Glasgow transforms in the sunshine.
Unlike Edinburgh, where the high and indisputable beauty of the city seems at its most pronounced under the austere light of a crisp winter sun, Glasgow needs a touch of cloudless warmth before it comes to life. It’s not one of the most gorgeous places in the world, Glasgow. It’s never going to hold a candle to Venice or Vienna or Florence. In the cold rain and smirr of a west coast winter it seems to contract; drawing into itself, turtling up, waiting out the worst of the season until the first timid touches of spring begin to restore it to itself.
On a day like today when the temperature rises at long, long last (as long as you stay out of the shadows where winter is still waiting to cut you) it begins to feel like a great place again. The crowds are lining the Kelvin outside the Inn Deep pub, and filling the wee hill side in Kelvingrove park where new arrivals and old salts gather in the light to laugh off hangovers and curse the bloody bongo players. Along Great Western Road and Woodlands Road and Sauchiehall Street everyone seems to be smiling and laughing.
The buildings too, many still tarred by the grimy air of generations of hard industry now long gone begin to lose something of their hunched and tired attitude; the sunlight, the warmth returns to them something of the grand character they must have had back in the old days when Glasgow’s ships built the Empire and it revelled in its role as a dynamo of the Industrial Revolution. It feels as though some great, unseen cosmic force has thrown the On switch.
Like my closest friends and I, Ege Bam Yasi is a Highland Boy gone south. An Invernessian (as far as I know) long relocated to Edinburgh, The egg obsessed acid house nut was one of the very first Scottish house artists I was ever aware of. Back then, and still in the Highlands, I found electronic music to be as exotic as it was esoteric. House and Techno came from Detroit or Chicago – distant places and little more than ghosts on the horizon caused by a trick of atmospherics, and the stuff that filtered up to us from England felt little closer. Stories of warehouses and raves in the hinterlands somewhere off the M25 were never anything more than that. The only connection we had was with the music. The rest of it, the lifestyle, the clubs, the personalities and the legends were so far away as to be fictional. Scottish electronic music of the time was massively defined and dominated by one thing – Happy Hardcore, A genre that held little for anyone in love with Detroit’s gloriously futuristic stylings.
Simply put, Ege Bam Yasi showed that you didn’t need to be from the Mid West or Brighton or London to get involved. He wasn’t the only one, as it turned out, but you never really forget those early lessons that teach you something important about the world and your place in it. I won’t lie and say that the music of Ege Bam Yasi woke me up to a vital truth about myself and everything else. He didn’t, but he certainly had a role in showing me we could be a part of it all.
I Want More is a tune that seems to have always been there at the back of my mind, and it’s one that always seem to come to the fore on a day like this. There is something springlike about it. It’s a funny little groove, optimistic and sunny at first but growing into something all encompassing as that great synthline rises and rises and rises over the rest of the track. The 303s, when they whip into place, push it onwards to somewhere bathed in the light of a great smiley faced acid sun.
Eggceptional and Eggshilarating, it’s like the season turned into frequency. Eggcellent stuff.