“It’s all about discovering fresh music that ignites the passions…” 909originals catches up with Silicone Soul

Having set the tone with cult Ibiza anthem Right On, Right On – a track so epic that DJ Mag recently dedicated a 2,000-word article to it – Silicone Soul have been setting the tempo for upfront house music for more than two decades now.

While the Glasgow duo, aka Craig Morrison and Graeme Reedie have released most of their own tracks on Soma Quality Recordings, their Darkroom Dubs label has proven to be a central source for underground, brooding house music since its foundation in 2003.

That trend was recently continued with the release of Darkroom Dubs Vol. V, which brings up to speed the underground sound and instantly distinctive signature they have spent the best part of 20 years honing and refining.

You can order Darkroom Dubs Vol. V here.

909originals caught up with Silicone Soul’s Craig Morrison to chat about the new release, upcoming projects, and the enduring legacy of Right On, Right On.

It’s been a few years since your last Darkroom Dubs compilation – why was the time right to launch a new one?

It just felt like the right time really, there’s never any master plan with Darkroom Dubs. The label has been strong, especially in the last 18 months, so we had plenty of great music to include on the mix compilation.

Darkroom Dubs was first launched in 2003. How has your approach with the label changed over that time?

In many ways, the ethos of the label is the same. It’s all about discovering fresh music that ignites the passions. From an operational perspective, our approach has changed. When we first started, vinyl sales were very healthy, so you had a greater scope in terms of budgets and what was possible.

Now, all aspects of the label are done in-house. Darkroom Dubs was never financially motivated anyway, so as long as we can get the next release out, we’re happy.

We’re now emerging from the pandemic – how was that period for you? Was it a productive time?

From a label perspective, it was a very productive time. We managed to release some fantastic music, including EPs from Alejandro Paz & Local Suicide, Middle Sky Boom, Undo, Amount and Am$trad Billionaire.

On a personal level, my Mum sadly passed away last November, so I spent the lockdown caring for her. That period was, frankly, a nightmare, but I’ve emerged from it with fresh impetus and positivity.

The latest release includes a Fango remix of your classic Right On, Right On. What is it about that track that continues to attract so much attention, around two decades on from its release?

For some reason, the track has endured and enjoyed by a new generation of electronic music fans. Perhaps it’s the strings, the intro or the overall mood, but we’re very proud and grateful to have music in our back catalogue that’s considered classic.

Do you think you would have had the career you ended up having if it wasn’t for Right On, Right On?

We were barely into our twenties when Right On, Right On went right off, the track was massive worldwide, and DJs were playing it everywhere. In all honesty, its success took us a little by surprise. We went from DJing in local bars and clubs in Glasgow to touring the world.

It would have taken us a lot longer to establish ourselves without Right On, Right On, but I like to think we would have got there in the end and been able to have a life in music.

There’s also a Skinnerbox rework of Bauhaus’ post-punk classic Bela Lugosi’s Dead on the compilation – was that a scene that influenced your sound at all?

We grew up listening to a lot of Punk, Post-Punk and Rock n’ Roll. Graeme and I were even in a band together as teenagers. So it was a scene that did influence our sound greatly. We always favoured a little darkness, the BPMs slower with those low-slung basslines and a general lo-fi, DIY approach.

My musical tastes have almost gone full circle, strangely, and my love for that scene has been reawakened, especially in our DJ sets and the new music we have signed for Darkroom Dubs.

The Skinnerbox rework appeared a few years back on our Darkroom Dubs Edits series, which was vinyl-only. I’ve started to play it again recently, and it seems to fit the post-lockdown/ pandemic mood perfectly.

We recently spoke to your fellow Glaswegians Slam, and we were talking about the sheer breadth of up and coming talent in electronic music at the moment – something that may have been accelerated by the pandemic. You’ve long championed emerging artists – who should we look out for?

The new talent in electronic music is as strong as ever, and I’ve been discovering and receiving some fantastic music recently. Günce Acı (Istanbul) and Paula Tape (Milan) are two producers that certainly fall into that category, and their music has been peppering many of my DJ sets.

On the Darkroom Dubs front, our good friend Alvaro Cabana (Madrid) has hit a rich vein of form in the studio, and we look forward to welcoming him to the label next year. Also, Abel Ray (Marrakesh) is a young producer with an exciting blend of influences. He will be making his Darkroom Dubs debut next year too.

Has anything noticeably changed about clubbing or the dance scene as a result of the pandemic – for better or worse?

From a DJ perspective, not touring for the best part of 18 months certainly had a massive impact, but despite the problems this caused, I think we could all reflect on how fortunate we are to have this lifestyle.

It also helped to have a healthier outlook on life and, more importantly, appreciate loved ones, family and friends. Nevertheless, it’s fantastic to be back in clubs and in the booth, nothing can compare, and no amount of live streaming can replicate that special feeling!

What’s next for Silicone Soul in 2022?

We’ve been stockpiling a lot of new sounds and fresh ideas to take into the studio in the new year. So hopefully, there will be some of our productions appearing on Darkroom Dubs too next year.

[Thanks Craig for chatting to us. er Darkroom Dubs Vol. V here.]

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