Tag Archives: Substance

Gerald Donald performs Arpanet Scottish live debut at Bongo

24 November 2016 -


This is the one. Possibly the single most important, living electronic artist in our world – Gerald Donald aka Heinrich Mueller, founding father of Drexciya, Dopplereffekt, Der Zyklus and Elecktroids et al – makes his first ever Edinburgh appearance, with the essential Arpanet concept live show, fusing proto-internet vision and next level futurism. Truly unmissable.

Read RA’s news item here.  And there’s a great Gerald Donald primer on FACT.

Tickets available here and also via Resident Advisor.


The Substance crew also thought it only right to ask some past guests what their favourite track was. Picks from Ben UFO, Surgeon, Substance aka DJ Pete, DJ Stingray, Rolando, Tessela, Manuel Gonzales, Bleaching Agent, Velocity Funk, Gavin Richardson, Dominic and Adam!  Featuring Arpanet, Drexciya, Japanese Telecom, LAM, Dopplereffekt, Abstract Thought and Der Zyklus:

BEN UFO: Arpanet - Wireless Internet

 SURGEON: Dopplereffekt - Infophysix  TESSELA: Drexciya - Black Sea  DJ STINGRAY: Dopplereffekt - Scientist  JOHN HECKLE: LAM - Balance of Terror EP  DJ ROLANDO: Drexciya - Dr. Blowfin's Experiment (Somewhere in Detroit)  DJ PETE: Arpanet - Illuminated Displays  BLEACHING AGENT: Japanese Telecom - Mounting Yoko  MGUN: Drexciya – Birth of a New Life  VELOCITY FUNK: Arpanet – Infinite Destiny  GAVIN RICHARDSON: Abstract Thought – Hypothetical Situations (Bermuda Triangle & Galactic Rotation!)  DOMMM: Japanese Telecom – Making of Ultraman  ADAM RICHARDSON: Der Zyklus - Formenverwandler 

NB The Soundcloud post below is from 2012.

Donald also released a new album this year under his (collaborative) Der Zyklus alias:

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Ben UFO opens the Bongo’s 20th Birthday festivities at Substance this Friday!

27 September 2016 -
Copyright Anne Kokalj
From The Courier (Dundee):

The legendary Bongo Club in Edinburgh marks its 20th birthday with a month of celebrations. The party starts on Friday night with a set from one of the world’s best DJs, Ben UFO. Gayle Ritchie finds out more…

Twenty years is a huge milestone for any club to reach these days.

So get on your dancing shoes because the Edinburgh institution that is the Bongo Club is alive and kicking and marking two decades of its commitment to diverse, alternative acts, music and DJs with a month of celebrations.

Despite being forced to move location twice, the club is now firmly rooted on the city’s Cowgate and is as popular as ever.

For those into underground techno parties, Substance – billed as one of Edinburgh’s most important outposts for house, techno and bass music – is hosting a night to remember this Friday (September 30), with Ben Thomson, aka Ben UFO, on the decks.

As co-founder of Hessle Audio, Ben confounds expectations with his seamless dancefloor heavy sets that encompass everything from hard techno to Afrobeat, house and electro.

Substance and Ben UFO -get your dancing shoes on! © The Gentleman Amateur

Over the past five years, Ben has built a reputation as one of contemporary dance music’s most daring and wide-ranging selectors, with his keen ear and razor-sharp abilities enabling him to cut between eras, lineages and mixing styles with dazzling ease and fluidity.

Having cut his teeth in early dubstep and drum and bass, his roots lie in UK rave culture – yet his selections cast the net wider, drawing new mutations of this culture into the orbit of house, techno and other global dancefloor sounds.

In clubs, his sets manage to be simultaneously considered and raucous, sliding from sidewinding broken rhythms into an irresistible four-to-the-floor groove, or broadsiding you with unexpected tangents, old favourites and bizarre secret weapons.

Ben has come far since broadcasting internet radio from two turntables on his mate’s bedroom floor. As well as holding down a residency at London’s club fairyland, Fabric, he stays busy touring Europe’s festival circuit, while continuing his now-eminent radio show with Hessle Audio on Rinse FM.

Substance’s Adam Richardson is more than just a bit excited about the night.

“Ben is obviously much in demand and we’re delighted to have got him on board to play what is a relatively intimate venue,” he said.

“His eclecticism is fitting for the occasion, the Bongo being a broad church both musically and in the diversity of its crowd. Add to that the biggest and highest spec sound system we have ever worked with, brought in especially for the evening, and you have a pretty unmissable party.”

Ben UFO – a master of contemporary dance music (Photo: Steve Dykes).

With support from residents Gavin Richardson and Velocity Funk, Friday night is the first of a big run of four parties for Substance up to the end of the year, which includes their 10th birthday on October 28.

Substance has been serving up some of the most thunderous innovators to the capital for ten years so you’re guaranteed a good night out.

The rest of the Bongo Club anniversary month sees everything from grime and UK bass, theatre, funk, spoken word, jazz, hip hop, reggae and rock. Check out www.thebongoclub.co.uk

Tickets for Substance: Ben UFO are available here and here.

Article reproduced from The Courier (Dundee).

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Munich mystery man Skee Mask (Ilian Tape) headlines Substance, Friday 15th April

14 April 2016 -


Continuing their custom of breaking new ground and introducing the cutting edge of electronic music to Edinburgh, Substance are very excited to be welcoming Munich artist Skee Mask to make his Scottish debut on Friday 15th April.

February’s release of his debut album, Shred, is only the second long-player to have emerged from the Ilian Tape label run in Munich by brothers Marco and Dario Zenker.  Exhibiting a penchant for the classic, Nineties techno sounds of labels such as Warp, Chain Reaction and Counterbalance, Shred combines deep, atmospheric textures with refined dance floor aesthetics.   No wonder the likes of Scuba have been hailing Shred as one of the releases of the year so far, with Skee Mask recently making his UK debut at the finale of Scuba’s XOYO residency in London.

To paraphrase the Ilian Tape website, in his DJ sets Skee Mask aims to create a deep trip, constituted of organic grooves and diverse clang accompaniments: techno, ambient and mostly experimental, forward thinking.  Naturally, we can’t wait!

There’s a good write-up about the new album on Juno.

More info / tix

His recent Boiler Room is well worth a listen, too.  Deep indeed:

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Techno innovator Tessela headlines Substance, Fri 18th Mar

17 March 2016 -


One of the UK’s most exciting new producers, Tessela brings a DJ set to Substance this Friday 18th March.

The guy known to his mum as Ed Russell set out a bold stall when he released Hackney Parrot via his own Poly Kicks label back in 2013.  Channelling hardcore rave for a new generation, all jungle-style breakbeats, a neatly processed soul sample, swirling synths, dramatic stabs and sub-bass that’s sure to get a rasta’s pulse racing, its energy and production finesse set it apart immediately as one of the records of the year and a bit of a game-changer for the scene ever since.

B-side Helter Skelter was no less frenzied and his releases since then, via Poly Kicks and legendary Belgian imprint R&S (who snapped him up quicker than you could say Outlander, The Vamp, back in 2013) have followed a similar trajectory.  In short, if you like hardcore, rave, bass music or techno, this is for you.

Here’s a great interview Russell did with Pitchfork back in 2013.  This chat with him and his brother, Tom (alias Truss), for RBMA is equally revealing and there are unsurprisingly some great hardcore tunes assembled in this Top 5 for XLR8R.

More info/tix here.

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UK techno star Blawan returns for Substance x Pulse, Fri 27th Nov

19 November 2015 -


We’re very excited that UK techno producer Blawan is returning to the Bongo on Friday 27th November with a DJ set for the Substance x Pulse head-to-head.

First witnessed when he played Substance’s 6th Birthday at our former venue back in 2012, the Yorkshire-born producer, DJ and sound design buff has become quite the international sensation of late, treating massive festivals all over the world to his exciting brand of punishing beats and moody soundscapes.

Blawan continues to provide evidence that he is currently one of the hottest and most versatile properties on the electronic music circuit. Seemingly rising from nowhere, he first came to prominence with his debut release on Hessle Audio, standing apart from the crowd with his clanking, stepping percussive beats, following it up with the acid-flooded ‘Bohla’ on R&S, its raw, techno-influenced beats championed by DJs such as Surgeon. ‘What You Do with What You Have’ followed and a remix of the Radiohead track “Bloom” helped his popularity grow. He has since become one of the biggest artists in techno, winning over the heads’ hearts with his raw percussion and a nod to the UK’s techno heritage as seen on productions such as ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage’ (Hinge Finger).

A hardware-only project, Karenn, combining with fellow R&S producer Pariah for some outrageously exciting live shows and dynamic recordings and couple of startling performances on Boiler Room all brought fresh acclaim, cemented when UK pioneer Surgeon joined forces with Blawan for a release on his vinyl-only label (Works the Long Nights) under the guise Trade.

This mix from 2014’s Aquasella Festival in Spain should give you an idea of what to expect from his DJ set at the Bongo.

Blawan @ Aquasella Festival, Spain 2014-08-08 by Core News Uploads on Mixcloud

While his 2012 Boiler Room is unsurprisingly still one of his most popular sets online…

After two stand-out shows with Rodhad and DVS1 earlier this year, Pulse and Substance join forces once again for this event, with respective residents Gavin Richardson and Darrell Harding providing the DJ support.



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Only a few weeks to go until the Bongo’s Fringe break!

10 June 2015 -

Holidays (700 px)As you may already know, since we moved to our new home underneath George IV Bridge, the terms of our tenancy require us to vacate the premises for the summer months (Sunday 12th July until we reopen on Saturday 5th September this year), so The Underbelly can move in to use the space for the Fringe.

NB Without a venue, we’re unable to run any of our regular nights (or any Fringe events).  We don’t have any control over this, nor do we have any involvement in what happens in the building during this period.  The Underbelly is a completely separate business from The Bongo Club.  It was here first and thus it takes precedence at this time.  Sorry, folks, but ‘them’s the breaks’, to quote an old favourite by hip hop legend Kurtis Blow.

This does mean that things are likely to get pretty bouncy around here, as we get geared up for our enforced leave of absence, not least at Messenger, far-and-away our longest running night (established in 1987 and running at the Bongo since 1996), which is on the final night before we close (Saturday 11th July).  Here’s how their last dance before summer went off last year:

The next few weeks are also likely to be a lot of fun, as people make the most of the final parties of the season from our other residents:

There’s a free party from resident techno dons Substance this Friday 12th June; Saturday 13th is the penultimate Messenger party with MC Ramon Judah; Rally & Broad cap a tremendous season for them early eve on Fri 19th, while bass supremos Electrikal get geared up for a busy summer on the festival circuit later that night; Saturday night party-starters Mumbo Jumbo keeps things bouncing on Sat 20th; soul-jazz and funk boys Four Corners and grime dons Big n Bashy have their last blasts of the trumpet on Fri 26th and Sat 27th respectively, while garage/techno/house party Headset and soul champs Soulsville have their final blow-outs on Fri 3rd and Sat 4th July.


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It’s Substance’s 8th Birthday on Halloween and they’re pulling no punches!

07 October 2014 -


With last year’s anthemic LTTLWLF smash record still ringing in people’s ears and new album Linear S Decoded championed by the likes of Dazed & Confused and Pitchfork, awe-inspiring Swedish techno duo Shxcxchcxsh (Avian) bring a new live set to Substance, with support from Ryan Martin (All Caps) plus resident Gavin Richardson.  Banging.

Shxcxchcxsh (Avian) 

Stream the new album and read the interview on Dazed Digital.  Check out the video for last year’s beast, LTTLWLF, by clicking on the image below.


Ryan Martin (All Caps)

Martin is behind Glasgow’s up-and-coming All Caps label alongside Bake and Matthew Muir.

Read The Skinny’s feature.

Recognised by the authoritative Resident Advisor to be “one of Edinburgh’s most important outposts for house, techno and bass”, Substance opens its doors to all for a wide ranging night of classic and cutting edge dance music.

Check out the Facebook Event for more info/audio links etc.



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SUBSTANCE presents Head High (Power House, Berlin): Fri 16th May

13 May 2014 -


Shed larger

We’re massively looking forward to Substance‘s party this Friday, as they welcome Berlin house/techno player, Head High!  Here’s what they have to say about it:

63 parties in and, at last, our man as Rene Pawlowitz – better known to most as Shed – travels in from Berlin for (unbelievably) his Edinburgh debut with a rare performance as Head High, one of his most loved aliases. Expect the visceral, honest, emotive Power House classics alongside choice Pawlowitz cuts as the likes of ShedThe TravellerCraftWaxEQD and Evil Fred, the forthcoming Head High material and loads more. See you down the front.

Recognised by the authoritative Resident Advisor to be “one of Edinburgh’s most important outposts for house, techno and bass”,Substance opens its doors to all for a wide ranging night of classic and cutting edge music.

Check out the Facebook event for more info / audio links etc.  Book tickets here.

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