The globally renowned
universal principles are faith, hope and charity. Soma’s
renowned Universal Principles are Stuart McMillan,
Glenn Gibbons and Nick Peacock. Together they
have crafted the shimmering debut album Inspiration &
These three Glasgow godfathers of groove
spent a year in their sound laboratory of soul, squeezing out
funky rhythms and blasting the bass. Released last year in the
UK, the album received critical acclaim with Roger Sanchez
having already checked in for remix duty, Jazzanova
insisted that a CD was burnt for them and DJ Sneak has
described Inspiration & Light as, "the best album since
'Smokers Delight'". The album receives a long awaited US
release date of September 25, 2001.
Universal Principles are three long-time
friends. With their diverse backgrounds and musical history,
Glenn is Principles’ own little black key manipulator, Stuart
adds a cutting edge and DJ Nick Peacock, the granddaddy of
grooves, unites the band with his unique jazz step. He's also
got a fairly decent record collection. Together they form a
kooky collective born out of extremist behaviour, bonkers
banter and an unfulfilled drive for self-destruction. It's a
combination that inexplicably generates slabs of solar powered
Soma Records are
the obvious connection. It's the family tree for these three
disparate triplets separated at birth. As well as releasing
material under a variety of pseudonyms, Stuart (Slam,
Pressure Funk, Counterplan) and Glenn (Rejuvination,
Equus) are two of the labels founding members and Nick
recorded as Eastmen on Soma in 1994.
The other connecting thread is Glasgow's
vibrant clubs. Picture the scene: The Sub Club, 1985. Nick
Peacock, the resident DJ is playing everything from disco and
jazz to reggae punks The Clash. Stuart McMillan is a regular
and is turned on to real black music. "Nick was playing the
same records as The Paradise Garage's Larry Levan," he
remembers, "Well that's what he says anyway!"
Nick’s Sub Club residency and passion for
the music inspired a generation of Glasgow producers and DJs.
Arguably, he was the catalyst in the development of the house
and techno scene in Scotland's biggest city. Not content with
just this, he's also a champion slalom skier and currently a
lecturer of photography at Clydebank College.
Universal Principles was born at a post Slam
at the Arches after show party when the troublesome trio rose
to Derrick Carter's challenge to do something in the
studio together. Several months later Soma released the debut
single "Inspiration and Light", which received critical
acclaim from DJs including Roger Sanchez, Ashley Beedle
and Gilles Peterson.
Since their debut single in July 1998 they
have been stirring their varied influences into a musical
melting pot creating an accomplished atmospheric album of
maturity and sophistication. They each bring their own special
ingredients to the recipe from funk, jazz, hip-hop, house and
techno. But no matter what the reference points are, they have
sculpted their own sound - an aural feast.
Not content to solely utilize technology in
the creation of this album, the live element is also paramount
to the Universal Principles sound. Stuart displays his skills
on guitar, keys and zither while Glenn plays bass, keys and
percussion. Universal Principles have also drafted in some of
the most talented young musicians currently making an impact
in Glasgow's thriving live jazz scene.
The album begins with a deeper version of
"Inspiration & Light" which prepares and acquaints us with a
luscious pilgrimage of organic funk and soul. The sparkling
"Latin Stroll" and the sensual ambience of "Voodoo Sun"
perpetuate the resonance that the album generates. Whereas,
the dirty house rhythms of "Flyin’ High" emphasize the rawness
of the music and was deservedly the first single release taken
from the album with a very special remix from Roger Sanchez.
The album’s second single enlists the remix services of Soma
labelmates Silicone Soul, resulting in two mixes of
dancefloor magic on "Latin Stroll".
The boys may have risen to a drunken
challenge but the future holds no bounds as Glenn and Nick are
already working on their live show while Stuart tours to
support the current Slam release, Alien Radio.
Release Date: September 25, 2001.