Motor City Drum Ensemble to play the last ever Ultragroove

Motor City Drum Ensemble to play the last ever Ultragroove

Photo: Stefan Braunbarth

The Edinburgh house night is going out on a high, says resident Gareth Sommerville

The end of an era in Edinburgh’s clubbing scene has arrived with the news that Ultragroove is closing its doors on its 14th birthday later this month, after almost four hundred parties spanning La Belle Angele, Cabaret Voltaire, the Green Room and the Liquid Room’s Annexe (those last two alongside fellow travellers Heavy Gossip), bringing guests including Joey Negro, Derrick Carter, Jesse Rose, Todd Terje and Azari & III to the city over the years.

‘I’d like a break more than anything else,’ says Gareth Sommerville, co-founder and the night’s only remaining resident. ‘For most of those years I ran Ultragroove fortnightly, and the last few months have been the only ones in fourteen years I haven’t been promoting. I’ve quite enjoyed it actually, it’s allowed me to get right back into DJing, which was the whole reason I started doing this. Besides, you can only keep people’s attention for so long, and I think fourteen years is a remarkable effort.’

This last party will add one more venue to the list, a basement space that Somerville recently used for a revival of his New York house night Truth, and a guest who represents unfinished business for Ultragroove, Stuttgart house pioneer Danilo Plessow, aka Motor City Drum Ensemble. ‘I first put him on four years ago,’ says Sommerville, ‘and he was meant to be the guest for our Annexe relaunch in early 2012, but that was when he decided to take a lengthy break from DJing. I’m really glad to get him back again, I love what he does with his set, the way he’s prepared to throw lots of different styles in. What he stands for as a DJ is a good reflection of what Ultragroove stands for as a club. Or stood for, quite soon.’

511, Edinburgh, Sat 28 Sep.

Motor City Drum Ensemble mix for RA podcast


Deep soulful house with a dash of disco from Gareth Sommerville.