Located below the train line that is the hub of Glasgow's rail network lie three massive cobble stoned arches and some of the most up-for-it friendly clubbers you are likely to meet. I'm speaking, of course, about Pressure: Soma Recordings' flagship monthly event, which recently saw the annual return of Detroit icon Jeff Mills.
Slam opened proceedings in the main arch, their hypnotic techno set (accompanied with some downright scary visuals) drawing the vast majority of new arrivals escaping the long, cold queue outside. The duo of Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle may have been doing this for years but they continue to innovate. Their recent single, "Hot Knives," throws the techno rulebook out the window with its abrasive, claustrophobic sounds and offers a glimpse of what to expect from the label bosses new Paragraph imprint. With eyes darting between laptop and crowd they offered up a dark selection of their own material, firing off effect-soaked loops to complement familiar favourites such as 2008 smash "City Destroyer" and Mark Broom's "Take Me Home."
Tonight's headliner soon Mills appeared deck-side, greeted to a hero's welcome by the Glasgow crowd. And, to be honest, it's hard not to smile as he surveys the expecting crowd—waiting patiently for his trusty trio of Technics 1210's to be installed, replacing Slam's laptop set-up.
Mills continues to divide clubbers to this day, his relentless, hard mixing style being too much for some. It's hard to think of Mills ever gradually building a set. Instead, he goes for the jugular. And, indeed, as soon as the first Underground Resistance weapon of choice burst through the speakers, the heaving crowd lit up the cavernous back arch in a roar of approval.
Clubbers bounced around the arena as Mills worked through tribal-tinged techno and classic Axis material quickly. As the classic piano sounds of "Strings of Life" filtered through the speakers, the crowd briefly came up for air before he let rip with Joey Beltram's remix of E-Dancer's "Grab the Beat." Subtle? Not a chance.
Contrasting nicely with Mills' techno onslaught in the main arch were Pressure debutants Jamie Jones and Nic Fanciulli. Jones' performance was lapped up by the Glasgow crowd, a mixture of deep, groove-driven house and a showcase of some of his own material including "The Trouble" with Fanciulli left to finish the evening. Fanciulli aired out new tracks from Rolando and Spencer Parker and those questioning the booking of the Maidstone DJ to a perceived purist techno event couldn't have any complaints as his Steve Mac collaboration "10%" brought the evening to a close.