Slam get ready for Riverside

24 May 2019

The duo are set to perform at Scotland’s biggest electronic music festival this weekend

In less than 24 hours, Riverside Festival will return to Glasgow’s West End. Scotland’s biggest electronic music festival, now in its seventh year, is set to host a range of artists and DJs across the bank holiday weekend, including Denis Sulta, Bicep and Slam.

The event, which takes place at the Riverside Museum every year, promises to be bigger and better in 2019. Riverside Festival and Forty Clothing have teamed up to present a VIP experience on The Tall Ship, offering goody bags, free haircuts and beauty treatments. A festival app has also been developed, which allows you to “find your friends” and create your own personal act timetable to ensure you don’t miss your favourite artists on the day.

Collaborations and applications aside, festival-goers are mainly interested in one thing: the music. I caught up with Stuart McMillan, one half of Glasgow producer/DJ duo Slam, who co-curate the festival and host one of the stages, to find out more about his career and what makes a Glasgow crowd different.

When did you start DJing, and who/what were your early passions and influences?

The late 80s early House and Techno pioneers.

For you both, what have been the highlights of your careers?

Every year there’s a new highlight. Riverside festival is definitely a highlight, organising the Slam tent and playing to 10,000 people is definitely one of them. Starting our Maximum Pressure parties and getting the production exactly the way we wanted it. Playing at Berghain in Berlin and being asked back again is a real honour. Having our contemporaries playing and supporting our music is a real buzz as well.

How are you feeling about the upcoming Riverside Festival?

Yeah really excited every year it comes round so fast but it definitely signals the start of the festival season for us each year.

Is DJing in Glasgow different to DJing elsewhere?

Definitely yes, the Glasgow crowd always makes the loudest noise and they have a history and knowledge of the music and culture that some other territories don’t Glasgow is very unique.

Thinking back to your early gigs, how do they compare to gigs like Riverside now?

I tend not to think back too much. I have fond memories of djing from when we started but we’re not really ones for nostalgia really. Essentially there isn’t that much difference except the scene and the crowds and production are much bigger and better now.

How have changes in technology changed the way you create or work with music?

It’s much easier with a simple set up to create music and get ideas together quickly it’s possible now to make music inside a laptop were as before you would have needed to use a larger studio setup. It’s quicker now. But we still love hardware so we still plug our modular synth in and tweak things its still a tactile experience.

How has techno changed since you started out?

Yeah it has changed but Techno is a broad church, essentially the elements are similar but the genre has found ways of reinventing itself to stay fresh. Good techno doesn’t date though. Still has to shake the ass and twist the mind.

What are your main challenges as DJs now?

To make sure you look good on your Insta feed LOL.

Do you have any advice for aspiring DJs?

Play with passion and commitment, find your own sound, and create your own path.

Tickets for both the festival and after-parties are available here.

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