We do gigs with Red Bull and the proceeds go straight back to Thunder Project.” However, they are very selective of where they perform as Robbie commented. “We can’t be inside some sweaty nightclub full of drugs.” 

It has also attracted support from legendary House DJ Bushwacka. “He is a therapist which is perfect for us.” Having a multifaceted talent and prolific DJ on board has helped raise the brands profile.  

The scope of this initiative is limitless. “Anywhere that’s got a banging music scene and a homeless problem.” That is the criteria for a city where they will consider expansion. It will be expanding to Glasgow this year and Sub Club have signed up as Ambassadors for the brand.  

“We are changing the public’s perception of homelessness. The DJ’ing has its own social status. Young people look up to DJs. Then you see someone who was once an alcoholic achieve that, It’s quite powerful.” Music can be a robust weapon that shifts the public’s view on issues. With Robbie’s leadership the programme has the potential to change the lives of thousands.  

REAL TALK WITH MELISSA D’LIMA

By Jessie Wilson

Congratulations on the release of your latest track ‘We Don’t Talk When We’re Sober’ on new label, UNCONFINED. What has it been like to be part of the first compilation to be released from the label? 

Thank you so much. I was really excited when I got invited. I always am whenever I get invited to any VA; I remember times when I was first starting out and dreaming of getting the chance to work alongside other artists in such ways. Also, i have really enjoyed all of the contact I have had with the people at UNCONFINED, they have been particularly lovely with me. 

The track encapsulates your style so well: fast, hard and heavy. What would you say your sound’s biggest influences are? 

My biggest influences come from Hard Techno, Industrial Techno, Melodic Techno and more recently a hint of trance. I get very inspired by the work of other artists as well. Above all my biggest influence is my own emotion, I am trying to express myself in each track, so really everything depends on how I am feeling. I am always open to new influences and I don’t like to limit myself. 

You’re such a diverse DJ and producer with a sound that spans from Industrial to Acid techno with sets that range from 155 to 165 bpm. How would you describe your sound to a new listener? 

Thank you so much. I would describe my sound as hard and industrial drums combined with emotional, almost trance like, melodies. Also of course, the high BPM is also a defining part. 

Can you give us a taste of what’s next in terms of releases? 

I have many releases to come on various VA compilations such as SINDEX, STROBERLOAD, and more. During the lock down I had nothing to do other than produce, so the result was many tracks. Also, I am looking forward to my Next solo EP which I hope will be before the end of the year. 

You’ve been really busy over the last few months releasing tracks on labels like Hardest Soft and Embuscade Recordings. You’ve also featured on some amazing podcasts for The Nacht, Phase podcast and more. How have you been able to stay so creative this year? 

Thank you. As I say, the lock down has helped massively with this as it has given me a lot of time that i would not have had otherwise. Also, on a personal level, I have been experiencing a tough time, so this has without doubt aided my creativity and my desire to express emotion through music. 

As a Jaded London resident and part of the Normative Techno Collective, how much are you missing being able to play live? 

Aw I miss it so, so much. I miss how it makes me feel. I miss connecting with the people.I miss the feeling afterwards when things have gone well. I miss everything about it. I am counting down the days until we can safely start partying again. 

As a young DJ and producer who has already made a formidable mark on some of the most formidable dancefloors around the world, what can we expect to see from Melissa D’Lima in the next 12 months? 

Over the next 12 months I really hope to get back to playing. I want to continue to engage with my residencies and the collectives that i work closely with. Also, I was just starting to play on a more international level so i really hope that can continue. Also, I have a strong desire to release on vinyl. So I will set this as my goal for the next year, to have a release on vinyl. 

Were there any challenges you faced when you first started breaking into London’s underground scene? 

I found it hard because I had not long been in the scene even as a raver. So people didn’t know me on a personal level and therefore I didn’t know that many people. They got to know me as a DJ, and then afterwards as a person. Also I guess because I’m very young, maybe people didn’t take me so seriously at the start. 

What’s been the biggest highlight of your DJ career so far? 

The biggest highlight of my career was playing in Rotte Sonne in Munich. It was absolutely amazing to see how much the people love their techno. It was insane. The passion and the energy. I had never felt it before. I could also play as hard as I wanted, without the fear that it would be too much. I felt my sound really worked there. I loved it so much. 

Where are you most looking forward to playing when live shows fire back up? 

Of course the place i am most looking forward to be back at is my beloved Jaded. I have my residency there and I was so so happy and grateful with the amount of opportunities i had been afforded there. I just love the techno community in London, so to see them all again, in Jaded, will be amazing. I can’t wait.

What is the craziest thing you have seen from behind the decks? 

I haven’t actually seen that many crazy things. It may not be crazy to some other DJ’s but for me I always find it so crazy when people chant for me to play more at the end of a set or when they hold up their phones with messages of affection. It’s really crazy to me all of the support I get. I am so grateful and I hope the people know how much it means to me.

LF SYSTEM: BOURGIE BOURGIE BBC TUNE OF THE WEEK

By Bill Rah

LF SYSTEM, the prolific Scottish duo and elite producers are getting the attention they deserve.

Their summer hit ‘Bourgie Bourgie’ has been declared the BBC Introducing Tune Of The Week.

The groovy edit is a fusion of contemporary house and funky disco. The duo recently sat down for an interview.

The track will be featured on the BBC Radio 1 Playlist alongside Calvin Harris and Special Request.

Bourgie Bourgie was released in Scottish imprint Roux Records. A sub label of Eyeangle Records.

Pick it up on bandcamp

Stream Bourgie Bourgie here

MEG WARD DROPS NEW EP LOOKIN 4 FAME

By Bill Rah

The Newcastle based selector is back with a two-track EP consisting of two edits that will get you moving this weekend.

Lookin 4 Fame is out on Monki’s &Friends and is a culmination of Meg’s isolation production during the lockdown. Her genre bending of House, Techno and Acid is becoming her signature sound.

Lookin 4 Fame is Meg’s answer to the closure of clubs. Meg said, “It’s me trying to bring the club to me with the driving bass lines.” As a staple of Newcastle club culture Meg sorely misses the dance floor.

She noted this EP “made me feel like I was in a club again.” Meg reflected on what inspired her to produce this E.P. “Numbness of the lockdown sent me nuts.” With time to spare she hammered her production.

“This EP is about how everyone is looking for fame, including me. The stompy bassline gives you a walking feeling.”

Check it out here

GREIF INTO RAGE: A COMPILATION FOR BEIRUT

By Bill Rah

On August 4th there was a devastating explosion in Beirut caused by large amounts on nitrate that killed 181 people. The aftermath has resulted in 300,000 people homeless and thousands injured.  

The deadly catastrophic incident that ripped through Beirut has left the country in dire need of support. The damage ruined a significant proportion of the cities infrastructure including many clubs and studios.  

Toumba, a DJ based in Amman, Jordan and Resident at Radio Flouka organized a VA in order to raise money for The Lebanese Red Cross and Beirut Musicians Fund. Grief Into Rage: A Compilation for Beirut is out today and features 40 artists including Liam Doc, Elise Massoni and many more talented producers.  

“Grief Into Rage is compilation by the community for the community, hoping to raise funds to be able to support Beirut and its people. 100% of profits will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross and the Beirut Musicians’ Fund.” Toumba said in a statement on Bandcamp.  

He went on to explain the cultural impact of the city. “Beirut has always been the hub of Art and Music in the middle east and it has contributed a huge amount to developing the underground scene, especially in the Middle East, so I thought it was time for the scene to give back and help them get back on their feet.” 

Toumba is only 21 yet his production has been featured with Mixmag and he curated this VA for the benefit of others. “I’m hoping to raise funds to support The Lebanese Red Cross who work on the ground, directly help families, provide aid and even help with the pandemic.” 50% of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross and the other half will support local musicians who’s studios are in ruins.  

“I’m also donating to the Beirut Musicians’ Fund. This fund was started by Beirut musicians who have had their studios destroyed and can apply to this fund and send in an estimate of the damage caused. Their goal is around $35,000 They’re about $10-15k short.” The selector is savvy and generous as he is bringing producers together to give back to people who need our support the most.  

Buy the VA here

Donate to the Red Cross

1.Lara Sarkissian – A House is a Being
2.Arabs with Synthesizers – Rust ft. Rahhal
3.TSVI – Corale
4.elise Massoni – Ciao Bello 
5.Asifeh – CRDRS
6.Pablo Bozzi – Out of Sight
7.Nahash – Male Gakki (Synth Mix)
8.Asquith – I Don’t
9.Arabian Panther – Huriya
10.Sara Al Badawiya – Atla3 3ala Lebnan (Moving Still edit)
11.Laylow x TSVI x Hodge – Division Rouge (SHALT Edit)
12.BRD – Dune
13.Phatrax – Heavy Weather
14.Barow – Chasing Spring
15.Fairuz – Al Bosta (Liam Doc’s Heavy On The Low End Edit)
16.French II & King of Snake – Tribal Drum
17.Oldyungmayn & Van Boom – FiFi
18.96 Back – Love 4 Click
19.Monir – In Transit
20.Nova Cheq – Caralho
21.Toumba – Victims Not Martyrs 
22.ODDZ – Solid State Control
23.Matt Finnegan – Clap Back
24.Bonime – Kill Them All
25.Pugilist – First Contact
26.DJ Tess – Adriatica
27.Air Max ’97 – Plasticity 
28.DJ Plead – Baroud
29.Kendojubaki – Iraqi
30.Hermeth – Viper
31.DJ Ali – ModHall
32.8ULENTINA – Break the Cycle
33.Yazzus – Planet Pulse
34.D3M0R – Talk To Me
35.Thodén – Glint
36.Hiro Kone – Between Breath and Rage

MURG DROPS NEW EP PSYCHEDELIA

By Bill Rah

The Newcastle based selector’s new EP packs a heavy punch of acid.  The three-track EP explores retro 90’s rave style. Murg is heavily influenced by rave culture and the 90’s era.

His contemporary Acid House Production is raw and full of energy yet manages to capture the sound of quintessential 90’s Rave music.  

Murg said his latest EP is “a journey through 90s rave music.” The leading track Psychedelia rips through furiously and induces fist pumping vibes.

“I wanted to make original music and to improve as an artist, so I combined my love for the 90s and my passion for underground music.” This combination led to the creation of Psychedelia.

Check it out here

IN CONVERSATION WITH COUSN

By Josh FB

The duo COUSN from Bristol comprises of cousins Alfie and Billy Goffey. They are among Bristols finest and most unique artists. Their electric production ranges from House and Acid to Disco and Punk. Through their production they have managed to elevate their reputation. They have played in prestigious events such as Glastonbury, WHP and DC10. The duo provided an insight into their life.

How did you guys get into music?

We’d been in bands and around music our whole lives, but started making electronic tunes together when we were 16 after an eye opening weekend at Glastonbury. The first time we touched a set of decks to a crowd would have been the Pioneer DDJ-Ergo at our mate Fat John’s 16th birthday party. We called ourselves A2B and opened with a birthday tune we made for the man himself, followed by the almost self titled tune ‘The A the B’ – a staple in A2B sets for the next few months until we changed our name to ‘Caped Crusaders’ and always wore sparkly capes. The first proper DJ set we got booked for was 2 years later at the Rabbit Hole at Glastonbury so it was mad it went full circle.

To those who might not know, how would you describe your sound and style of production and DJing?

Our DJ style is consistently erratic, we don’t have the biggest attention spans so we like to jump around between genres, styles and tempo depending on how up for it the crowd is. This definitely reflects in our production as well as it also jumps around a lot of different styles, it’s always been hard to pin point the Cousn sound but we feel it is live, punky, analogue heavy dance music.

Who have been your major inspirations over the years?

We like all things renegade, the people who’ve inspired us the most have always done things their own way, you can tell there’s no label calling the shots on their look or videos, it comes straight from them as artists such as The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Leftfield, Burial and more recently acts like Snapped Ankles, Lynks Afrikka, Giant Swan have been inspiring us.

Did the music production come earlier/later, or did you find the two went hand in hand from the get-go?

Music production came first, we started making sort of slow trip hop tunes in the beginning then as we got older and started going out and experiencing more DJ sets our sound became more club focused. Then when our mates parties started getting more freaky we started DJing at them all and playing out the tunes that we’d recently made, so DJing and producing did eventually go hand in hand.

Although undoubtedly there will be huge changes and challenges to overcome, it feels as if the world is returning to somewhat of a semblance of normality. Looking back how have the last few months treated you guys? With stellar multiple back to back releases it seems you have been busy boys!

It’s been a strange few months, but we’ve been making good of a bad situation. Just getting our heads down and taking the time to make tunes, experiment more and really work out where we want to head as an act. We’ve spent the last few months bouncing around different flats and houses like stray dogs, every place we’ve lived in recently has given us different inspiration just by the space of the room and the surroundings, whether we’re working in a open space with windows or a dark dingy dungeon-like bedroom. At the moment we’re living in a place that has no internet or hot water so we’ve been filling up the kettle, and pots and pans on the hob getting just enough hot water to wash ourselves with a flannel.

Your production style has been hailed as being analogue heavy. Which pieces of hardware have become staples of the cousn sound?

We’re really glad our sound has been coined as analog heavy, we’ve always wanted our music to sound real and raw even when we had barely any equipment. Now our setup consists of, the Micro Korg and Bass Station II which have featured in pretty much every Cousn tune. Recently we got a Behringer Poly-D to make some lovely jubbly chords and a Behringer TD-3 which is a 303 emulator for some juicy acid wobbles. For the drums we’ve got a Roland Tr-8s which we put our own samples in and manipulate the sounds and always use our drummer Tom to add live drum layers on top so it’s always got a live edge to it. We’ve also got a Minilogue and an old Korg keyboard which has a real secondary school music class sound to it. “D-D-D-DJ!”.

Since Mixmag’s premiere of ‘Brain Ticker’, and its success in the summer of 2019; you’ve gathered serious momentum with your subsequent releases, which are consistently dripping with juicy acid melodies. The much anticipated ‘are you with us’ is no different. Do you feel this will become a staple of future cousn productions?

Yeah we’ve always been bang into acid, we grew up in bands so have always wanted Cousn to sound punky and erratic but there’s something inherently anti-music theory about dirty acid lines that syncs well with our punky side. Acid is wrong but so right, it’s never strayed far from where it was originally intended and there’s something so nostalgic about an acid line. Our dads grew up in the Second Summer of Love and through the acid era and used to play us tunes like ‘Higher State Of Consciousness’ and ‘Rockin Down The House’ when we were younger, so been we’ve been drawn to it ever since, and it’ll always have a place in the Cousn sound.

As you commented on during the release of ‘ritual’, even the simplest of our daily routines have required adaptation. With a new show on the prestigious Rinse FM, how have you found the “alternative means of DJing”? How does it compare to the real thing?

We absolutely love doing the Rinse radio shows, it’s the only way we’ve been able to flex our DJing triceps since COVID stopped all the fun, genuinely think we’d have gone mad without them. However since all gigs have stopped we’ve really missed having the energy and interactions with sweaty ravers, there’s no feeling like it. We’ve actually stuck a picture of a crowd on the wall in front of our decks to make us feel more at home.

How has the scene in Bristol faired during lockdown?

Same as everywhere else really, fucked. But Bristol’s always been at the forefront of new exciting music and parties so I’m sure if anywhere manages to weather the storm and come back strong it’s gunna be here in the south west.

Both locally in Bristol and in a more global sense, can you envisage any major changes to the established status quo happening once clubs reopen?

Yeah, to be honest we were feeling like the established status quo was getting really stale, music made from Loopmaster packs and the same rehashed ideas over and over again. One of the positives we feel will come from this pandemic is a huge amount of creativity, and hopefully with that a massive new wave of young producers ready to disrupt this status quo, we can’t wait. We also feel like clubbing and dance music will veer more to the fun side, everyone and their nan is gunna need a huge COVID-safe boogie when this is over.

Cousn ‘Are You With Us’ is out on 28th August

Pre order here

FROM FAULDHOUSE TO FLY CLUB: THE STORY OF LF SYSTEM

By David Gerrard 

Edinburgh is a city flourishing with talent and LF System are waving the capital’s flag into the new decade. Conor Larkman and Sean Finnigan comprise of the prolific duo.

Conor and Sean, both 24 years old, grew up just miles apart in West Lothian. “There’s not much happening here, so there’s nobody interested in electronic music. It’s a quiet place” said Sean, as he reminisced about his younger days in Winchburgh. 

Sean’s curiosity began after listening to Daft Punk in high school – “I wondered, how do they make that sound? I went down this rabbit hole trying to figure it all out when I was 13. Production came first, and DJing sort-of stemmed from producing.”

Conor, who hails from “The mighty Fauldhouse” as he proudly dubs it, took a different route. “I was at my pals, and I used a DJ app at a gaff playing EDM. We were all steaming, and I was like ‘Fuck it, I’m getting decks. I started using Traktor DJ with a wee controller, and I thought I was the dug’s baws like. Finally, I got CDJs and went into production.”

The blending of their taste allows them to produce exciting and energetic rhythmic house music. Sean discussed using anything as a source of creativity. “It’s all inspiration” as he spoke about his music taste ranging from soul & disco to pop & hip-hop. “I was always listening to a wide range, and I think that’s good for ideas in electronic music where you can make anything happen.” 

Conor agreed with Sean’s ethos on inspiration and recalled how his taste has evolved. His father was into disco, and his sister’s boyfriend introduced him to house music. “That got me into the mindset that EDM’s shite. I just loved house music.” Amen to that.

After his sister’s boyfriend visited Sub Club to see Detroit Swindle, Conor grew more intrigued. “I asked for an ID, and it turned out to be Floorplan. I was right into techno from then on.” This amalgamation of tastes leaves the boys with innovation-on-tap; a never-ending stream of ingenious artistry.

The duos first venture into club culture came in the form of the collective: HYBRiD Events. The group put on some of the most unique events in Scotland; events which were compared to illegal 90s raves in the UK. “We used to put on events everywhere – once at an abandoned Victorian swimming pool. We tried to do things differently” said Sean.

HYBRiD was never about making money, as the two made clear. “We just wanted to get playing and get steaming!” added Conor. “The way I see it: do you get paid to play football with your pals? You just do it and enjoy it. They ask me all the time if I get paid, and I argue with them ‘cause that’s not what it’s about.” 

Unfortunately, the story of HYBRiD events came to an end, and the group went their separate ways. However, this wasn’t the end. It was merely the beginning. The two praised FLY Club’s Head Booker Fergus Myer, who brought them together. Sean said: “He’s been there from the start, and he’s one of our best mates. Our manager, our agent; just everything rolled into one. He pushed us together to become a duo.”

LF SYSTEM are FLY Club residents alongside Scotland’s most prolific DJ’s. Their first residency night in January 2020 invigorated the duo. It helped them realise how far they can go. “Seeing LF System main room at Cab Vol for FLY on a poster is insane” laughed Conor. Sean still seemed in awe of how far the pair had come from their early days of mixing at gaffs and producing in their bedrooms. “It felt at the time, if we can keep pushing it, this might happen.” 

The pair also revealed their pre-gig superstitions that they follow to calm their nerves. “We have a bite to eat, and a glass of red wine. We tell ourselves ‘we’re not getting steaming’, then we get there, and we’re fucked,” laughed Conor. Sean added, “We always have tequila before the gig!” They both erupted into a fit of guilty hysterics as they recognized the true reason for getting rowdy. “Sometimes we get into the mindset where we say we won’t, but you get carried away. If the DJs aren’t the life of the party, then there’ll be no life at the party at all.”

LF SYSTEM are highly talented producers, with their featuring on three different BBC Radio 1 shows. Sean explained “We sent the tracks out, around five or six to Annie Mac and Pete Tong. They responded saying we had a good chance of getting played.” Their tracks were played for five weeks straight over the airwaves. “It was surreal, and it all happened so fast,” said Sean in disbelief.

One of the tracks that played, ‘Feel It’, was only finished within a week before being sent. Sean stated, “It’s crazy that you can sit for weeks and get nowhere, and that only took a week, and it was live on air.” If anything, that’s a testament to their amazing work ethic. “We’re sitting on a good number of tracks, we’re speaking to labels, trying to find something that fits. We’ve also got plans for self-releases” Sean exclaimed.

Sean was quick to tease another announcement as well – “We’ve got a Radio 1 thing happening in August, but we can’t say anything right now.” Excitement is an understatement for what these boys have in store for the future, and as for a potential spot on one of the FLY Weekenders abroad? “Definitely something that might happen.” With new releases coming soon we will be seeing a lot more from LF SYSTEM. Quite frankly, we are ecstatic at the prospect of more music from the duo. 

KEEPING IT REAL WITH JEZZ SIMPSON

By Bill Rah

Modula Records label boss and FLY Club Resident Jezz Simpson is one of one Scotland’s unique producers exploring the Minimal House sound.

Jezz grew up in Leith, a popular port district in the capital. “It was quite a dodgy place to grow up in.” he remarked before commenting on the current state of the area. He noted it’s transformed into an up and coming area.

“It’s quite cool Leith because you’ve got all that going on but you’ve still got the ‘old Leith’ as well with Junkies kicking about so it’s pretty fucking mental.” Growing up in a sketchy area didn’t hold him back from doing what he loves.  

He first purchased decks when he was only 14 however admits that he only serious invested himself in DJ’ing at 18. He recalled his first ever set which was in a run-down bar in Stirling. “I drove out there fucking shitting myself.” Natural for anyone’s first set. It was his mother’s friend who arranged the gig. “It was sketchy as fuck.” That probably added to the nerves.  

He had to bring along his own decks because they didn’t have their own. Quite an inconvenience. When the set kicked off it led to a memorable affair. “I just finished my set and came off and the cunts who were on at the back came in and they were going mental. Next thing, the music got cut off and the promoters got caught in the toilets taking gear so they fucking scrapped.” 

After that first set Jezz slowly established himself as a high caliber selector in Edinburgh. He is predominately influenced by Minimal House. “I like to think that’s my signature sound when I’m playing my sets. I’ve kind of got my own wee sound going on in Scotland.” 

As a DJ he used groovy minimal selections to soundtrack his sets and has built a reputation in the capital through his unique style. That style is showcased in his production. “I’ve been producing for 7 years. But I’ve been on and off, so I’ve probably been doing it properly since about 2014. It’s only now that I’m starting to be happy with the shit I’m making.” 

He commented on how he invested himself into club culture. “I got into DJ’ing for the love of the music, so I decided to stick to my guns and luckily for me Fergus and Tom at FLY Club appreciate what I do. They put me up in the café and it kind of sets the bar for the café.” Jezz appreciates the opportunity he was given to become a resident in the cafe for FLY Club.  

He reflected on how he became involved with FLY. Five years ago, Jezz ran a night alongside his close friend Gave Miller. “We ran a night in Hanover street called citizens disco. That’s where our friendship kind of blossomed.” They know of each other before this however this helped strengthen their relationship.  

Gav asked Jezz to play Room 2 with him for FLY. Gav normally played Hip-Hop which Jezz wasn’t accustomed to. “We decided to play disco and it was absolutely rammed.” After a couple more sets Tom Ketely offered him a residency at Cabaret Voltaire. “Shoutout to Tom and Fergus for giving me that platform to showcase my sound. If it weren’t for them I would be sitting here doing fuck all.” 

Jezz progressed and is now one of the most revered local residents in Edinburgh. “I did the residences in room 2 and gradually got moved upstairs. I was kind of scared that I was going to be tagged as a disco DJ which I really wasn’t, so I started playing my own kind of stuff in the café and it just started going down well.”  

He will be playing at FLY Amsterdam Weekender alongside his Leith comrade Gav Miller. When they play together it’s usually an impromptu set. “When we come together to play there’s no doubt in my mind how it’s going to go down. We don’t have to tell each other what we’re going to play. Just fucking play it and it works.”  

DJ’ing comes easy to veteran selectors such as Jezz. It’s running a label that presents challenges. Jezz struggles to stay on top of his DM’s and emails being flooded with music. It’s difficult to narrow down selections and choose one for release.  

He collaborated with Joe Wheeler to establish Modula Records. They gravitated towards each other as they shared a love of minimal groove. It took them years to establish the right contacts and gain the knowledge to release Vinyl. “It took us two years to get the foundations in place and get a team to work with us It was 2 years ago that we released our first record MR001.” 

That first release went better than anticipated. “After we first released Jamie Jones was playing it at Kappa Future Festival and It just went fucking off. Our record sold out instantly. That’s kind of when I realised that although we’ve got no clue what were doing, we’re doing it fucking right.” 

When he isn’t spinning tunes behind the decks he works as Head of Maintenance in a care home. Fortunately they didn’t record any cases of COVID-19. For Jezz life in lockdown has been a challenge. Modula records began as Vinyl only however switched to digital in order to survive the current economic climate.

He misses the dance floor especially the community aspect of club culture. “Seeing those faces that you wouldn’t normally see outside the clubs. You know you’ve got those people that you’re really close with but you wouldn’t go on a walk with or any of that shit.” One of the hardest things for him was missing out on an opportunity of play Boiler Room alongside Gav Millar.

Despite the lockdown Jezz has been occupied with his production. “Solo release on distinct and a collab with Gregg Dunsmore which came out on Lacuna recordings, been working on a lot of stuff with him lately, he’s a wicked producer and one of my good mates.”

Jezz is one the real ones. Constantly scouting for talented producers to feature on his label and grafting to ensure his production remains on an upward trajectory. He has managed to build a reputation throughout Scotland by keeping it real.

Check out Modula Records latest VA

Check out Digital 002

Jezz Simpson Nasty Edit

WE SHOULD HANG OUT MORE RELEASE NEW EP

By Bill Rah

We Should Hang Out More. The renowned Glasgow duo host some of the cities finest parties. The duo are key pillars of Glasgow club culture. Their new EP ‘March Last Year’ is out today.

The new three-track EP is exquisitely produced house grooves which will be released on rising label Jackie Knows Karate Records. John Markey and Oliver Melling have built a notorious reputation for their parties. In the good sense.

Oliver Melling said “These tracks were conceived at a time when we were playing longer, heavier sets in all manner of weird and wonderful places. Taking to the booth often three times a weekend was frenetic.”

Their production might be just as good as their parties. Their latest EP was written during a time there were lots of raves happening in Glasgow. “We were playing loads of massive parties, sometimes playing three times in one weekend.”

What a time to be alive. Soul searching and reflecting during the lockdown truly makes us appreciate the parties where we danced the hardest. Thou cut shapes until the end. “It was a mad time of energy and creativity. We released two disco orientated releases on Midnight Riot and decided to make some house music to reflect the venues we were playing in.” said Markey

He went on to elaborate on the significance and meaning of their latest EP. “The tunes you hear are our representation of those venues that mean so much to the city’s cultural fabric.” The duo are residents in Sub Club and The Berkeley Suite.

They are local legends within the cities club culture. The noted they compliment each other in different ways which contribute to their success. Oliver has a degree in Audio Engineering while Markey has a PhD in Music. They each bring their unique skillset to the table.

Markey grew up in a small town called Warrenpoint in Ireland. Oliver in a small town called
Selkirk in the Scottish Borders. “We’re pan-Celtic.” The duo added. A critical detail that shouldn’t be overlooked especially in a city like Glasgow. The duo met in unconventional circumstances.

Markey worked in a pub in Glasgow and Oliver worked across the road in a coffee shop.”We bonded over borrowing petty change from each other and then started going clubbing together. Then we played at flat parties together before taking the leap into the highly competitive gladiatorial arena that is Glasgow club nights” said Markey.

They both reflected on their first ever set together. It was August 2014. Glasgow was buzzing at that time. The Commonwealth Gamers were on that summer as was the first Independence Referendum. They performed a wild set together in La Cheetah.

“The city was an incredible ball of energy, it was an amazing place to be at the time. We sold out in under an hour, probably squeezing more than we should have into that outrageously hot basement. It was sweaty, incredibly energetic and totally solidified our want to keep doing this for as long as we can.” said Oliver

Since then they haven’t looked back and have catapulted their brand to incredible heights. Their previous booking include Honey Dijon, Folamour, Late Night Tuff Guy and other high calibre selectors.

However due to the lockdown they have been impacted substantially. Although this has given the duo time to focus on production. “We’ve worked really hard on production over the lockdown, and the fruits of it are very close to harvesting.” said Markey

He added “Our release schedule from the end of 2020 onwards is going to be hectic. We’ve been collabing with some amazing producers remotely, as well as some seriously talented topliners too. We’ve also established our own record label In The Event Of Capture to release some of the unheard talent in Glasgow.”

Despite there parties being halted due to COVID-19 the WSHOM boys have been honing their skills and will be releasing more music to share with the world. As staples of Glasgow club culture it’s great to see the duo scout the city for unheralded talent to focus on.

Send Demos to intheeventofcapture@wshom.club

Check out their new EP here

WSHOM Studio