Review: A concentrated Glasgow affair, Drumcode/Saved face Harvey returns to Soma for a shuddering selection of slammers. Deep underneath its uncompromising percussion and relentless groove, "Are You Real" harbours a stunningly soulful vocal. "Creep", meanwhile, struts with lush loopy mischief, building into a fusion of demonstratively dark drama. "Sargon's Birth" closes the show with gritty tech menace. Igniting with a minimal 4/4 stomp, the percussive switches that follow will cause serious dancefloor meltdown. Remix-wise Frankyeffe elevates "Sargon's Birth" to big room level by way of alluring reverbed synths and an insistent vocal loop coded into the unstoppable rhythm. Massive.
Review: Glaswegian techno hero Harvey McKay has released on a who's who of labels of late, not limited to
Drumcode, Intec, Cocoon, Bedrock and Soma but appears here for Barcelona imprint Suara with the Never Forget EP. The title track really channels that raw peak time energy that he has had going for Adam Beyer's label; particularly on the furious title track in all its pounding/tunneling glory, complete with early '90s rave aesthetics. The breakdown on this one is really for the nostalgic and will appeal to fans of Special Request, Alan Fitzgerald or of course Shed. "Use Me" is even more fast faced but funky, with its steely drums, loopy vocals and grinding stabs: reminded us of classic Marco Carola and the Neapolitan sound, turn of the millennium. Finally "Stolen Forest" hammers the message, home going all guns blazing on this peak time monster: Let those dub chords before the drop hypnotize you before he unleashes the power: this one is a lethal weapon.
Review: The title track is the big room offering on this release. Taking inspiration from tribal house from the early 00s as well as the more precise nature of modern day tech house, it is the model of functionality as a robust vocal-sample heavy groove features the sound of jet plane dives and whooshes bombing in overhead. Yet despite the fact that it's less immediate, Saytek and McKay impress more with "Push". Built from roughly the same elements, it is more stripped back and sees the duo focus on heavy drums, an irresistible vocal sample and the heaviest hats in techno since Sandwell District's departure.
Review: Glaswegian producer Harvey McKay's music is helping to push underground techno into the mainstream, and releasing on labels like Jon Digweed's Bedrock will do him no harm. The title track is a dark, driving affair, its rhythm enclosed in a mesmerising filter and punctuated at regular intervals by a ponderous vocal sample. As it progresses, "Amen" veers into a dreamy coda, but the underlying rhythmic power is still there. By contrast, "Cry Wolf" is far less intense. Over a jacking house rhythm and steely kicks, McKay samples a vocal from an old ghetto track. It lends "Wolf" a gritty feeling that means while it's not as upfront as "Amen", it still packs a hefty punch.
Review: Scottish producer Harvey McKay follows last year's release on Adam Bayer's label with this tough four-track EP. "Venom" and "Trick Baby" are indicative of McKay's tracky sound; the former revolves around tough tribal beats and insistent pulses while a repetitive vocal sample moves through the arrangement. "Trick Baby" meanwhile is a rolling, driving affair with a hard to decipher vocal snatch. The approach is more varied on "Kill Switch", as McKay drops stomping kicks and a more aggressive vocal, which seems to be saying 'f**k you'. Best of all is "The Cure"; here the beats are digital-sounding, but McKay fuses them with ravey stabs and a breathless diva to make an irresistible mixture of the old and new.
Review: While the Arches has sadly closed, that other great Glasgow institution, Soma, keeps on putting out great music. The label's latest project is Transmissions Glasgow, a compilation of 15 tracks from the city's producers. It is executed in much the same way as one of Slam's flawless DJ sets; beginning with the serene ambience of Edit Select's "iN1" and the fractured, slow-motion beats of Puddledub's "Circling", it moves into the deep, trance house of Dextrous "Station to Station". It wouldn't be a Soma compilation without some techno and this is provided by artists like Deepbass and the brilliantly named Complex Emotional Response, but as always, Slam's take on the form is deeply soulful and emotive, demonstrated here most impressively by Edit Select's percussive but mournful synth-led "Resurface".