A man of many shades and many sounds, Rob Glasgow has been active in the Brisbane electronic music scene as a DJ and promoter for nearly three decades. Rob is playing as HYBRIDCELL at IWTFA Pres. Lewis Fautzi (Pole Group / Figure / Soma) & Fuzion at The Brightside in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley on Friday 21 September, and at Circus Paradise Festival Launch at Capulet on Sunday 30 September.
Q. Rob Glasgow, as a DJ and member of the electronic music community in Brisbane you’ve been a dependable presence for a very long time. In that time, you’ve played an eminently diverse selection of music and attended all sorts of parties. How did you first get involved in the dance music scene here?
A. Well John, When I first left high school in 1988 I had been to a couple of clubs in the city, which played a mixture of commercial and house. But it was through a couple of English lads I worked with that I got to see and experience my first proper underground gig. They used to tell me about the block parties and warehouse parties they went to when living back home. One particular day at work, several months later, they asked if I wanted to come to a party out in Samford Valley. That was back in late ’89.
Q. You’re someone who knows the ins and outs of running a music event. With the success of IWTFA and other parties you have been involved in, can you tell us what it takes to throw a successful dance party?
A. Firstly, give yourself time to think about the direction and where you want to see yourself in five years. Write down all and any ideas that pop in to your head. From there, narrow it down to a final business plan. But also, know your market. Research not just local or interstate climates, but look at the overseas markets, trends, and above all, be original in your ideas. Marketing is also extremely important. Have a strategy put in place and work with your demographics.
Secondly, be humble, respectful and willing to work with others. Never, ever try to have the whole pie to yourself! You may not always get the same in return, but people do notice this.
Thirdly, never forget that you were a punter once. Always respect the people who come to the gigs you play or put on. Networking comes in many forms, so always take your time to chat with them.
Q. Who are some local Aussie crews you have loved working with over the years, and who do you think is doing it right when it comes to putting on events in the current era?
A. To be honest John, there have been so many over the years. Most recently I’ve worked with IWTFA. But some others have been Subtrakt, Lemon & Lime, Elements, NuBreed, Eden, Earth Frequency, La Vibrations, ESF Records, Deep Space and Underground Resistance.
As for who’s doing the right thing at the minute, there are so many John. I believe in the scene as a whole entity. Because of this belief, to me all the crews in their respected areas are succeeding at the minute. This is a brilliant thing to see happening right now, as the scene had a bit of a rough patch a while back.
Q. There have been some amazing outdoor music festivals happening in the land down under in recent times, and I know you have been involved with some of them. What does the festival scene have to offer party goers that they can’t experience in a club?
A. Clubs, warehouses and festivals all have their own energy. But as far as festivals go, it’s the freedom that’s a big thing for me. You can let loose, venture around the place, and be who you want to be.
Q. You have supported some very well-known international DJs at local events. With your extensive experience behind the decks, how do you prepare for such gigs? How do you program and plan your sets?
A. Hahaha, I do put some prep time in to researching music and artists. But to be very honest, I have multiple folders on my USBs and I have a general outline of what I want to do, but really I play it by ear on the night. Out of everything I’ve learned over the years, you can never be fully aware of what the mood will be or what the crowd will want.
Q. When you DJ you assume musical identities that represent the deepest aspects of different genres – from deep progressive house, to driving trance and slamming techno. How does your mindset and approach change when you play each type of music?
A. Because I love various forms of music and go to various events, I network with the people and gauge reactions to various tracks. My mindset doesn’t change all that much really. In saying that, I will mix, say progressive house differently to say techno. It comes down to how the music is written, and the respect it deserves.
Q. We have some very reputable record labels in our fine nation. What are some that have had releases that have caught your ear lately? Which labels should be we be keeping an eye on?
A. Machine, Vatn Recordings, Moon By Day, Buxton Records, Open Records, Bassic Records, Toasty Recordings, Hungry Koala and Frisson Records, just to name a few. I have full respect for anyone running a label from Australia, as I know it’s not easy.
Q. You’ve recorded 90 minutes of techno exclusively for Underground Sound. Thank you so much Rob! This set is quite a ride. Would it be fair to say it gives listeners an idea of what to expect from you at your forthcoming events?
A. It’s definitely what you can expect to hear from me, I may even play tougher at Circus.
Q. You’re playing at IWTFA Pres. Lewis Fautzi (Pole Group / Figure / Soma) & Fuzion at The Brightside, in Fortitude Valley on Friday 21 September 2018. For those who are fans of techno, these parties are where it’s at in Brisbane. I was at the last event, featuring Cleric, and it was fantastic. These events and the IWTFA brand, with their regular podcasts and recordings, are gathering quite a following. What would you like say to anyone who is curious about Brisbane’s techno scene and thinking of coming along for the first time?
A. All I can say, is definitely come along and experience one of our events. The energy levels are insane! And we really aim for people to have a memorable time. It’s honestly so hard to write about it, you need to be there.
Q. The Circus Paradise Festival Launch is happening at Capulet in Brisbane on the Sunday of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, 30 September 2018. You are playing, along with a host of talented local DJs, supporting Charlotte de Witte, John Dimas and organiser Mark James. Tell us about the Circus Paradise concept and what attendees can expect from the launch. The line-up is spectacular!
A. Mark James is well known and has been in the scene for a very long time. He was the founding director of Future Entertainment. It’s been a while since we’ve had a festival with this kind of direction here in Queensland. Circus Paradise is Mark‘s dream, to revitalise the festival scene in the Brisbane/Gold Coast region. What people can expect is one crazy night of awesome music and all sorts of circus mayhem! That’s all I’ll say. People will have to come along and immerse themselves in the energy.
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01. Luigi Tozzi – Epipelagic [Hypnus Records]
02. DNGLS – Hooly (Len Faki Tool) [Anemone Recordings]
03. Enzo Caprioli & Umberto Sestino – The Slip [SK Recordings]
04. Slam feat. Mr V – Take You There [Soma Records]
05. Derek M – Black Clouds [Tauten]
06. Massiva – Spot [Tauten]
07. Slam – Rotary (Roman Poncet Remix) [Soma Records]
08. Green Velvet – Destination Unknown (C2 Detroit-Chicago Unity Dub) [Relief]
09. Reeko – flaming [Soma Records] & Unknown Artist – Ufhart (Acapella)
10. Howling – Signs (Rodhad Remix) [Monkeytown Records]
12. Regal – Monomyth [Figure]
13. Slam – Take You There (Drum Loop) [Soma Records]
14. Massiva – Spot (Spektre Remix) [Tauten]
15. Luigi Tozzi – Epipelagic [Hypnus Records]