Red Bull Music Academy Lecture w. Detroit’s Carl Craig at BAaD & Sub Club
Detroit Techno and electronic music legend Carl Craig landed in an unusual sunny Glasgow for a Sunday night shin dig in the legendary Sub Club.
Before the Subbie doors had a chance to open, a select group of lucky fans were treated to a wee chin wag with the charismatic front man of Techno courtesy of a fireside chat from The Red Bull Music Academy.
The setting for the evening was The Barras Art & Design centre (BAAD) which provided a spectacular backdrop with a rare sun soaked evening peering through the glass ceilings into the Barras flagship space.
As the sun was almost gone the mood was perfectly set with an introductory listen-through of ‘Teddy Pendergrass – you can’t hide from yourself’
This was a lovely introduction from the host of the evening local luminary Lauren Martin which felt like the perfect ice breaker between Carl & the eagerly waiting fans.
Slipping back to his early inspirations and distracted from his pounding night ahead in the world famous DJ booth, Carl opened with his inspiration from the Philly sound and beamed about his love for early disco gems discovered from the likes of Salsoul Records and late night listening to AM radio stations in the states.
Listing tracks like ‘Anita Ward – ring my bell’ and ‘The Bee Gees – Stayin’ alive’ as sonic masterpieces. This gave a glimpse into the sound of the time that would push him onto recording and making his own productions.
“The aim of the game was to be as good as Quincy Jones” which he humbly admits to never reaching and due to the lack of finances and equipment that were to be found in the high-end studios of Miami & New York, Carl found himself pushed towards lower end budget electronic equipment.
This brings him on nicely to mention his peers (Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson and Ron Hardy to name a few) at the time and how he followed in their footsteps to recreate the pioneering musical techniques they were pushing like ‘tape stutter effects’ – looping & filtering disco records underneath 808 and 909 drum beats.
The timeline moves on through some of his career highlights and how an 8-year project resulted in his stunning Album Versus.
A unique opportunity for him to reimagine his work through the classical music world.
Being known as one of the best remixers in the world Carl speaks of his approach to remixing and reinventing his own music for the album and what it was like to work with a full orchestra.
He jokingly refers to the film ‘Anchor Man’ and describes the difficulty in convincing classically trained musicians to perform techno music.
With Ron Burgundy unable to read the news without following a TelePrompTer and the Orchestra struggling to follow music unless it was written on paper he then sings the praise of working with a conductor to tie the two worlds together.
Stopping the proceedings to listen through his track ‘darkness’ from the album.
He explains his use of new technology in the shape of a vest worn while working with headphones called the sub pack to give an ‘outer world’ experience of low-end frequencies pushed through your back and chest.
A pioneer of technology and a self-confessed ‘forever student of the game’… This was a one off and a rare glimpse into a man who passionately lives for his craft.
Closing the evening off with a few questions from the floor, Carl seemed at home with the Glasgow crowd and was happy to joke and banter with the locals.
This truly was a rare treat for the über fan, a perfect way to warm things up for the sweaty rave cave on Jamaica street, which as always, lived up to our expectations.
Thanks, RBMA, and Carl Craig, a pleasure always! Sub Club 30 years young! We salute you!
***WORDS by Rob Etherson***