Craig Morrison and Graeme Reedie’s quest for absolute soul alchemy will never cease. An unquenchable thirst for that perfect sweet spot between organic and electronic, synthetic and authentic; sounds that shroud yet pound, allure yet attack, innovate yet resonate, whisk away yet keep you rooted to the ground... it’s a dichotomy that’s driven, inspired and motivated them, keeping them together - and relevant - since Silicone Soul took life as two teenage pretenders in 1998.
Enrapturing you with blues one moment, damaging you with disco the next then blindsiding you with a deep tech tease - these are the dynamics that Craig and Graeme have made their signature in everything they do. Respected studio artists who’ve honed the dark art of hypnosis and immersion, in-demand DJs who can spellbind ears in all capacities from Panorama Bar to T In The Park via two Radio 1 Essential Mixes and The Boiler Room; founders of influential independent label Darkroom Dubs: However, and wherever, you encounter Silicone Soul’s operations, their kaleidoscopic electronic ethos is unfailing.
Take their productions: four critically-applauded artist albums, countless singles, remixes and counting, their sound ranges from the glistening cosmic soul of ‘When The Devil Drives’ to the palpitating hypno-squeeze of ‘Time Mariner’s Mirrour’ and everything in between... including, of course, their famous underground string-driven crossover ‘Right On, Right On’ which they famously refused to perform on Top Of The Pops and their seminal 8-min remix odyssey of Shatrax’s ‘Misspent Years’ that introduced their Darkroom Dub signature... a signature that’s become a by-word for authentic and original underground house music.
Review: Jozif is part of the new wave of underground house DJs, and on this compilation he displays his ability to curate a fine range of house tracks, while always retaining a soulful touch. The selection starts with the sensuous vocals and atmospheric guitar strumming of Charles Webster's "Butterfly", before moving into the mournful pianos of Burnin' Tears' "Got a Reason" and the hissing percussion and reflective vocals of YokoO's "Blinded". There are some less esoteric contributions, in particular from Silicone Soul, whose lurching bass and heavy claps make for a welcome diversion. But in the main, this is a collection of emotional house, best embodied by the dislocated chant 'loneliness, emptiness no happiness, just sadness' on Steffi's "Sadness".
Review: In trying to put together a compilation to mark two decades, the people behind the Glasgow label have decided not to equate 'classic' with 'anthem'. Granted, there are big unit-shifting hits here like "Positive Education" and "Right On, Right On", but there are also lesser known releases that still glitter and sparkle despite the passage of time. At one end of this forgotten gem spectrum there's the epic synths and searing bass of the Heavenly mix of Funk D'Void's "Diabla" and the E-tingling, wide eyed brilliance of Slam's proto-prog "Eterna", while at the other end, there's the deep, repetitive techno of Percy X's "X-Trak 1" and the emotive melodies and complex polyrhythms of Black Dog's "Cost 2". Added to this is Daft Punk's unreleased "Drive", whose rolling snares and wild siren riffs sound like "Rolling and Scratching" jacked up on angel dust and you've got an unforgettable way to celebrate 20 years.