Subcity Radio’s Jukebox: 20 Years on Air 20th March, 2015


Celebrating 20 years of broadcasting tonight at The Art School, Subcity Radio has carved it’s very own place in Glasgow as an assembly point where a diverse set of voices and tastes converge. This pliable hub represents a community of music lovers based in the city, providing them with a place and platform where they can share what they love: music. So here it, a snapshot of some personal memories and moments from past and present.

Happy birthday Subcity Radio!

Fergus Clark – 12th Isle Transmission

Although never actually played by me on any subcity show, this record will always make me smile and think of the station whenever I put it on. After doing Earthly Matters for a few years, I set up my own show 12th Isle Transmissions at the end of 2012. Marquis Cooper aka Svengalisghost was in Glasgow ahead of the L.I.E.S night Aleks & Richard (The Guild of Calamitous Intent) were organising and he came in on the show to do a special live set. The room was in total darkness, with the only lights emanating from his machines. Ten of us were present in the studio, as well as an overly friendly dog. For the best part of an hour hardly anybody spoke, all just collectively vibing to the music, which at the end of it all Subcity is all about.

Simon Bryan – Beat Beneath

I was lucky to first get involved in the station ten years ago when the huge-scale Arches parties of that generation were at their peak, but the time I really started to feel a part of things was a few years later when, alongside a spot-on radio schedule, the Research Club parties were gaining momentum and hitting capacity by about 10.30pm every month. They always hit the balance between diversity of music and straight-up party atmosphere, with the coordination of a proper club night but the vibe of a decks-in-the-livingroom house party without the worry of the polis coming knocking. So I’ve picked a track that me (and I think a couple of others too) always got a great reaction with when playing there – not the most super-obscure selection but one that’ll always remind me of lots of fun with lots of good people in a unique venue and an exciting time in the station’s history.

Vickie McDonald – Bactria

I’ve picked this track because I have fond memories of playing this out at the 15th birthday party at the Arches. First time id ever djed, and I was totally bricking it! Starting a set with a Wolf Eyes track, and ending with this (possibly to an empty room), theres not many folk that would ask a noise show to warm up a clubnight and trust your track choice. It was never about restriction at Subcity, it was about being open minded to sounds and making sure everyone had an equal platform, allowing room to join up the dots between contrasting genres and noises, and enjoying yourself sitting in the dark with the speakers blaring in the studio.

Merlin Hayward – Nova Waves

Lachlan McFeely (aka Dressin Red) – In Red

I’m on to my second show at Subcity now, but one of my favourite memories from the first show (apart from changing its awful name to the new one) was putting this on. 20 minutes with the lights off, letting Mr Budd work his magic. I can’t think of many situations where I could play this in full and get to take it all in, and I hope there were some people listening in sharing it with me. If not, I’m sure at least my mum was.

Gareth Roberts – Unearthly Matters

Instead of one specific song I feel that it is important to choose this compilation in its entirety – as one whole composition instead of a disparate collection of individual songs. Released in 2012 by the Glasgow based d.i.y. record label, Instructional Media, and curated by its founder L.H. Cook it features a hive mind of musicians such as CLIP ART, Cru Servers, Mother Ganga, Stefan Blomeier and Magic Eye. They all frequently found their way onto my show playlists on multiple occasions. Instructional Media are all inclusive, open minded and relish exploring the many possibilities that music can achieve in elevating the human spirit, both through sensation and ideas. Transporting you to a world that is personal to you, but also encourages others to join in the experience at the same time.

Shaun Murphy – Cloudo

The absolute buzz of going live on FM, playing screamers like this and getting 30 odd phone calls in a show, only trumped by getting to play a peak time happy hardcore set to a sold out Arches at age 21 with three of my good mates. Thanks Subcity.

Sophie Reilly – Jackie Your Body

The tension in all of their records is so overwhelming but seeing them live is something else. The duo’s show with Subcity and Cry Parrot back in 2010 was just as immersive and wonderful as all of their output. Also, I think I play this track in all of my sets.

Bake – All Caps

The original distorted house Subcity anthem from way back 2010 – TIP!

Alan Miller – Music, Please!

My show Music, Please! as it is now, pretty much grew out of and eclipsed the previous radio show i ran on Subcity which was a straight sideshow for the danceflor selections i’d play out when i when i djed regularly at The Arches or The Art School. My warm-up sets were always a place to play more challenging sounds and as Bollywood – and indeed a myriad global sounds – has become such a large part of what i play now, i’m gonna choose one of the tracks that started it all off. This is pretty much the obvious go-to track for any Bollywood set now, but when i picked up a copy of this in 1998, it was something that always freaked people out when i played it. And i still love it.

Jemma Hatherill – Tigerbeat

Tigerbeat started out as a very occasional blog investigating popular music from non-English countries, stemming from the unique and particular feeling of dancing in a club to a song that you can’t understand or connect with, but somehow feels all the more powerful for this cultural dissonance.

Starting the show at Subcity in 2012 really gave me an opportunity to consider the evolution of pop music styles throughout different regions, as a sort of self-education practice, and exploration of my own personal tastes through to the musical pluralism that I tend to focus on in my mixes and live sets today.

This track from Ya Tosiba always goes down really well despite it not being hugely well known – it’s Finnish skwee by way of Berlin, featuring found lyrics from an Azeri form of improvised folk music, which in this context presents itself as ancient, historical rap, which I think sums up the Tigerbeat ethos and journey as it stands today.

DJ Keoma – On Top

New music has all been my main focus at Subcity. Whether that be during my first stint co-hosting Codeine Drums or now with On Top. With that in mind I’ve chosen this track from Air Max ’97’s latest ep, it’s been on constant rotation since it came out last month.

Andrew & Sally – Build & Destroy

Andrew: Back in 2010 and we did a Bjork special and this is one of my favourite shows we have ever done. We just selected some of our favourite Bjork songs (an artist we both really like) and we also selected songs by people that have worked with, sampled or remixed Bjork.

Sally: Craig Mack – Flava in Ya Ear, it’s a long-standing favourite of both Andy and I, it never fails to get us dancing around the studio and (badly) rapping along.

Niall Morris – FEKA

Sometimes u need to make friends before u can make radio, and during my time at Subcity being friends with someone meant sitting next to them in an office for 12 hours every day for a year, going to the shop for them, obsessing over jokes no-one would read, talking about our got-damn feelings and watching a live performance of Luther VanDross so many times that we knew every hand movement, every audience member with glitter instead of hair, every low note, every time a young Janet Jackson would appear, every time it comes around I feel nostalgic.

Sarah and Joel – No Globe

We’re still very new to Subcity, finding our radio feet (and faces), but playing this song on our first show was definitely a great and hopefully prefigurative moment. It’s a playful, lo-fi groove from one of the supremely talented women who make up Selvhenter, a Danish Jazz / Noise crew part of the Eget Værelse collective. Their name translates as A Room Of One’s Own, a homage to 1929 Virginia Woolf’s famous early feminist essay. “Everyone needs a room of one’s own, their own platform to do things,” says Jacobsen when asked about this in a recent Wire interview; a sentiment that many have found echoing through those dark little Subcity walls.

Phil Kennedy – Test Card

For a period during my time at Subcity, I listened to this track loads. It’s part of a mix that I never got round to doing – which seems as reasonable a summation of my contribution to the station as anything else. I know where I wanted it to sit and why I wanted it there, but I didn’t put it all together. I still like it, though.

Joe Crogan – Hunks Hunks Hunks

Having to work out an alternative timeline to a different dimension for a comic book at 3 in the morning, all to promote a halloween party that revolved around a 12ft high scaffolding DJ rig.

Punk Rock Icon – She Said

She Said was a celebration of all that is punk, sordid and beautiful! What better expression of these wondrous things than Nice And Sleazy by The Stranglers