- Techno, electro and fancy dress at Slam's beloved party.
- It was early evening when IDA took the stage for her opening set. Only a smattering of people were on the dance floor. The cavernous Galvanizers space within Glasgow's SWG3, the venue home to Slam's Maximum Pressure events, is, at 6,000 square feet, a formidable room to fill. The near-empty space may have been an unnerving sight for even the most seasoned DJ, and yet IDA delivered a thunderous, high-energy performance, playing as though she was facing a full house. With 30 minutes to go, she teased in Charlotte de Witte's "Remember," before tying things up with "Grindr," a slab of techno from Richie Hawtin's 80xx alias. IDA's set was a prime example of what Maximum Pressure is all about: showcasing headline acts alongside exciting emerging talent.
Slam, AKA Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle, launched their new and improved Maximum Pressure series on Halloween 2017. A year on, every event has sold out—and tonight was no different. As Aisha made her party debut in the dark shadows of SWG3's smaller second room, TV Studio, with a confident romp through acid-tinged techno, I took stock of the costumes on show, which in true Glaswegian style ranged from the predictable to the inexplicable (I spotted one girl dressed as a KFC bucket). Over the course of the ten-hour event it seemed that a large section of the crowd were distracted, clearly more preoccupied with the party atmosphere. But for those there for the music, the rewards were plenty.
The high-point of the night came courtesy of Slam, who might be on career-best form right now. They continue to rack up gigs both at home and abroad, a hectic schedule that gives their performances a razor-sharp edge. Galvanizers was heaving to the euphoric mix of strobing purple lights and pounding techno, with the duo all smiles by the end of their supercharged set. Earlier in the night, I caught the Glasgow-based DJs Jasper James and Nightwave, both of whom stuck to a tougher sound than they're known for. With Nightwave in TV Studio, I scuttled back and forth to catch snippets of Blawan, who was blowing up Galvanisers. The crowd, arms outstretched, heaved against the barriers.
My only criticism of the night was that, aside from IDA, all of the women on the bill were confined to TV Studio. It would have been nice to see the likes of Noncompliant, for example, given the space to fully flex her muscle. That said, the US artist didn't look at all bothered on the smaller stage. Pumping her fist gleefully as she dropped bangers like Trunkline's "Is It Funk," the energy of her techno masterclass was matched only by the sea of happy dancers, ghouls, ghosts and all.
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