Glasgow's dance music pioneers release their second album
Alien Radio featuring UNKLE, Dot
Allison and Chicago based vocalist Tyrone Palmer.
"I have prayed at the altar of Slam. I have witnessed their
eternal light. I have carried their message to heathen clubs.
I have strayed from the path of righteousness and danced in
the dark. Forgive me father but I cannot deny it. I have seen
lights, and passing images, and even naked flesh. I have
prayed at the altar of Slam - I have sinned."
- Stuart Cosgrove, ITV Channel 4 UK
It's a familiar fable. A story that spans three decades and
three generations. Their elasticized bass tones have touched
the lives of everyone in Scotland's biggest city. They are the
devilish duo responsible for Glasgow's techno city. Ex-NME
hack, Channel 4's Stuart Cosgrove, might be spouting a load of
old techno bollocks, but he is just one such infamous Scot who
has been influenced by DJ Stuart McMillan and Orde
Meikle's twisted funk.
Every teen to thirty something has raved and craved Slam.
They are the dirty disco duo who forms part of the cultural
fabric of Glasgow's clubbing society. Each year Slam DJ to
55,000 people in Scotland alone. Ask around the city and most
people will have had a life changing moment at Slam at the
Arches. This is the sound of Glasgow and Slam made it. Lock up
Ten years on and more than 100 releases after the classic
debut 'Eterna' on the fledgling Soma label, Slam's Orde Meikle
and Stuart McMillan are set to release their greatest
accomplishment to date, Alien Radio. With classics such
as 'Stepback', 'Dark Forces' and 'Positive Education'; remixes
that include Death in Vegas, Daft Punk and
Underworld; debut album Headstates and last year’s
critically acclaimed Past Lessons, Future Theories
mix CD already under their belt, Alien Radio echoes the
drive behind Glasgow's electronic house gurus. It's a venture
into twisted dance music that nods its head to Detroit, jacks
off to Chicago and hails the all-consuming British dance music
Slam came together over ten years ago over a passion for
music and a debauched past which started with soul weekenders,
punk and reggae through to The Clash and early
acid-house at the Sub Club. By the late '80s Slam had already
taken the baton. Acid house exploded in Scotland with the
legendary Slam at Tin Pan Alley. "For most people," Orde
remembers, "Slam was their first clubbing experience." Soon
after, in 1989, full of acid house enthusiasm, Slam produced
the City's first all-night rave. Stuart claims this was the
seed that sprouted the Slam family tree. "We literally caused
havoc in the streets. There were coaches from the Hacienda,
808 State playing live and thousands of people unable
to get in. The police had to shut the streets off."
It turned out to be the best marketing campaign ever done.
Posters dotted around Glasgow simply stated '3 Weeks To Go'
counting down to '2 Weeks To Go' the following week. The whole
city was hooked and farfetched press stories started
ruminating that the aliens were coming. They weren't far
wrong, as every young potential clubber-to-be was gagging to
lose their acid house virginity.
The next ten years saw the Slam team fire ahead
relentlessly with regular nights all over the city, including
most memorably Slam at the Arches through to the present days
Freelance Science and Pressure. It's no surprise, that with a
premiere roster of big name DJs, Slam is the only choice to
produce the annual T-In The Park for 25,000 hedonistic
Like all the best clubs Slam put quality before profit. "We
have always stretched the budget to make sure the night was
good," says Orde. "We actually owned the sound system at the
Arches," Stuart interjects. "It was rocking."
Orde: "Back then we poured everything into it and took no
money. I think that is a part of almost everything we have
Indeed, this attitude has permeated through to their record
company, Soma. Soma introduced Daft Punk and
Scott Grooves to the world and is about to have its second
wave of success with major label bids for Silicone Soul's
'Right On Right On' and extraordinary releases from Ewan
Pearson (Maas) and Envoy. "We made our next track
on the profits from the previous and it has been the same ever
since," remembers Orde.
So what is that special Slam mix that has touched so many
lives? "Er, Cocaine and several bottles of Champagne." laughs
Stuart. " No of course, it's the DJs, the people, the
production and lighting design. The whole picture, of course".
If the sound of France is filtered disco and London is
dominated by sub-urban acid house inflections with more
breakdowns than Frank Butcher; Glasgow is dark, funky, bass
heavy, sweaty, writhing, sleazy techno, punctuated with house
"Going to a Slam night is an extraordinary clubbing
experience," observes Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter "It
contains the exact same thing that you can hear on Slam's
'Positive Education'. Spontaneity, energy, positive things.
Soma, the label, Slam, the artists, Slam, the club, are really
part of our family and we are grateful to those many
unforgettable moments we spend with the crew in Glasgow."
Alien Radio brings together friends, influences and
experiences from the last decade's acid house exploits.
Chicago's Tyrone Palmer, Dot Allison, Jazz drummer Paddy
Flaherty, UNKLE's James Lavelle, synth kingpin and
former Rosie Gaines producer Andy Gillespie.
'Lifetimes' featuring Tyrone (Felix Da Housecat
vocalist on the infectious 'My Life is Music') is an end of
nighter in the classic sense, already an ‘Essential New
Tune’ with Pete Tong this cracker recently brought
the house down at both the Soma Party in Miami and Bugged Out.
Ensconced in Slam's trademark raucous bassline, which follows
Palmer's falsetto vocals like an obsessive stalker, it's a
recipe for dancefloor eruption. The title track ‘Alien Radio'
touches down like Drexciya on temazipan with scrambled
electro-waves and funk fuelled rhythms. Meanwhile, ‘Visions’
with long time friend, Dot Allison is the album's understated
hit. It's a unique fusion of sublime electro versus Cocteau
Twins influenced dreamy vocals.
"Soma was the first label I signed to," remembers Dot.
"I've always identified musically with Slam since their early
acid house club in the late '80s, so it's great to come full
circle and write ‘Visions’."
Slam's own mix of 'Narco Tourist' is a relentless club
groover born out of a collaboration (their first since 'Close
Encounters' on UFOrb) with James Lavelle's UNKLE. Add to this
Slam's itchy groovy ‘Eyes of Your Soul’ and 'Alien Radio' has
all the Glasgow trademarks that make it such a unique city:
driving power, esoteric soul and alien disco.
Start praying. Slam is transmitting.
Slam will be launching the US release of Alien Radio with a
mini tour of major cities in North America including an
appearance at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and
will be doing a full tour of the US during the month of
For more information on Slam and Alien Radio, please
contact Peter Wohelski at Green Galactic at 718.923.9020 or