Various Artists – The Underground Sound of Glasgow

Jasper James, JD Twitch, Hammer and Auntie Flo feature on a new compilation celebrating twenty years of the Glasgow Underground label

Album Review by Claire Francis | 20 Dec 2017
  • The Underground Sound of Glasgow
Album title: Underground Sound of Glasgow
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Glasgow Underground
Release date: 24 Nov

To celebrate twenty years at the forefront of Scotland's electronic music scene, Glasgow Underground have pulled together an impressive compilation album to mark their landmark anniversary. Curated by label owner Kevin McKay, The Underground Sound of Glasgow is a fifteen-track collection that encapsulates the energy of the city's dancefloors and showcases the breadth of selectors and producers who call Glasgow home.

The sound may be billed as 'underground' but anyone who knows their local music history will recognise the wealth of talent represented here. The album kicks off with a pumped-up track by one of Glasgow's most famed selectors, JD Twitch of Optimo (Espacio), and also features key players of the city's scene such as Hammer, Auntie Flo, Domenic Capello, and McKay himself.

The new guard of Glasgow's best hitmakers are also given plenty of room to flex their musical muscle. Big Miz's Great Pyramid of Geezer is a burst of energy mid-record; a swampy, grooving dancefloor-focused track packed with claps, kicks and a snake-charmer of a synth line. The duo of MermaidS deliver a six-minute slice of pure house bliss, with a nostalgic take on the deep bass fades of the early noughties; fellow up-and-comers Illyus & Barrientos also leave their mark with the up-tempo, vocal driven stomper Same Ban. One bone of contention worth picking up on, though, is the shortage of female selectors and producers on the album; a poor oversight given the diversity of Glasgow's electronic music community.

A standout of the album is Jasper James' exuberant, feel-good reworking of Bring U Up by the late, great Romanthony. Tackling the cult figure's classic cut with his signature playful style, James' remix is the essence of what Underground Sound of Glasgow is all about – celebrating the past while embracing the future of Glasgow's music scene. Which, on this compilation, sounds more relevant and thrilling than ever.

Listen to: Bring U Up (Jasper James Remix), Great Pyramid of Geezer