Friday 11 November 2011 at 11:00pm
22 Jamaica Street, Glasgow, G1 4QD, United Kingdom
This month’s instalment of Return to Mono at Glasgow’s Sub Club will be awash with celebratory feeling as both organisers Slam and headline act Carl Craig mark the 20th anniversary of their respective labels, Soma and Planet-E, this year. Both labels have been the perfect foil for their owners to bring progressive and engaging sounds to a range of electronic scenes over the past 20 years through their own tunes and with various fantastic collaborations.
Carl Craig will inevitably be bringing a formidable amount of this eclecticism to bear on the Sub Club on November 11th as he continues his global celebrations. The Detroit legend has always had an eye to the future but Return to Mono may provide the perfect opportunity to take stock and bask a little in the glory of the last twenty years. Similarly, hosts Slam will be returning from performing in Switzerland as their own ‘Soma 20’ celebrations have seen them astonishing crowds in all manner of global destinations, clubs and festivals. Combining Slam and Carl Craig always offers the prospect of something special, however the added blessing of being able to pay homage for the last 20 years means the Sub Club will be a worthy altar for Detroit Techno and House come November 11th.
Carl Craig is described as a creative visionary, an electronic music icon, an esteemed Grammy-nominated composer, a world-class DJ and an ambassador for his native Detroit. Yet the common thread that runs through Craig’s broad musical canon and creative projects is a resounding fascination with futurism. The 41-year old producer has cultivated a unique path as an artist, entrepreneur and civic leader, guided by his tendency toward forward thinking.
“My livelihood is making music that I can perform, whether I’m doing orchestral production or modular strangeness or generating club music. I don’t restrict myself,” said Craig. “I defined myself by being who I am. The ultimate self respect is when you say you’re going to do something and you go and do it to the best of your ability.”
Craig’s prolific nature is reflected in the many recording projects he has used throughout his career including 69, BFC, C2, Innerzone Orchestra, No Boundaries, Psyche, Paperclip People and Tres Demented. This rotating cast of aliases has enabled him to continually explore new directions through a long succession of full length albums, mix CDs and singles including “Throw” (1994), “Landcruising” (1995), “The Secret Tapes of Dr Eich” (1996), “More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art” (1997), “Programmed” (1999), “The Detroit Experiment” (2002), “The Workout” (2002), “Just Another Day” (2004), “Fabric 25” (2005), “The Album Formerly Known As” (2005), “Paris Live” (2007), “Sessions” (2008), “Recomposed” (with Moritz Von Oswald) (2008), “The Legendary Adventures of a Filter King” (2009), “Modular Pursuits” (2010) and the upcoming album “Versus” (2011).
“Versus” is one of his boldest endeavors to date which Craig describes as “a fantastic eye opening experience," which has given him "a new way of thinking about music.” Craig opened himself up to working in a new format by collaborating with orchestrator / pianist Francesco Tristano, French orchestra Les Siècles, conductor Francois Xavier Roth and Moritz Von Oswald. Inspired by well-received performances in large concerts halls in Paris and Milan, Craig started the process of developing the project into an album which will see light in spring 2011.
This commitment to Detroit music also extends to how his Planet E family of labels is run. Not only has it given a home to a wide range of Detroit-based artists including Francesco Mora Catlett, Naomi Daniel, Flexitone, Jason Hogans, Kenny Larkin, Monty Luke, Moodyman, Mike Agent X, Oliverwho Factory, Recloose, Reference, Kevin Saunderson, Big Tone, Tribe, Urban Tribe, and Chaz Vincent, it has also been serving as a distributor for Detroit imprints including Derrick May's Transmat and Stacey Pullen's Black Flag. “The reality of the business is that you have to change. That’s a very difficult process, especially as an independent. I made a conscious decision a few years ago to invest in what I do. It’s turning it around and putting it into the studio and the label for my music to develop. We’re fighters around here. We fight to find new ways of selling. We do manufacture vinyl and there are people who want it. We’re fighting to keep it alive. Fighting for music that we have a vision for,” Craig say about Detroit. “My commitment to the city is like a commitment to your family. I’ve been here all my life and I’ve seen great things happen elsewhere, why not be involved in making my home great?”