Words: Giulia Bottaro
With huge names like Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier, Jasper James, Deepchord, and IDA, Slam set up Glasgow’s Maximum Pressure for a pitch-perfect night of relentless beats from 8PM to 3AM for their Halloween edition at SWG3. Unfortunately Rødhåd could not attend for health reasons, though he promised on a Facebook post a date would be rearranged for his Scottish fans.
But that wasn’t all. Something new was on the cards. Glasgow had been blessed with what techno lover’s dream: a huge space, tens of metres high with nothing but the dancefloor and the stage—a room called Galvanizers.
Slam explained their project on a video posted on the Pressure Facebook page. “We are kinda nervous I think, but we are super excited,” Stuart said. “We wanted it to look in a certain way. Look wise, size wise, structure wise, it’s probably kind of like the dream venue.” They compared it to other venues in Europe, like renowned Compass in Belgium. Galvanizers held a majestic festival vibe, astounding in its greatness and magical for the musical experience. A place to get lost amongst thousands of bodies, one with the tunes. Haven’t seen your friends in hours? It doesn’t matter in a place like this. This was where Slam themselves delivered an unforgettable five-hour set.
It was almost totally dark with glaring red lasers beaming from the stage and LED-lit columns on each side. Slam threw in tunes like Blawan’s “993” before passing the baton to Richie Hawtin with Outlander’s “Vamp.” Glaswegian vampires and unicorns gave the Canadian a hero’s welcome with their energy, bursting at every drop to hammering tracks like Hurukan’s “Blue Land (DJ Tuttle Remix)” and Tiga’s “Stabbed in the Back (Anna Remix).”
A red light suddenly converted Galvanizers into a our own scarlet-coloured underworld. Everyone was absolutely loving it, going all in. The sweat, the pulse through their bodies, faces covered in fake blood bouncing on the rhythm. Be it the smoke, the tunes, the multitude – this must have been what Dante was thinking of. Techno has to be the genre of choice for Halloween, with its unforgiving rhythm and spooky crescendos. Despite the occasion, the efforts were mostly focused on the dance moves instead of the costumes. Pressure t-shirts were everywhere, a sign of admiration for the local legends.
Next door in the TV Studio room, the BPM wasn’t slowing, but the atmosphere took a different nuance. The smaller, normal-sized room had the city club vibe, the turntables hovering above the ravers’ heads with a bar and seating area around the corner. Still, there was no break from the madness. Jasper James opened before Laurent Garnier’s four-hour set with Ian O’Donovan’s “Erebus” and Time of the Mumph’s “Blowout (George & Lynn’s Electric Landlady).” Everyone went for it—hard.
Upstairs, the chill room added a new flavour to the warehouse, with candles on the tables and Glaswegians institution Silicone Soul’s Graeme Reedie at the decks.
The cosiest room though was the Poetry Club, where Deepchord and IDA played dubby techno grooves. This one had fluorescent murals and trippy lights, again a complete change of scenery from the other rooms.
The only female presence of the night, IDA, marked her second appearance at a Pressure party, having played at Riverside Festival in 2015. “I've been asked to play these Pressure parties regularly so obviously I'm super excited and feel like it would definitely be a door to something bigger!” IDA told Pulse. The Finish selector moved to Aberdeen in 2014 and now runs her own party Acid Flash in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, along with playing Pressure.
“When it comes to working with Slam they are super friendly and I feel like part of the family. They work really systematically and everything is well organised,” she continued. “Maximum Pressure Halloween was a super successful event, and especially now, when they have opened the new Galvanisers stage. The lights were unreal and the stage was actually looking something out of this world. I loved playing in Poetry Club, it sounded really really good and it was an ideal place to play records at,”
If there was a school book on how to organise a techno party, Maximum Pressure would set the guidelines. The line-up, the location and the overall organisation undoubtedly deserved a 10 out of 10. For those who missed it, the next one is on New Year’s Day with Jeff Mills, Alan Fitzpatrick, Paula Temple and many more.