Calling all electronic enthusiasts! Soma Skool returns for 2020, bringing industry heavy-weights from all spectrums of the electronic scene together under one roof. Set in one of Glasgow’s most iconic clubs SWG3, the conference will run from 1pm – 5:30pm on Saturday 28th of March followed by an amplifying after party. 

Soma Records, headed up by DJ duo SLAM, has been a hub for Glasgow’s electronic scene for many years now. The annual Soma Skool event is just another way in which the label has extended its support to encourage and nurture the scene’s growth. Offering Scotland a portal to connect with industry figures and educate themselves on how to best pave their career in electronic music.

Soma Skool: The Conference

This year the roster of panelists and workshops is quite frankly, next level.

Panel topics will cover a range of industry related issues including Glasgow’s underground scene, PR and marketing, mental health, events management and more. With highly respected speakers such as journalist Claire Francis, Fabric London’s Bernice Mulenga and DJ/producer Nightwave taking to the stage to give their opinion alongside many others.

Over in the Galvanizers warehouse, guests can watch live demonstrations and masterclasses of the latest tech in software and hardware. Technology giants Pioneer DJ will be pairing up with Skapade Studios to demonstrate their newest piece of equipment the Pioneer DJ V10 6 channel mixer and a Toraiz Squid Sequencer.  Whilst SubSine Academy of Electronic Music offer interactive Ableton workshops throughout the day. This is not to be missed!

As a clubs writer, one of the most exciting slots on the programme has got to be Resident Advisor’s Soma Skool debut with their music journalism workshop. A fantastic opportunity to ask for professional advice on pitching, writing and more.

Soma Skool x Maximum Pressure : The Afterparty

After the conference, it’s time to put all business cards and professional jargon aside and head to the 7 hour Maximum Pressure after party kicking off at 8pm. SLAM welcome none other than techno legend  and pioneer Jeff Mills to share the headline slot. This is sure to be an explosive combination.

Completing the bill are Dr.Rubinstein, Miss Djax, Volvox, IDA, AISHA and Kai each bringing their own unique flavours of underground house and techno to the decks.

Soma Skool: In Conversation with Rosie Shannon

I managed to catch up with project manager and Soma Records production and distribution manager Rosie Shannon to chat all about this year’s Soma Skool and her set at the conference after party. 

Soma Skool is back for 2020! What can we expect from this year’s conference? Are there any new additions to the event programme to look out for?

‘’This year we have some amazing learning opportunities for anyone who wants to gain a career in the electronic music industry. We have Ableton workshops from three world class producers; panels and discussions with some of Europe’s most respected promoters, artists, PR’s, festivals and magazines;  DJ and production equipment demonstrations and stalls from universities and colleges offering some of Scotland’s best music courses.’’

There is a big focus on Glasgow’s underground electronic scene, which Soma Records plays a definitive role in. What’s your opinion of the current state of the scene?

‘’The scene is currently in a big state of evolution. On one hand we have promoters, clubs and labels championing minorities and offering learning opportunities to those who may need it most. Glasgow’s electronic scene has some of the best alternative queer nights Europe has to offer, and has some of the most diverse line ups in its clubs every weekend.’’

‘’Unfortunately on the other hand we still have a minority of people ignorantly championing acts who are misogynists, sexual predators and abusers. It sets a bad example to assault survivors and potential abusers who think they can assault people and still get gigs. We should be helping the scene develop for the better and giving opportunities to better up and coming acts.’’

‘’There’s still some things be worked on in Glasgow to make it an equal and fair scene, but I have a lot of hope for the next decade.’’

As a DJ yourself, what panels or workshops would you recommend for budding DJs looking to make their first steps into the industry?

‘’I would definitely recommend checking out the DJ and Production Lounge in the Poetry Club, sponsored by Pioneer DJ, where you can have a hands-on try of all the latest equipment. Staff from Skapade Studios and Rubadub can help you with any queries, and artist Nightwave will be giving a DJ workshop there also!’’

Something often daunting for guests at industry conferences is the concept of networking with such well-respected names and companies. What top tips would you give for attendees approaching panelists at Soma Skool and making a good first impression?

‘’For a start our panellists are all totally open to questions and helping people with their careers – that’s the main aim of the event! Last year we had an audience member approach a panellist, who ended up interviewing them for a uni project. If you have any upcoming assignments, production questions or career questions , don’t hesitate to ask – there’s also opportunities at the end of every panel and workshop to ask questions.’’

After the conference, guests can join SLAM’s iconic party Maximum Pressure where you will be joining the likes of Jeff Mills, Kai, IDA and more to play as your alias AISHA. How much do you prepare for sets like this and how much is based on the crowd and atmosphere in the moment? 

‘’I usually create a playlist on Rekordbox for each set I do. I like to have a vision of how the set will go – and then I can change it up depending on the atmosphere or if it gets busier or the crowd rowdier! This Pressure I’ll be playing b2b with IDA for the first time. Our styles will compliment each other perfectly I think. It’s gonna be a corker of a night for sure!’’

We’ve got our tickets at the ready and can’t wait to head over Glasgow to join the team for this year’s Soma Skool. 

If you haven’t already got your ticket then click here to secure your spot whilst they last. Don’t forget to sign up for Slam’s Maximum Pressure afterparty to catch Jeff Mills, Aisha B2B IDA, SLAM and more. 

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