Silicone Soul

Scotland in the House

You are renowned for your love of all types of music, dub, disco, reggae, house, funk, rock, soul etc. – so what artists were you listening to growing up as a kid?

“We listened to bands like Primal Scream, The Stones, Hanoi Rocks, Gun’n’Roses, The Verve, and The Stooges & The Clash as kids – we discovered the joys of the “Black Ark” and Philly/ NYC Disco sound a bit later. Apart from production the true joy of music is discovery.”

So Darkroom Dubs Vol. 2 out on April 26th, a brooding, engaging and dynamic journey – talk us through the album…

“Basically it’s a reflection of where we are at now with the label.  A compilation is like a celebration really – so we tried to get the whole vibe and ethos  of the label across –  everything from the tech goodness of Extra welt & Chartroom and the party favourites like Feygin’s ‘Chisel’, Jairo Catelo’s ‘Black Soul Heroes’ & Liapin’s ‘Mandan’ to the dubby excellence of Sei A’s debuts. Vol. 2 is a retrospective going back 3 or 4 years. There were a few more tracks we would have liked to get on there but we wanted to keep a good flow and sadly there’s only 80mins  on a CD.  We wanted  to reflect our  own DJ style so we licensed a few tracks exclusively this time too for the mix, which we’ll released later in the year.”

You will be hosting a series of parties for the compilation from May, where are you heading?

“We will be doing parties at Cafe d’Anvers,  Air in Amsterdam, Fabric and La Terrrazza but as usual we haven’t quite finalised everything yet!”

Best Ibiza moment ever and your favourite Ibiza resident DJ you’ve checked out over there on madland?

“I’d have to say playing on the terrace at ‘Circo Loco’ for the first time in 2002, all my friends were  in the crowd,  it was mad  –  the back wall of the Dj box collapsed as well – good times! My favourite Ibiza residents are Tania Vulcano & Cirillo.”

What is the best and worst thing about Glasgow?

“The good is the friendliness and  trueness of people – no bullshit and you learn to keep your feet on the ground. The bad is the weather –  it can be a bit dark and grey a lot of the time but I took a stroll along the revamped Clydeside recently and it looks beautiful.”

What is your most annoying habit that gets’ on each other’s tits?

“We’ve known each other that long that  I suppose we have learned to accept each others failings ha-ha – but I know my general tardiness and pottering/ fannying about when we are going somewhere is annoying and to everyone else I know.”

How important has the label and structure of Soma been to your career?

“Soma, or more the people who work there, are more than a label, they are all great friends and the support over the years has been fantastic. They all really helped get Darkroom Dubs off the ground too.”

What are the big ten tunes you are spinning right now?

“There has been so many great tunes out over the last few months but here’s  a few off the top of my head…

01. Simon Stokes – Shoogle – Darkroom Dubs
02.  SIS – Lola – Connaisseur Recordings
03.  Zev – Forget The World – Wolf + Lamb
04.  Wbeeza – A116 – Third Ear
05.  Carlos Sanchez & DJ Ray – Strings – Phaze
06.  Lee Jones – YoYo/ Closed Circus (Nick Hoppner Mix)  – Cityfox
07.  Feygin – Chisel – Darkroom Dubs
08.  Philip Aruda – Life Of An Alley Cat – Roots & Wings
09.  Blind Minded – Mr. Propre – Trapez Limited
10.  Craig Torrance & Philip Hochstrate – Surgery Successful (Boris Werner’s WipWap remix) – Darkroom Dubs.”

You work very closely with Dave Donaldson who won a Grammy for his film score for ‘Ray’ – what are his qualities…?

“Dave Donaldson is a good friend of ours and he has mastered our last four albums, Graeme has a side project with him for Darkroom Dubs called Mirror Music. His production knowledge and attitude to music making has been really inspirational for us both.”

Favourite festival you have ever played at?

“The ‘Fusion Festival’ in Berlin last year – cool as fuck.”

What one artist would you like to make a tune with in the studio?

“Jimmy Cliff.”

I have Cheryl Cole’s, Annabelle Croft’s and Charlotte Church’s autographs. Beat any of them?

“Ha ha easily mate, I have Mick Jagger’s, Mick Jones, Bobby Gillespie, Chaka Khan & Nile Rodgers  -although I’m pretty jealous of your Cheryl Cole autograph!”

Who is the best producer (s) in the world?

“I really enjoy the history of music,  so that’s a difficult question.  I could say anyone one from Jimmy Miller,  Sam Phillips, Giorgio Moroder, Jarre to  Maurizio and  Andrew Weatherall. But in contemporary electronic music, guys like Trentemoeller,  Lindstrom & Minilogue  are making great music.”

You have residencies in Barcelona, Antwerp and of course Glasgow, have traveled the world twice over, even seeing a revolution in Manilla begin, but where in the world do you always get goose pimples before playing – where is the best club and crowd you’ve rocked?

“The Sub Club Glasgow, when we are lucky enough to play there – it’s one of the/if not the longest running clubs in the world – a bit like Cafe d’Anvers in that respect and as Carlsberg would say “probably the best club in the world”  – but La Terrrazza on a hot balmy night in Barcelona takes some beating too. As far crowds rocked – there was a big traffic problem at T – in – The – Park a few years  back, so we played in the  Slam Dance Tent for 3 hours – it holds well over 10,000 people – seeing all those Saltires and Lion Rampant flags – would stir any Scotsman’s’ heart! That one certainly sticks in the mind.”

What one album would you never sell?

“My Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’ album – with the original Warhol zipper cover or some of my favourite Ennio Morricone soundtracks.”

Tell us about the bands you were in before forming Silicone Soul?

“We had a good crack a being a ‘proper’ rock n roll band with Dead City Radio and we played a couple of decent gigs in Glasgow, before that the only bands we formed were in our heads. Our first electronic DJ collective was ‘The Force’,  when we had our first Dj residency at Jungle Palace in Inverness.  We then formed Depth Perception with our school friends Peter and Chris and self- financed the first two vinyl releases – that really helped us get signed to Soma and really focus our intentions.”

So Walter Smith has had a good season with his Rangers football club…

“Fantastic, Walter is a legend from the nine-in-a-row era and the fact that him and his back room staff (inc. Scotland legend Ally McCoist) are working without a contract till a new buyer comes in. It says everything about what Rangers means to him. He’s just a winner, there hasn’t been a signing for two seasons yet he has taken an honest bunch of Scottish lads to a UEFA Cup final and 2 championships (there is a 13 point gap at the top this year). He’s second only to Sir Alex as far as  great Scottish managers that are living – if only we could produce the great players again as well but we’re getting there!”

Last year saw Silicone Soul reach a decade together as artists with your fourth studio album which was nominated by DJ Mag for Best Album and Best Producer in their Best of British Awards, what is the finest piece of work do you think you have achieved over the years?

“Always a difficult question, It’s really hard to say –  as every album is  special to us in different ways, when you put so much time and love in to something it all becomes purely subjective.  ‘A Soul Thing’ was our debut, so that will always be special and ‘Staring into Space’ was very popular in terms of sales and general  appreciation from the music listener and a great album in the traditional (pre – iTunes)  sense.  “Save Our Souls’, was probably our most musically expansive in terms of different moods and flavours and one than we are probably the proudest of in many ways. But i don’t think there was much promotion done on it, so it missed by a lot of people and perhaps on refection it was maybe a bit too expansive, musically and emotionally – We maybe attempted  to cover too many different styles in the one album,  but positively speaking this has always been a result of sharing  a really wide-ranging music taste and we  felt that we needed to show all of this in one record, so that’s necessarily a bad thing.  With the last album “Silicone Soul” we decided that we would try something different this time and keep the  mood more streamlined as far as conveying one theme and vibe and we’re really pleased with the result, it’s more deeper, moody and abstract in content and it’s been received very well by the music press so as i say its hard to be subjective!  However, everyone seems to still love “Right On, Right On” so it’s an honour to have a track that’s considered a classic and is so enduring!”

What’s coming next from Silicone Soul and Darkroom Dubs…?

“We’re aiming for a  summer 2011 release for our next album. We’ll have  a new single coming out on Darkroom Dubs  for the summer, called ‘Time Mariner’s Mirrour’ as part of the next, ‘Sound Of Glasgow’ series along with Simon Stokes’ ‘Shoogle’ (which is fantastic, trust me!)  plus a remix EP from our last album feat.  Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Prompt, Klartraum & Nhar – which will come  out  at end of May, it’s all artists we really like and it was great fun swapping remixes with them.  Also our remixes  of Zora by Prompt (7Noise) and our The Black Dog & Lucy remixes (Soma & Time Has Changed) are all out now and  a new Darkroom Dub Remix of Klartraum’s ‘Pain Relief” on Lucidflow – so plenty definitely!  There are Extrawelt, Timid Boy, Feygin & Jairo Catelo and Alex Niggemann & Marc Poppcke EP’s all coming out on DRD in the next few months and a new project featuring a Glasgow Dj legend but we’re keeping that under wraps for now!”

And finally, can you tell us the difference between silicon, silica and silicone?

“Ha ha – If I remember Dan from my Chemistry higher… silica is a deoxidising salt, silicon is a common metal but silicone is a rubber – like material  and with silicon in it is used for breast augmentation!”

Thank you dude.
Dan Prince

‘Darkroom Dubs 2’ on  Darkroom Dubs is released 26th April.