Interview: DJ Richard Keyte recounts six years of Stepback
The club has hosted Hudson Mohawke, Jackhammer, Rustie and Keyte's own Synthagram Project
In selling his night to us, Richard Keyte shows just why Stepback has for the last six years been one of Edinburgh’s finest clubbing dates. ‘I'd hope we bring a fresh and fun approach to clubbing in Edinburgh,’ he says. ‘We won’t ever get bogged down playing the shit that everyone else is, basically. We don’t target a particular market other than people who like great music and a fun night out, and most of all we don’t ever take ourselves too seriously.’
They know their music, though. In a lifespan which started in the then-new Sneaky Pete’s and continued to Medina, Cruz and currently the Wee Red Bar, Stepback has been home to an eclectic sound which has mixed house, techno, hip hop, Baltimore, ghetto-tech and dubstep. ‘It really just depends who we’ve booked to play on the night,’ says Keyte, who now runs the night with Hammay (Graeme Ramsay), employing a resident DJ roster of Beefy, Fred Lemon and original co-founder Wolfjazz (Richard Tucker). He recalls guest highlights including Jackmaster (Stepback’s first guest), Rustie (their second), Hudson Mohawke, Neil Landstrumm, Alex Smoke, L-Vis 1990, Doc Daneeka, Benjamin Damage, Eclair Fifi, Si Begg and Radioactive Man, although the most memorable came when Wolfjazz drove to Manchester to pick up Piddy Py and got his car broken into, driving back with a DJ and a smashed window.
This year’s 6th birthday honours Independence Day with a US special, taking in styles from Detroit to Baltimore, while Keyte and Hammay will be giving only the second performance of their new live alias, Synthagram Project, ahead of more dates this summer. ‘At the moment it’s a pretty short set,’ he says, ‘but I’d describe it as a raw analogue techno sound, a bit old school with acid flavours and proper thump.’
Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh, Fri 4 Jul.