One of Toolroom’s favourite labels, we welcome you to the world of Glasgow Underground with a tour through the history of the label and exciting news about their upcoming album release.
Glasgow Underground has been a leading outlet for new, dynamic House since its formation in 1996. Kevin McKay’s imprint sees Deep House as an international underground network and treats it as such. The label’s first release in 1996, ‘Just a Mood’ by Studio Blue (McKay and Andy Carrick), defined the tone immediately with its widescreen guitar so thickly enshrined in distant gazes that it carried listeners into a personal state. In 1998, the label released two critically acclaimed 4am specialities: full-length albums from Powder Productions (Pipe Dreams) and Daniel Ibbotson (Stream Lines), both mixing deep grooves and warm melodies. Having experienced a recent resurgence over the past few years, with DJ Mag making Small Pyramids’ ‘I Want Blood’ their single of the year in 2011 and praising McKay’s ‘impeccable taste and A&R skills’, the label is going from strength to strength.
One of the stand out records in the Glasgow Underground arsenal is Romanthony’s ‘Bring U Up’. Their most successful release to date, selling over 30,000 12″s in the 90s/00s and then selling well again in 2012 when it was remixed by Deetron, PBR Streetgang, Barrientos and McKay, ‘Bring It Up’ first appeared on Roman’s Blackmale label in 1995 as a rumbling slice of New Jersey Garage, complete with gospel samples and vocals from Romanthony collaborator, The Trojan Horse. It was a cult favourite with underground heads like DJ Deep. But, it wasn’t until Roman completely re-produced and re-sang the song in 2000 that it fully took on anthem status. Out went the heavy kicks and hypnotic moods and in came James Brown horn stabs and a live beat that sounded like Bernard Purdie had joined him for the session (the drums were actually provided by Roman himself). The result was an instant club hit with everyone from Pete Tong to Francois Kevorkian that reached (a very respectable) 74 in the UK national charts.
Returning to the present, 2014 has been an exciting year for Glasgow Underground with Audiojack, MCDE, Claptone, Leftwing & Kody and Supernova, breathing new life into Romanthony’s songs. Kevin McKay also headed back to the Sub Club to do the first label party and his first time DJing there in years. He also signed Metodi Hristov, watching him rise up the Tech House ranks, with his track ‘Step Outside’ becoming one of this year’s underground anthems. Similarly, GU artists, Illyus & Barrientos have had a fantastic year, getting stronger with each production and having their originals and remixes being played on Radio 1. But, the crowning glory for the label is none other than the release of ‘Glasgow Underground 2014’.
Out on Monday, ‘Glasgow Underground 2014’ is the ultimate round-up of the best releases from this cherished British label. Featuring huge tracks from Romanthony, Claptone, Grum, Illyus & Barrientos, Kevin McKay, Christian Nielsen and more, plus two full length DJ mixes from Kevin McKay himself, we are proud to present this stunning array of tracks from one of our favourite labels.
‘Glasgow Underground 2014’ is out on Monday.
Pre-order on iTunes.