James Slaven and Stephen Kirkwood's "Wandering" is one of the highlight tracks of our new compilation The Deep End. It's ethereal, melancholic melody and driving energy has catapulted it to weapon status in Sharam's recent sets. We sat down with them briefly to ask about their home town of Glasgow, producing electronic music full time, and joining the label.
You two are from Glasgow, which of course has an extremely rich electronic music history. What reflections or observations can you make about the Glasgow scene as locals?
James: Slam, Pressure and the Sub Club for me is right at the top of the Glasgow music scene, these guys were responsible for Daft Punk , signing them back in early 2000 so they are very iconic.
Stephen: The Glasgow scene for me is extremely diverse. I came up through the Inside-0ut days, and I was very into the whole techno/trance/hard dance stuff from back in the day! These days I love the likes of Gary Beck, Sleaze Records and Glasgow Underground to name a few. But I still find some time for the different genres, it's all dance music for me!
How did you two connect and what was the creation process for "Wandering" like?
James: I've known Stephen for what feels like a long time. I am good friends with his Dad and as well as having residencies throughout the West of Scotland, I have always heard of Stephen through his own success in music and events. Seeing Stephen leave his day job and create SKapade was inspirational, and something I would of loved to of done! But not everyone has the courage to make that jump and take the risk, and in saying this I knew I had to get involved somehow and be part of an exciting new movement, which I am!
Stephen: This is always a great question to answer. I have always been a fan of James and his Dj sets in and around the local place where I love. Not only is he a family friend I have known James outside the music! He was one of the only Djs in the area that I knew of and when I was just getting into Djing around 2007 and he was certainly a guy I looked up to. As things progressed for both of us our paths got closer and closer and we both got together when we felt the time was right. James had been doing some great things with his stuff, and I was moving into a slower more progressive/techno vibe to my sound, so it felt right and 'Wandering' was our first track! We got into the studio and within 5 hours the full thing was done and it felt amazing. I guess it was a whole build up over the years and we knew something special was going to give. It's a track I am really buzzing about!
Stephen, you run SKapade studio by day. How do you balance running a studio, producing original music, and DJing?
Stephen: Well we always try and structure our day into 2 parts but it's sometimes difficult, we run the studio and work in education by day, and crank up the volumes at night! The thing it sometimes takes 16 hours a day every day to stay on top of it all, but when you love it, its all worth it!
James, you've said that you've been a longtime Yoshitoshi fan. How does it feel to be on the label now, and what does it mean to you?
James: I've been a long time listener of Radio 1's dance shows, one of which was Fergie's techno show which used to always feature Yoshitoshi's tracks and I always used to love the sound. Also I was already a massive fan of Sharam and Dubfire AKA Deepdish who're the founders of Yoshitoshi. In my mind Yoshitoshi is still at the forefront of the electronic music scene and it shows with the track 'Alcatraz - Giv Me Luv (Nicole Moudaber Remix)' being the top selling [techno] track on Beatport of 2015! Still to this day it gets supported from everyone so I think that's a display of the label's strength in the scene.