Tobias Schmidt

Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh, Sat 12 Apr


Perhaps the greatest thing about electronica is that it’s a forward thinking genre that reaches for the future, combining man and machine into new forms of sound. Techno in particular has always looked to the future rather than trading on past glories. And while this will always be the aim for the most intelligent exponents of the art, we can’t completely dismiss the past, from the early rumblings of the Detroit scene through the raves of the 80s and 90s to a time when Edinburgh was one of the most important centres for techno in the UK. At the heart of this scene, Pure and Sativa were legendary clubs, regularly attracting some of the most interesting artists in the world to their hedonistic parties while still craving innovation in the harsh world of the repetitive beat.

Which brings us to Substance, one of Edinburgh’s new breed of techno nights currently building on the city’s legacy. This month the club welcomes Sativa resident Steve Glencross and regular Tobias Schmidt for a reunion of sorts.

‘Techno’s a dirty word these days isn’t it? But I like the simplicity of techno,’ explains Schmidt. ‘You can just have two or three drum sounds and a sick evil synth bassline and that’ll do the job.’

Schmidt’s description does a disservice to his wonky electronica output, which connects on both a cerebral and physical level. Working with the likes of Neil Landstrumm, Cristian Vogel, Dave Tarrida and Jamie Liddle over the years, Schmidt will be putting in one of his exemplary live sets at Substance. ‘I’ve never DJed; I like that improvised aspect.’


Edinburgh's long-running underground techno party.

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