Casual observers of Electric Frog lineups over the years may pin the Glasgow promoters as a fairly eclectic bunch—they've hosted acts as diverse as Optimo, Nitzer Ebb and Dubfire, and those three in just one event. Yet closer inspection suggests a general leaning towards the type of sugar-rush tech house that has long been a local delicacy for large pockets of the city. That in mind, it was nice to see their latest lineup promised no trace of frosty minimal rhythms; a party one day after Christmas demands something a little warmer.
Rain-matted revellers sweeping into the Hillhead Book Club—a spacious two-storey bar, restaurant and sometime filmhouse in Glasgow's West End—were greeted, as if by way of compensation for the afternoon's grey weather, by a yuletide frenzy: Christmas trees, stockings, crackers, holly branches and other festive ephemera. If this array was meant to evoke the previous day's home comforts, then Auntie Flo, one of the night's three headliners, seemed more concerned with scaling less familiar territory.
Opening with Ashes To Machines' "Resistance," Auntie Flo's first hour was a leisurely trot through South American and African-inspired polyrhythms typical of his Highlife club night. A 12-minute Fela Kuti freakout bridged a fevered response to Henrik Schwarz's remix of Emmanuel Jal's "Kuar"—a record enjoying a major renaissance of late—before Floating Points' arrival. Approaching the early evening with a similarly eclectic angle, the Eglo co-founder's initial selections maintained the spirit of the carnival atmosphere inside the Book Club, but a 30-minute spell that one friend compared to "a Bridget Jones's Diary OST" made for a noticeable dip in energy thereafter. Graceful disco-funk standards such as McFadden & Whitehead's "Aint No Stoppin' Us Now" seemed ill-judged at a time when the venue was pulsing at near-capacity, with both bars at least three rows deep.
Having rescued a hairy period with a more propulsive assortment of low-end-fortified disco and US garage selections, Floating Points paved the way nicely for Moodymann's arrival at around 11 PM. Wearing a polar-white deerstalker and a fishnet mask, Kenny Dixon Jr.'s opening gambits were outstanding: Electric Funk's "On A Journey" and Little Louie Vega's "Diamond Life" energised a swollen dance floor, rippling with skyward fists and fingers, before the Millie Jackson-sampling "Use Me Again" brought the night's first truly climactic moment—well, almost. At the precipice of Tom Trago's stratospheric edit, the Detroit selector's pullback into a slower, shimmering Brazilian funk rhythm allowed him to reset the mood on his own terms; one of many moments where he jolted into different gears without losing momentum.