Mastered here at Glowcast by Conor Dalton, Daft Punk – Drive unreleased 1994
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Soma Records – 20 Years [SOMA CD095] Triple CD release
Release date: 19/09/2011
Disc 1 – Soma Classics
Disc 2 – Slam DJ Mix
Disc 3 – Silicone Soul DJ Mix
When Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle decided to name their fledgling imprint Soma Quality Recordings, they were being more uncannily prescient than anyone could have imagined during the heady, post-acid electronic eruption, whose volcanic ash continues to disrupt services and belch up astonishing new talent on a regular basis through to the present day.
Through sheer natural instinct and passion, the word ’Quality’ has remained Soma‘s essential mantra, resulting in many of these names gravitating to the label over the last 20 years.
Soma was born out of the insanely euphoric celebrations taking place at the DJ duo’s club held in Glasgow since a track by Phuture named them and their night Slam. Along with manager Dave Clarke and fellow founder Glenn Gibbons (both still at the helm), they had little idea that, out of the countless clubs and labels flourishing during that magical period, they would be the one still holding strong two decades later, Soma now acknowledged as the UK’s longest-running dance label and one of the most consistently- dazzling electronic imprints in the world.
Relentlessly DJing at the world’s foremost cutting edge dance venues, Orde and Stuart have kept their fingers on electronic music’s rapidly-evolving pulse, experiencing on the front line what makes crowds scream, dance or cry, constantly pushing the boat out with their work as Slam, while carefully planning and introducing fresh new names to the mothership label.
Above all, they have never forgotten that intoxicating magic, which spawns the strongest memories while changing outlooks, careers and even lives forever. So many of those cavorting on their Glasgow dance floors over the past two decades have gone off to start making their own music; a direct lineage from the punk movement which gripped the Slam boys earlier in life (and which they readily acknowledge with the occasional post- club Clash session), along with other key historic elements, from acid house to New York boogie to Detroit’s symphonies to Berlin minimal stalkers and beyond.
There have been epoch-making discoveries and landmarks, such as wide-eyed greenhorns Daft Punk, who released their first three EPs with the label before leaving to take over the world, intoxicating one-offs like Scott Grooves’ ‘Mothership Reconnection’ and fabled roster mainstays, which saw Lars Sandberg, aka Funk D’Void, score major success with ‘Diabla’ along with the ever-astonishing Silicone Soul scoring with ‘Right On‘. As an unashamed trainspotter, I have and have listed every vinyl release from SOMA001 (a shared 12-inch between Slam and Rejuvination) up until around SOMA250 and the digital revolution; too many to mention but many which will be represented, often re- upholstered, in the anniversary celebrations culminating in this marvellous collection. Of course it helps also having memories of Slam bringing the Arches to its delirious knees in the mid-90s with ‘Positive Education’, or the day I heard The Black Dog had started cocking its leg against the label’s fence, but Soma now stands as both electronic institution and unquenchable spirit, well-entitled to enjoy the biggest party yet as it hits its 20th year. That Slam and their mighty label now stand tall in the same hall of fame as their original inspirations speaks for itself. That they are still firing on all cylinders is even better. As I said recently while reviewing volume five of the highly successful Soma Coma series (I’ve written about Soma more than any other label in the last 35 years); even when trawling the past, this towering label can’t help thinking about the future.
Kris Needs, May 2011
mastered @ http://glowcastaudio.wordpress.com
Released by: Soma
Release/catalogue number: Soma CD95
Release date: Sep 19, 2011