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Slam ready for Year Zero at the Digital Festival

Author: Phil Watkins
Thursday, April 21, 2005
The question is were you positively educated back in the day- Did you have an Alien Radio- If you know Slam then you are fully aware that these two Scottish lads are one of the best exports from Glasgow since Celtic got to the Champions League. Owners of the famed dance in print Soma Records, the pair have recently released a new album which has already got pulses racing in the recent WMC in Miami this year. With the dawn of the Digital festival on the Anzac weekend it seems they are fit and ready to go..! I got to speak with them about their new album and their up and coming trip to our shores...

Now for those who don't have much of an idea, you guys are behind one of the biggest dance music labels in the world, namely SOMA records. With the supposed "decline in dance music" and the amount of people downloading their music getting bigger everyday, how do you see the future of record sales evolving in the future and how do you feel from the label's point of view with this evolution-

We are just ploughing forwards with a lot of new music and artists - vinyl sales are down a bit but that makes you push harder for those special releases which shout "buy me". We were selling downloads through I crunch 8 years ago but it was too soon for the culture and there wasn't a lot of income but now we are fully digitising soma catalogue and we will be delivering promos in this way in future which saves time and money - fans of music will buy downloads for 79p or whatever and the culture of theft and borrowing is changing - it may take a few years for download income to replace the lower vinyl sales but at the same time we can reach more people globally so there is a balance, especially in places like Australia - please keep checking!!

"Year Zero" is your new album and the title suggests anew beginning for Slam. You have been quoted as saying that you "wanted to step back to go forward" and also that you were confident about this album being more song based, this seems like a large jump for you both given your seemingly endless list of dance floor contributions it must have been great to be involved in something different for Slam's next instalment-

As producers and artists you are always striving to make a different record to the last one - we could have done positive education again but that would be wasting our time and the audiences time. We have released a vocal based electronic album but you can't pin Slam down that easily - we have a new series of remixes coming out - for Laurent Garnier / Way out West / Silicone Soul and Death in Vagas - we did them all this year and there is a newer sound again but its still recognisable as Slam - which we feel year zero is too- different sides of slam - and what we do for the next album will progress again - maybe , more instrumental - possibly with one vocalist involved in a few tracks - on Year Zero we asked 6 people and they all said yes so we had to get busy writing for these vocalists - Billie ray martin / Dot Allison / envoy / tyrone palmer / Ann Saunderson / Elbee Bad - they all brought something to the party and we think the album will stand the test of time and indeed is the end of one chapter and the start of another in the slam story.

It seems only yesterday that Alien Radio was in everyone's stereo and now we have something new to add to it. I believe you are both now touring to promote your new album, with it being more musically based this time how has this, if at all, affected your approach to your live shows-

We did some shows last summer with tyrone singing live - he does this world and lifetimes - for this tour we are doing dj and live together with abelton, laptops and efx and decks and if we both play together - we can remix stuff live while we dj so its fun for us and the crowd and they always get something new.

With so much going on in your lives it must be hard notto get immersed in the whole thing and lose s