After yesterday’s Chemikal Underground curated day of post-rock tinged festivities Sunday’s line up curated by Glasgow’s now legendary DJ duo Optimo (Espacio) looked set to provide something completely different.
Yesterday’s line-up may well have been more suited to a completely outdoor setting, rather than the large tent set up, but tonight you feel the tent is more necessary as a collection of local and international DJ elite get ready to flex their skills in Glasgow’s east end.
Having never been previously aware of Richmond Park it was always going to be an issue of getting there on time, aiming to arrive for the start of Golden Teacher and arriving just after they finish, was an expected but unfortunate scenario, the park itself, across the river from the south east corner of Glasgow Green is relatively well signposted but taking the wrong bridge across the Clyde and encountering a few building works we end up a good trek out the way.
When we arrive the place is relatively tranquil, the Golden Teacher guys and all those who made it down to watch them are chilling on the grass in the late summer sunshine, while Numbers boy Spencer plays to the cavernous darkness of the tent to pretty much no one, something that he surely would have expected down to his early slot and that Glasgow generally sees more Spencer sets than sunshine, that he’s on b2b with Optimo and Numbers mate Jackmaster later on doesn’t work in his favour just now either.
Still, intrigue peaks for South African shangaan electro producer Nozinja, who provides the first and only real visual presence we get of the day, with a couple of dancers strutting their stuff in traditional African style on stage.
Nozinja who is widely credited for starting the genre, which stems from various African dance movements, seems to have one mission in mind today… making people dance, and he regularly bellows “189 beats per minute” seemingly more concerned with speed than quality.
Mind you the quality is there too and it’s infectious as the slowly growing crowd get their feet moving with his dancers before Nozinja himself comes down from behind the decks with a far away look in his eye and proceeds to dance in the most entranced and captivating way you might see today, it’s almost enough to make you stop dancing yourself and take in what has the potential to be the highlight of the day.
With only slight gaps in changeover in the DJ dominated line up it’s not long before mysterious producer Sophie appears behind the deck, with his curly blond locks hanging to one side of his head while he blasts out refracted hooks along with those helium emblazoned vocals that have become familiar with the success of last year’s Numbers release ‘Bipp’.
There’s a bizarre feel to Sophie’s set, when he hit he it’s in big it’s almost out the tent dragging people in with his teasing hooks and at others it touches on euphoric trance vibes that could feel as at home on a hen party in Magaluf as from a Glasgow club, indeed he feels the odd one out in the Sub Club after party later on, but that’s not to say he doesn’t blow everyone away with his set and it’s credit to him that we get the crazy sight of a tent emptying to the arrival of Optimo, who suffer a similar fate to what Spencer did early.
Still, the Glasgow veterans deliver a set akin to their legendary status before they give way to their pal and LCD Soundsystem main man James Murphy at the surprising early slot of 5pm.
Murphy is man who needs no introductions, or at least if he does he shouldn’t, and he lives up to his name pulling out a set chocked full of disco-infused vibes to crowd that grows steadily towards reaching it’s potential.
It’s started to rain outside so Numbers co-founder Jackmaster doesn’t suffer the same fate of Optimo and Spencer before him, and with a crowd at its peak in terms of people and the nighttime energy beginning to grow he proves exactly why he is considered such a hot property.
That’s not to say Jackmaster is a new name on the scene, Numbers have been about a good decade now, but the Glasgow born label has only recently came into its own in popularity stakes with releases from some top emerging names in the dance world, including one of tonight’s big draws Hudson Mohawke.
Jackmaster’s set is one filled with a diversity of sounds that powers up proceedings and gets the dancefloor moving with an abundance of energy that doesn’t look likely to give.
A switch over to local boy come growing superstar Hudson Mohawke doesn’t falter proceedings, those Kanye West affiliations have done his popularity no harm but today seems like a test in front of a hometown crowd with some of the best in the business, and he pulls it off impressively.
It’s an enthusiastic set as HudMo delivers some left field experimental dubstep tinged beats that possess something a little more than underground, he’s been able to develop his skills with a whole range of talented individuals as a result he seems comfortable with a whole spectrum of sounds at his disposable, a few nods to another local boy turned good Rustie are present as well as a the expected hip-hop enthused beats that found him working with Kanye before he gives way to one of the biggest names in American techno, Jeff Mills.
Mills, who was a late addition to bill comes with decades of experience and is given a 45-minute longer set than the last four act’s hour to drive his stripped down and relentless sound at Glasgow’s east end.
His slim slippery appearance behind the decks are in complete contrast to his powerhouse set, that only further enhances the Detriot legend’s status.
That late b2b set from Optimo and Numbers boys Jackmaster and Spencer closes of proceedings in a fluid and intoxicating manner as they flash up notice of the after party down at Sub Club featuring pretty much all of tonight’s line up, minus Mills, and as we wander over to Bridgeton train station on our way there it’s pretty certain this one will remain in the memory for sometime.
Whether it will happen again is doubtful but there’s no doubt The East End Social have spent that Commonwealth money in a more than worthy manner.
Photos: Stewart Fullerton