The Subculture duo show us what a Saturday at the Sub Club is all about on this week's RA podcast.
Ever since electro, house and techno washed up on British shores, Glasgow has had a noticeably soft spot for electronic dance music, which has been in no small part due to the antics of James Harrigan and Domenic Capello. Together they've been responsible for the Sub Club's Saturday night programme for over 16 years, bringing some of the biggest international names in house and techno to what is arguably the city's most iconic venue. As you'd expect from DJs who experienced the house music explosion the first time round, their crates go pretty deep.
Domenic actually began his DJing career in the late '80s, foregoing his electro and breakdancing past to play on Friday and Saturday nights at a blues club outside of Glasgow. Meanwhile at the Sub Club, Harri was teaming up with Slam's Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle for their Atlantis residency, but by 1994 the Soma bosses had decided to move on. Having become a regular guest at Atlantis following his departure from the blues club, Domenic eventually took on the role of Harri's partner, and Subculture was born.
Not content with simply DJing, both have a number of productions to their name, with Dom racking up releases on Soma and Frantic Flowers with the funked-up techno of his Hutton Drive project, while Harri has turned his hand to a wide spectrum of house music under various different guises. It's behind the decks where they're most content, however, and you can hear it immediately in their diverse but coherent two-hour session for this week's RA podcast, which should serve as a perfect preview for their set in our room at Eastern Electrics later this month.
What have you been up to recently?
Harri: Apart from my weekly Saturday nights at the Sub Club... Unusually, I have been away from Glasgow a fair bit in the last few months. I did a two week tour of Australia, then back to Scotland for Rockness. We did a Sub Club party at Sonar in Barcelona with Steve Bug, and then five days in Croatia playing at The Garden Festival. A few weeks ago I played in Jersey and on Monday I go for a ten day family holiday in Spain. Apart from that, I have been working on a few remixes with The Revenge (under our Burnt Island Casuals moniker) and also co producing some stuff for Darkroom Dubs with Graeme Reedie of Silicone Soul.
Domenic: Helping the needy and troubled.
How and where was your portion of the mix recorded?
Harri: The mix was recorded in my house, using Serato Scratch and two Technics 1210s.
Domenic: I recorded it using two Technics decks, two CD-Js and a Pioneer mixer plugged into an external CD recorder in my record room at home.
Can you tell us a little more about the mix?
Harri: I was trying to make more of a warm up mix rather than peak-time, and to include some older stuff rather than just current tunes. I decided to leave the mix till the last minute, as I work better to a deadline. I tried to do one last night but was not that happy with it. It seemed to flow easier today.
Domenic: I wrote down some tracks (old and new) that I really wanted in the mix over the period of a few weeks, and then tried to work out the best way to get the right flow and feel in the running order. For me, when I first heard house and techno over twenty years ago it was like some sort of futuristic, electronic funk that had elements of all the music I had previously loved. Soul, funk, jazz and blues were being remade into something new and exciting using sci-fi style synth lines, raw basslines and drum machines. I still listen for that feel in a lot of the records I buy today, and I have tried to put that feel into this mix. I imagine that if there had been a club scene in Blade Runner, then this is the music they would dancing to.
What are your thoughts about the current Scottish licensing laws?
Harri: Licensing laws in Scotland are rubbish, I think people should be able to decide for themselves what time they want to go out and come home. On the plus side, it helps me get my beauty sleep :D
Domenic: Shit about sums it up.
Do you two ever plan on producing together at all?
Harri: Domenic and myself have tried to produce together on a couple of occasions, and I would not rule out future collaborations. We live on opposite sides of the city and have both been busy looking after our kids.
Domenic: Maybe one day, if i can get Harri out of the bookies and the pub.
What are you up to next?
Harri: I am going to Spain for ten days after the weekend! When I return I have a couple of remixes to finish, plus get some tracks finished for the Darkrooms Dubs label. Apart from my weekly Sub gig I have a boat party in Edinburgh and a Resident Advisor gig in London at the end of August.
Domenic: I'm looking forward to being back in the Sub Club. I haven't played for a few weeks. Also really looking forward to the Eastern Electrics party in August. I think that will be brilliant.