The Electric Frog, SWG3, Glasgow, Sat 25 May 2013
David Morales, Dimitri From Paris, 6th Borough Project, Al Kent and Melting Pot all perform
Making a swift return after its outing at Easter, Glasgow’s Electric Frog seems to have quickly established itself as the go-to bank holiday weekend event for fans of electronic music.
Since early beginnings as both an in and outdoor event, its organisers have more recently chosen to concentrate on using venue SWG3’s full range of exhibition and performance spaces; the larger, first floor main room, smaller Poetry Club and Unit 3, a newer, mid-sized area.
While Sunday’s offering of Optimo, Matias Aguayo, Subculture’s Harri and Domenic, Octave One, Thunder Disco, Ben Martin and Vitamins appeared to offer a more stylistically varied line-up, tonight’s guests (6th Borough Project, Nicholas, Melting Pot, David Morales and Dimitri from Paris) seemed to be catering squarely for house music devotees; unfortunately, Chez Damier is absent due to flight issues.
The 6th Borough Project pairing of Craig Smith and Graeme Clark, who’ve spent many years earning their production spurs, ease an early Unit 3 crowd into the proceedings by serving up chunky, 90s, US-style house, the tracks’ characteristic combination of bumping rhythms, synth stabs and keys providing an ideal foundation for New York legend David Morales’ set later.
Upstairs in the larger of the two rooms being used this evening, Melting Pot’s Simon Cordiner offers a mix of filtered-vocals and disco-samples amongst deeper house cuts, before Nicholas, making his Scottish debut, takes over to play a laptop-powered set of his own productions. Again, the influence of 90s US house is strong: organ stabs mingle with snapping percussion and deep basslines, impressively delivered by the recently revamped sound system. Seeming to shorten his tracks, the young Italian producer provides a smorgasbord of his sound, his beefed-up Nu Groove edits standing out.
Back in Unit 3, David Morales' appearance on the decks is met with whoops and cheers from a much busier dancefloor mixed with young and older faces, and the legendary DJ and producer proceeds to roll out track after track of house classics: Kings of Tomorrow’s ‘Finally’, ‘Big Love’ by Pete Heller and 100%’s ‘Just Can’t Wait (Saturday)’ all play out to rapturous scenes.
Elsewhere, in the main warehouse room, the other half of the Melting Pot’s residency pairing, Andrew Pirie, follows on from Nicholas, mixing house and disco, including an airing of Romanthony’s 'The Wanderer' in a welcome tribute to the sadly recently-deceased producer and singer.
An urge to check out how Morales was keeping the ground-floor area entertained meant another trip down a packed staircase but a welcome by further house classics, including Armand Van Helden’s ‘You Don’t Even Know Me’ and ‘Muzik’ by Xpress-2 played to a happy, up-for-it crowd meant the walk was worth it.
Back in the main room, Dimitri from Paris followed Al Kent, whose own set of pumped up disco re-edits set the mood perfectly for the Frenchman’s two hour mix of pop, disco and house; opening with an extended remix of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ helped him easily win over the growing, appreciative throng and by following it with tracks by the likes of Prince, Sister Sledge and Michael Jackson, Dimitri created a real party atmosphere that helped the first half of Electric Frog’s May edition feel like a success.