Ever wondered how things go when the night has just started ? When the dancefloor is still empty and looking strangely vast ? Find out yourself with this very perfect warm-up mix of one of Glasgow’s finest house and disco parties, the late and missed Instruments of Rapture.
Hi everyone !
For this second post, I am getting back to the city of Glasgow, and one of its treasured group of producers and DJs, the guys behind the now late label and parties ‘Instruments of Rapture’.
Instruments of Rapture, the label, was run by AliOOFT! and released its first EP back in November 2008. It stopped in June 2012, after 10 releases focused on house and disco. Each EP is named after its number of release, from “Part One” to “Part Nine”, the final release being a compilation titled “The Streets Are Alive with the Hounds of Music”. Contributors to the label are mainly friends: The Revenge, Craig Smith (both of them forming 6th Borough Project), but also Tornado Wallace or OOFT himself. IoR is dead but Ali has another card up his sleeve: Foto Recordings, which I recommend you give a look if you like the mix below.
Instruments of Rapture, the parties, were started in late 2011 and spanned over a bit more than a year and a half. They were held on the first sunday of every month at the Sub Club in Glasgow and came to an end last month. This mix is the complete recording of this very last night. I attended myself one the IoR parties, and it was one of the best nights out I’ve ever had: amazing music, lovely and friendly crowd, dancing till 3 am. Good times.
In Glasgow, curfew is -most of the time- set to 3am. Since clubs open at 11pm, parties usually last 4 hours in total. It is certainly too short, especially when you compare to.. well barely everywhere else, but it has in fine a double advantage. First, the party reaches its peak time quite rapidly: the headline set is usually played between midnight and 2am. Then, with the venue closing at 3am, you may leave the club not that drunk and/or tired which then again leaves you with the choice of either getting back home or (more interestingly) going to an afterparty. Afterparties are the not-so-secret real treat of Glasgow nightlife. You always end up meeting nice and friendly people that will take you to an abandoned appartment in the West End, with enough beer and a good soundsystem to keep you awake until the sun finally comes up.. New friendships, new memories.. Good times.
Back to the music now. The mix was recorded at the Sub Club on the 3rd of March 2013, and played live by OOFT!, The Revenge and Craig Smith, probably going back to back to back all night long (much to my regret, I was not in Glasgow at that time). It lasts a bit more than four hours and here I am encouraging you to focus on the first hour which can be considered as the warm-up. Not so many people and club-goers might actually have heard a warm-up mix; I think it is something of great interest. It is more an Exercice de style (exercise in style) than a normal -say peak time- DJ set.
The aim of the warm-up set is to leave the crowd in such a condition that it is literally ready to explode when the party reaches its peak time. It is therefore a more subtile approach: you need to tease the people enough to get them on the dancefloor, but not too much to tire them. During the warm-up, the club isn’t usually packed and people are not in the mood of dancing like hell (in particular they’re not drunk enough) so the DJ cannot throw bangers out of nowhere. Starting from nothing (the horrible sound of silence), he needs to build up a whole atmosphere that will surround and fit the place, by carefully selecting melodies and beats. This slow and controlled build-up then leads to the core of the party where things get wild: melodies get coloured, beats are unleashed, hands are waved in the air and beer spilt on shoes. Good times.
Regarding the warm-up, this IoR mix does it perfectly for me. It starts with barely no beats at all and a slowed down sample of ‘Don’t Give up’ by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush (“Don’t give up, you still have friends”, beautiful) mixed to more balearic stuff like the Quintus Project – Night Flight remixed by Psychemagik -perfect; and an absolutely magnificent accapella rework of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition by Childs & Moore. It then goes into a more funky and disco mood with tracks like the Climax Blues Band – Could’nt Get It Right mixed into Skipworth & Turner – Thinking about your love (1985), that both keep the excitement rising. After one hour of music, the beat is well established and the party “really” kicks off: warm-up is over and it is time to get things more serious. The remaining three hours of the party are a pure delight as well, I highly recommend them if you have time: the second hour continues the build-up after the warm-up until reaching the very energetic, housy third hour, while the last hour is all about fun: seems like the guys went for a mad b2b2b, playing rare disco tunes, classic funky and jazzy tracks and some personnal favourites, rounding things off with a beautiful version of Fantasy by Earth, Wind and Fire. Good Times.
16/07/2013: edit: the link below has been taken down, a wee Google search should help you find the mix anyway; it seems to be working here at the moment.